Tallinna Tehnikaülikool

PhD Project in International Business

Thesis title: International Innovation and Entrepreneurship
PhD Programme: Economics and Business Administration
Supervisor: Antti Ainamo, Professor
Offered by: School of Business and Governance,
Department of Business Administration

Contemporary issues in international-business research include born globals, cross-border startups, privatization and corporate governance, as well as persistent cross-cultural differences. We are looking for a PhD candidate to study with us real-world phenomena from one of these or still another research perspective related to international innovation and entrepreneurship. We welcome but do not require electicism and cross-pollination with adjoined fields.

The selected PhD candidate will be afforded independence to his or her choice of research literature, methodology, and data. An a non-exhaustive set of appropriate research literature from which to choose one or two includes cross-border startups, transnational corporate entrepreneurship, co-creation, institutional and cultural differences, brokerage, design thinking, creative and cultural „authenticity“, digitalization, robotics and AI, innovation and business ecosystems, and service ecosystems. He or she ought to have already learned or be able to learn a methodology such as ethnography, case-study or social network analysis. His or her general research purpose will be to examine what changes are taking place and spread, how and why this happens across countries and/or cultures; or, alternatively, why and how no change is the rule or dominant norm. It is desirable that the applicant has also his or her own research ideas of what is an interesting real-world phenomenon, whether that be e.g. the video-games industry, fashion, music, the media, robotics and/or AI, health and wellbeing, education, or the Helsinki-Tallinn twin City project. The hope is that the selected candidate’s thesis will amount to a good attempt to open up a new research direction in international-business research literature.

The doctoral student will work at the Department of Business Administration at TalTech with Professor Antti Ainamo. He or she is expected to engage in facilitation across entrepreneurs and students, and small-scale teaching, with support of his or her Supervisors and colleagues.

The applicants should fulfill the following requirements:

  • Candidates are required to hold a Master’s degree, or its equivalent, from a university in international business or a related field.
  • Applicants should be fluent in English in speaking and writing, engaged and ready to work independently, but also be interested in joint research with others, led under the direction of Professor Antti Ainamo.
  • Previous background in international business, entrepreneurship, innovation, sociology, anthropology is desirable, but any discipline can be considered.
  • Applicants should have an interest in reading peer-reviewed international journals and provide evidence of excellent academic writing skills.
  • It is considered an advantage if the candidate has interest in or the potential to research in the field of critical studies in accounting.
  • The post is suitable to someone with qualitative research skills and research methods in social science with an ability and interest in collecting data, encountering real people „out there“, analyse narrative and other data and write up case studies.
  • The candidate should be able to communicate well with local businesses, government departments, ministries and academic community; and interested in developing the international-business group’s already well established international academic networks.


Elena Dalpiaz, Violina Rindova and Davide Ravasi (2016) Combining logics to transform organizational agency: Blending industry and art at Alessi. Administrative Science Quarterly, 61(3), 347–392.

Frederic Godart (2018) Culture, structure, and the market interface: Exploring the networks of stylistic elements and houses in fashion, Poetics, 68, 72-88.

Christoph Zott and Raphael Amit (2013) The business model: A theoretically anchored robust construct for strategic analysis. Strategic Organization, 11(4), 403–411