Research Group

Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship

A young entrepreneur sticking post it notes onto a concrete wall.

Helping organisations and entrepreneurs to improve

We enhance the frontiers of knowledge in management and business studies for the sustainable growth of business, society and the economy.

How can organizations and entrepreneurs increase their benefits to society and minimize their environmental impact? 

Our research addresses this question from a range of perspectives and has an impact locally, nationally and internationally. We examine supply chains, firms’ innovation strategies, entrepreneurship, international marketing, and the development of international businesses. 

We undertake cutting-edge research in a range of areas, reflecting the Group’s expertise and diversity. Our research deepens our understanding of the challenges that organizations and managers face, leading to impactful and relevant debate, and pragmatic and valued solutions. We will provide transformational education, focusing on practical, inter-personal and analytical skills so that leading organizations will seek out our graduates for their capabilities and behaviour. 
By working on key organizational and societal issues, SOE research has influenced the UK Intellectual Property Office’s patent policy towards small firms and universities, local government policies to raise the level of R&D expenditure, and the efficiency of firms’ supply chains. The group also hosts the Centre for Research on Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Management and Internationalisation (REIMI).

Our research covers a range of topics including:
  • Big data
  • Circular supply chains
  •  Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • International business
  • International and comparative human resource management 
  • International marketing
  • Logistics
  • Social sustainability
  • Risk and resilience


Our research at a glance

University knowledge exchange

Professor Suma Athreye leads work on University-Industry Technology Transfer with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), comparing the experiences of university knowledge exchange in six national contexts. She is creating a toolkit for self-assessment of knowledge exchange policies for universities, which, once completed, will be used by WIPO member states.

Management knowledge transfer partnership

In 2020, Professor Matthew Allen and Dr Shabneez Bhankaraully gained funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy for a prestigious Management Knowledge Transfer Partnership to work with a local firm to boost revenues and profits by extending and transforming its strategy.

Migrant entrepreneurs

Dr Charan Bhattarai has received funding from the British Academy in 2021 to understand better our knowledge of migrant entrepreneurship, to provide guidance to migrant entrepreneurs about what strategies they should adopt to grow their business, and to guide policymakers about how to best support migrant entrepreneurs. 

Developing sustainable food supply chains

From 2020, Professor Niraj Kumar has led multiple projects on developing sustainable food supply chains in low- and middle- income countries, including Brazil, Thailand and Vietnam, funded by the Newton fund. His research will have significant benefits for individuals, societies and the environment.



  • Agrizzi, D., Soobaroyen, T., & Alsalloom, A. 2021 Spatiality and accounting: The case of female segregation in audit firms. Accounting, Organizations and Society, doi:10.1016/j.aos.2021.101238.
  • Al‐kalouti, J., Kumar, V., Kumar, N., Garza‐Reyes, J.A., Upadhyay, A. & Zwiegelaar, J.B. 2020 Investigating innovation capability and organizational performance in service firms. Strategic Change, 29(1), 103-113.
  • Arranz, N., Arroyabe, M., Li, J., & Fernandez de Arroyabe, J. C. 2020 Innovation as a driver of eco-innovation in the firm: An approach from the dynamic capabilities theory. Business Strategy and the Environment, 29(3): 1494–1503.
  • Athreye, S., Saeed, A., & Baloch, M. S. 2021 Financial crisis of 2008 and outward foreign investments from China and India. Journal of World Business, 56(3): 101190.
  • Bhankaraully, S. 2019 Contested firm governance, institutions and the undertaking of corporate restructuring practices in Germany. Economic and Industrial Democracy, 40(3): 511–536.
  • Bhattarai, C. R., Kwong, C. C. Y., & Tasavori, M. 2019 Market orientation, market disruptiveness capability and social enterprise performance: An empirical study from the United Kingdom. Journal of Business Research, 96: 47–60.
  • Brynin, M., Karim, M. S., & Zwysen, W. 2019 The value of self-employment to ethnic minorities. Work, Employment and Society, 33(5): 846–864.
  • Cheung, C. W. M., Kwong, C., Manzoor, H., Rashid, M. U., Bhattarai, C., & Kim, Y. A. 2019 The co-creation of social ventures through bricolage, for the displaced, by the displaced. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour and Research, 25(5): 1093–1127.
  • De, D., Chowdhury, S., Dey, P. K., & Ghosh, S. K. 2020 Impact of Lean and Sustainability Oriented Innovation on Sustainability Performance of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises: A Data Envelopment Analysis-based framework. International Journal of Production Economics, 219(August 2017): 416–430.
  • Demirbag, M., Glaister, K. W., & Sengupta, A. 2020 Which regions matter for MNEs? The role of regional and firm level differences. Journal of World Business, 55(1): 101026.
  • Kumar, N., Brint, A., Shi, E., Upadhyay, A., & Ruan, X. 2019 Integrating sustainable supply chain practices with operational performance: an exploratory study of Chinese SMEs. Production Planning and Control, 30 (5-6), 464-478.
  • Kwong, C. C. Y., Cheung, C. W. M., Manzoor, H., & Rashid, M. U.2019 Entrepreneurship through Bricolage: a study of displaced entrepreneurs at times of war and conflict. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 31(5–6): 435–455.
  • Mohsen, K., Saeed, S., Raza, A., Omar, S., & Muffatto, M.2020 Does using latest technologies impact new venture innovation? A contingency-based view of institutional environments. Journal of Small Business Management, doi:10.1111/jsbm.12534.
  • Son, B. G., Lee, C. H., Ha, B. C., & Nam, H.2019 Investigating the fair treatment of suppliers and its trust fostering role and performance benefits. International Journal of Production Economics, 216(April): 54–66.
  • Sousa, C. M. P., Li, R. Y., & He, X.2020 The impact of exploitation and exploration on export sales growth: The moderating role of domestic and international collaborations. Journal of International Marketing, 28(4): 1–20.
  • Wood, G. T., & Allen, M. M. C.2020 Comparing capitalisms: Debates, controversies and future directions. Sociology, 54(3): 482–500.
  • Zhang, A., Venkatesh, V. G., Liu, Y., Wan, M., Qu, T., & Huisingh, D.2019 Barriers to smart waste management for a circular economy in China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 240: 118198.
  • Zhang, W., Dunkley, A., Kanabar, U., Elliott, D., & Wynn, H. P.2021 A decision support system for liability in civil litigation: a case study from an insurance company. Annals of Operations Research, doi:10.1007/s10479-020-03905-0


