Newcastle University Business School

Staff Profile

Dr Elizabeth Alexander

Reader in International Management


Elizabeth Alexander is Reader in International Management and is the Director of Postgraduate (Taught Programmes) for the Business School. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Liz brings prior experience in both business and the education fields. She worked in management consulting, including in KPMG’s Economics and Strategy Group in Scotland and has worked with SMEs to develop and implement strategy and with public sector agents to develop strategies for economic development. She has taught at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in strategic management and international management in the U.S. as well as the U.K.

Her research focuses primarily on the relationship between institutions and strategy, inter-organisational collaboration and innovation, as well as research in the area of business and society.

Liz earned her doctorate in Strategic Management and Public Policy with a minor field in International Business from the School of Business at the George Washington University, Washington D.C. She also holds an MBA from the University of Strathclyde and BA(Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University.


Liz’s research interests include
  • ​Institutional perspectives: Work here investigates differences in institutions and institutional logics that pose different problems and solutions for organizations. It examines how organizations recognize and reconcile challenges and opportunities from conflicting patterns of institutional pressures and how managers can transfer organizational practices, strategies and forms to other contexts.
  • Inter organizational collaboration and innovation: This stream of work examines how innovation occurs through inter-organizational collaboration, the role of boundary spanning activities for learning, and linkages for resource acquisition - often by adopting an institutional theory lens.
  • Business in Society: Research in this category aims to understand how organizations engage with the social dimensions of their business practices, including social enterprises, and how individuals in organizations address social and ethical issues in their decision-making roles.
Work investigating these research streams includes:
  • How differences in patent law, contract law and culture across countries affect innovation outcomes from inter-organizational relationships (non-equity alliances versus joint ventures).
  • How the effect of conflicting logics associated with different forms of country norms (i.e. the logic of corporatism versus the logic of pluralism) affect innovation and learning when collaborating in technology standards setting organizations.
  • How differences in country norms and regulatory systems affect the propensity of SMEs to engage in different forms and levels of corporate responsibility.
  • How social enterprises develop external and internal linkages to achieve their goals of social innovation.
  • How individual decision making in organizations regarding the propensity to pay a price premium for ethically sourced (Fair Trade) products is affected by personal and workplace factors.
  • How conflicting institutional logics in higher education influence shifts towards outsourcing services.


In the masters programmes, Liz is Module Leader for NBS8060 International Business Strategy and NBS8329 Strategic Business Analysis and Decision Making and contributes to the MBA NBS8126 Strategic Management and the NBS8495 Emerging Economies modules. Liz is an External Examiner with the Open University's External Partnerships where she is external for International Business programmes with the American College of Greece.

Liz has supervised student dissertations (from undergraduate to PhD) and is interested in working collaboratively on projects that fit her areas of expertise.