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Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

Dr Lei Li's research focuses on two themes: (1) internationalization strategies and processes of multinational enterprises (MNEs) based in the US and China. He tries to integrate the capabilities-based view, the institutional theory and the social capital perspective with the traditional MNE theories; (2) Social innovation and social enterprise in the global context. He tries to examine the intersection between international entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship.  


The relationship between multinationality and firm performance;

Internationalisation processes and regional/global strategies.

Present & Future

Case studies and theory building focusing on Chinese multinational enterprises;

Internationalisation and performance implications of MNEs in specific industrial sectors;

Case studies on and empirical investigation of social innovation and social enterprise in the global context

Personal profile

Dr Lei Li is currently an Associate Professor in International Business and Strategy at Nottingham University Business School China (NUBS China). He served as Associate Dean of Faculty at NUBS China from 2012 to 2016 and Department Head from 2010 to 2012 and from 2021-2022. Previously he had been a faculty member at University of Portland, Oregon and Pace University, New York, USA. He teaches strategic management, managing multinational enterprises, corporate strategy, cross-cultural management, international alliances, and international business environment. He is a recipient of Lord Dear Award for teaching excellence. His research focuses on internationalization strategies and processes of multinational enterprises, in particular in the contexts of the US and China. In recent years, he has increasingly paid attention to social innovation and social entrepreneurship in the cross-border context. His work has appeared in Journal of World Business, Management International Review, International Journal of Management Reviews, International Business Review, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, NACRA Case Research Journal, Multinational Business Review, CEIBS Business Review, Peking University Business Review etc. His papers have been selected for the Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings in 2003 and 2012. He is rated as a prolific author for Management International Review, a leading international business journal. He received a best reviewer award from the International Management Division of the Academy of Management in 2005. Prior to his academic career, he was a senior consultant and project manager with Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, a Munich-based international management consulting firm. His clients included International Finance Corporation (World Bank Group), Foshan Piaggio (Fiat Group), Tsingtao Brewery, China Native Produce and Animal by-products Import & Export Corporation, China Worldbest Kama agricultural machinery, Jilin forest industry company, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company (COSCO), among others. In the initial stage of his career, he had worked with China Daheng Corporation affiliated with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has been teaching on the CRRC international talent development program and other executive education programs at NUBS China since 2012. Previously he also taught on the EMBA/MBA programs at University of Portland, Pace University, China European International Business School (CEIBS), Kedge Business School, and Otago University Business School. He received his PhD in international management studies from the University of Texas at Dallas, the U.S., an MBA from International University of Japan, and a BSc from Peking University, China.


Dr Lei Li is currently teaching strategic management-perspective, process and practice and international alliances at the undergraduate level and doing international business in China at the post graduate level. He is also supervising PhD and postgraduate students’ dissertations. In addition, he is teaching on the executive education programs.

Person Types

  • Staff


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