  • In 2021, Professor Suma Athreye gave a keynote talk as part of joint Essex Business School and Birkbeck, University of London, debate on ‘The role of Public Research in the development of Covid Vaccine: heroes or laggards?’ The debate will help to launch several initiatives around health and well-being between the universities.  
  • Led by Professor Mehmet Demirbag, the Group collaborated with the British Academy of Management, International Business/International Management Special Interest Group to organize, a paper-development workshop with the Journal of World Business, a pre-eminent international-business journal.

Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship

Suma Athreye
Professor, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Economics of Innovation; Economics and Management of Intellectual Property; Technology Management; Evolution of Technology Markets; Technology Licensing; Open Innovation; Inclusive Innovation; International R&D Management; International Cooperation in Science and Technology; Emerging Market Multinationals; Foreign Direct Investment
Eirini Bersimi
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Shabneez Bhankaraully
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Charan Bhattarai
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Debashree De
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Mehmet Demirbag
Deputy Dean of Essex Business School and Professor (R), EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: internationalisation of R&D activities; offshore R&D; FDI location choice; product/regional diversification strategies of MNEs; Multinationals from Emerging Countries; International Mergers and Acquisitions; Reverse Knowledge Transfer by Emerging Country MNEs
Juan Carlos Fernandez de Arroyabe
Professor, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Innovation; Eco-innovation; and Circular Economy.; Innovation and R&D Networks; Cyber Security on the firms
Marta Fernandez De Arroyabe Arranz
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Technological Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As); Innovation; Networks; Eco-innovation, Circular Economy and Environmental Policy; Patents and trade secrets; Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial education; Firms' management of cybersecurity
Shamsul Karim
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Young-Ah Kim
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Innovation in the high-tech industry; Absorptive capacity; Business-to-Business Relationship Marketing; Business Network and Relationship Management between Firms; Quantitative Methods in Marketing (Advanced SEM, Hierarchical model, Choice Modelling); Relationship Value in Business Contexts; E-government
Niraj Kumar
Professor, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain Management; Food Supply Chain; Supply Chain Innovation; Big data management
Caleb Kwong
Reader (R), EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: social entrepreneurship, humane entrepreneurship and microfinance; entrepreneurship amongst the disabled population; entrepreneurship amongst refugees, Inernal Displaed Persons (IDPs) and those in the conflict zones; female and ethnic entrepreneurship; management education and enterprise education; human resource management (international)
Chang-Hun Lee
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Supply chain risk management
Jun Li
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Ageing society and third age entrepreneurship; start-up, scale-up and high growth entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurship, wellbeing, inequality and productivity; Graduate entrepreneurship; Chinese entrepreneurship and innovation; Entrepreneurship and innovation in emerging economies
Rebecca Y Li
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: international marketing and innovation
Wei Liu
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Operations Management in Tourism, Hospitality and Event
Evangelos Markopoulos
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Kholoud Mohsen
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Intra-firm integration mechanisms and their influence on marketing performance (effectiveness, adaptiveness, efficiency and creativity); The international marketing strategies of emerging market firms; Drivers of market pioneering; Emerging markets MNEs; Set-Theortic research in Business
Manuela Nocker
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Critical approaches to project work, particularly project teams; Organisational ethnography; The narrative and poetic approaches in organisational analysis; Identity construction and the management of identity; Ethics, social responsibility and sustainability; Collaboration and learning; Strategy-as-practice; Organisational innovation
Ramakrishnan Ramanathan
Professor, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Operations and supply chain management; Environmental sustainability; Making business sense of big data, the Internet of Things, and business analytics; Agri-food supply chains especially for reducing food waste; Research and applications of Operational Research Models
Wali Rehman
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Svetlana Warhurst
Senior Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Learning Pedagogy; Problem-based learning; Transnational education; Firm internationalisation; Autonomy and Embeddedness of subsidiaries of MNCs; Subsidiary performance
Abraham Zhang
Reader, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Wen Zhang
Lecturer, EBS - Strategy, Operations and Entrepreneurship (SOE)
Research interests: Multiobjective ranking and selection; Business analytics
Contact us
Contact us
Departmental Director of Research Professor Claudia Girardone
University of Essex
Essex Business School University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 87 3911