International Business — Doing Business within Developing Economies

Group leader
Tilo Halaszovich
Adjunct Professor
Specific themes and goals

Our research projects revolve around two main themes: “Which strategies enable firms from developed and developing countries to cooperate and mutually benefit from the cooperation?” and “What role can entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial ecosystems play within the context of developing countries?” While the first theme includes traditional aspects of international business research, such as control and coordination of firm networks, the second theme involves the interplay between the environment and business more closely by identifying ways and means to exploit opportunities arising from the specific conditions in developing countries.

Highlights and impact

Since 2019, our group has been involved in research projects aimed at advising public policy makers regarding the German involvement in Sub-Saharan Africa. Most notably:

  • German “Mittelstand” in Africa (2019/20) — The study analyzed the involvement and procedures of medium-sized German firms who invested in Sub-Saharan Africa. The results were presented at a GIZ forum and stimulated ongoing discussions with business associations and policy makers.
  • The impact of Covid-19 on German-African business networks (2020/21) — Roughly six months into the pandemic, this was the very first study shedding light on how 100 German firms handled the impact of lockdowns and travel restrictions on their African business activities. The study directly informed the former German government and the former German chancellor.
  • The role of the African diaspora for German firms in Africa (2022) — Together with the Deutsche Afrikastiftung, this study identified the role and potential of the African diaspora in Germany, specifically regarding the involvement of German firms on the African continent. It was the first study that focused on members of the diaspora as key informants and was presented to the public at the annual Ansperger-Symposium in Berlin.
Group composition & projects/funding

The group is led by Prof. Halaszovich. It currently has four PhD students. Between 2019 and 2022, the group’s projects have been funded by GIZ, Deutsche Afrikastiftung, DAAD, and Volkswagen Stiftung, as well as individual firms from the region of Bremen.

Selected publications
  • Mattfeld, S., Piaskowska, D., Halaszovich, T.F. (2022): Digital outsidership: the practical and affective effects of digitalization in international business relationships between Kenyan and German firms, in: Research Handbook on Innovation in International Business, 177-205. 
  • Halaszovich, T. F., Kinra, A. (2020): The Impact of Distance and National Transportation System on FDI and Trade Patterns: Results from South Asia, Transport Policy, 98, 35-47. 
  • Halaszovich, T. F. (2020): When does Foreignness Become a Liability? — The Effects of Flawed Institutional Environments on Foreign and Domestic Firm Performance in Emerging Markets, European Journal of International Management, 14(1), 118-143.
  • Trąpczyński, P., Halaszovich, T. F., Piaskowska, D. (2020): The Role of Institutional Distance and Managerial Perceptions in Foreign Ownership Mode Choices of New Polish MNEs, Journal of Business Research, 108, 435-449. 
  • Gentile-Lüdecke, S., Halaszovich, T. F., Lundan, S. M. (2019): What role does the CEO vision play in the internationalization process of firms? Evidence from the banking sector in Africa, Thunderbird: International Business Review, 61(1), 13-27.