Unpacking International Business - A Conversation with Prof. Mehdi Boussebaa
Updated: Jul 14, 2021
Mehdi Boussebaa is Professor of International Management and leads the International Business and Enterprise Research Cluster at the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow, Scotland. Previously, he worked at the universities of Bath and Oxford, UK. Mehdi has held visiting positions in Canada (Alberta), China (Tongji and UIBE), France (Aix-Marseille), and Sweden (Lund). He has a PhD and an MA (with Distinction) from the University of Warwick. Prior to joining academia, Mehdi worked for a leading US telecoms market research and a consulting firm in London. Mehdi is Associate Editor of Critical Perspectives on International Business and serves on the editorial boards of Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of World Business, Organization Studies, and Journal of Professions and Organization. Mehdi's research examines diverse aspects of international management theory and practice, especially from a postcolonial perspective. His cutting edge research has identified the (neo)colonial dynamics in the work and management of international professional service firms and the (neo)colonial entanglements in offshore service outsourcing. In recent years, Prof. Boussebaa has extended his analysis to business schools and the geopolitics of management knowledge production. Mehdi's research has been published in a wide range of internationally leading and 'FT50' journals such as Human Relations, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, and Organization Studies, among others. Mehdi has also contributed chapters to major edited volumes such as The Oxford Handbook of Identities in Organizations (2020) and The Oxford Handbook of Professional Service Firms (2015).
Our conversation focuses on the discipline and research on international business (IB) and the way Mehdi's vision of engaged scholarship is actualised in his teaching of Master students. We discuss how Mehdi's design and curriculum selection allow the students to unpack the taken-for granted truths of IB to include concerns for societal and economic values and impact of IB theories and practices. Mehdi invites the students to adopt sociological and historical lenses in debating burning IB questions. Teaching is akin to a nomadic experience with each course a new settlement for those involved in exploring the dilemmas of IB.
Conversation on IB: