Regent’s Centre
for Transnational Business and Management

The Regent’s Centre for Transnational Business and Management (RCTBM) promotes quality research and scholarship that benefits students, researchers and the wider community beyond Regent’s University London.

The Centre was initially named Regent's Centre for Transnational Studies.

RCTBM focuses on the transnational phenomena cutting across disciplinary boundaries of Business and Management, Economics and Social Sciences. The Centre promotes advanced interdisciplinary research and teaching across a broad range of fields in social and management sciences. 'Transnational' is a key concept appropriate to facilitate in the understanding and explanation of today’s societies and organisations which are ever more connected. Transnational links and practices create a transnational space which gains increasing importance as cross border transfers and mobility of goods, finances and people grow.

The Centre's research focuses on several multi-disciplinary areas, broadly defined as:

  1. (HRM) Human mobility: incorporating labour markets, human resource and diversity management, acculturation and integration, refugees, asylum seekers, migration governance
  2. (CFM) Capital mobility: incorporating transnational banking, finance, remittances, money transfers and development
  3. (MGS) Mobility of goods and services: incorporating transnational marketing, consumer behaviour, tourism studies, Islamic marketing, luxury brands and marketing
  4. (TEC) Transnational education and culture: incorporating cultural heritage studies and cross border higher education

The centre also welcomes work crosscutting these areas such as research ethics, ethical business practices, and methodological innovations.

RCTBM members carry out research and consultancy work in these fields, deliver lectures and seminars and organise events to foster research and scholarship in cognate areas. The Centre also hosts Regent’s PhD students supervised in these specific areas. Current PhD student profiles can be seen here.  

Why Transnational?

The concept 'Transnational' is key in understanding the fast moving, diverse and connected societies and organisations today. Ubiquitous links bring together organisations and people in a Transnational place of enactment while these connections are becoming increasingly important. At Regent's Centre for Transnational Business and Management, we focus on cross border transfers and the mobility of goods, finances and people.

The concept refers to the state of affairs in many areas but particularly in businesses and governance that we have to build and integrate globally to benefit from the connections, networks, synergies while also acknowledge the presence and power of the national and local that leads to client satisfaction and success in different markets.

Against the rise of and then growing critique of 'Globalisation' in the 1980s, from the 1990s onwards, 'one size fits all' approach has gradually left its place to a more nuanced one which was later expressed as 'Glocal'. Glocal is the practical equivalent of what we would call 'transnational' in academia. It transcends what is local without overlooking the importance and influences of global processes and their interaction with the local and national.

Scope of Transnational Business and Management

Although earlier literature on transnational concentrated in other social science disciplines such as Geography, it is increasingly more relevant to business and management as well as higher education as mobile student populations in the world grew significantly in the last two decades.

Sirkeci (2013) has expanded the scholarship on 'transnational' business and management into marketing and consumer behaviour where he came up with the concept of 'transnational mobile consumer' which is pointing out the impact of transnational mobility and repercussions on the ways in which we buy and consume. In Transnational Marketing and Transnational Consumers (2013, Springer), it reads, "although transnationalism and transnational research is very well established in other social science disciplines, Transnational Marketing is a new and understudied field. The limited literature exists mostly deals with legal and contractual or cultural aspects. However, there are very few studies and no dedicated research institutions focusing on transnational aspects of marketing. The text books tend to mention it as part of internationalization but often without much scholarship behind it. Nevertheless, there are transnational companies, organisations and business practices as well as consumer practices and consumption patterns. Multinational organisations display examples for 'transnationalisation'."

Transnational Management as a field received attention as many organisations have become 'stateless' avoiding national borders and thus also often avoiding certain regulations (Eom 1994 and Bob 2005). AS Eom (1994) puts it systematically, many managers believe that "the trend toward statelessness is unmistakable and irreversible" because it helps solving trade problems (e.g. companies can overcome trade barriers by setting up factories in other countries), avoiding political problems, allowing better exploitation of innovations globally. This move requires transnational management support systems and an overall transnational vision and understanding.

The key feature of transnational management is the geographical and administrative span of the operations, strategy and behaviour. It is more than simply international and it is beyond global. Transnational is stateless, borderless, draws upon multiple territories, cultures and multiple reference points.

Transnational Marketing can be briefly defined as marketing transnationally, that is other than within the borders of one’s nation and marketing products or services which can originate from anywhere and largely oblivious to differences in national markets yet taking into account the cultural and linguistic differences as well as drawing upon multiple reference points and benefiting from synergies among multiple territories, cultures, and other groupings.

Transnational marketing is a phenomenon building upon globalisation enhanced by improvements in transportation, communications, and information technologies force organisations (commercial, non-profit, governmental or else) to devise strategies that involves the geographic and temporal spread of multitudes of factors, including products, services, people, capital, and operations, throughout a world characterised by increasingly mobile populations and ever more porous national boundaries. This in return facilitates and forces the interdependence within and among organisations, nation-states, and other actors in economic, political and socio-cultural spheres. Thus, the key variable here is the fluidity of practices, mobility and movement creating living and business spaces across borders. Yet these practices have received very little academic attention so far.

Transnational Finance focuses on analysing how the current (anti- and pro) globalisation (deglobalisation) trends are affecting financial markets, institutions, products, infrastructures and regulations in a transnational perspective. The last global financial crisis made evident that the level of interconnection among different financial systems is very high and events which may occur in very remote areas or in specific segments of the financial systems have a deep impact on the correct functioning of these systems potentially everywhere. International money transfers, financial practices, banking systems in different cultural contexts, financial integration, and financial inclusion are typical topics that fall in the scope of transnational finance.

Transnational Education and Culture cluster focuses on researching ways in which higher education practices and businesses have been evolving in response to globalisation and challenges that come with it. This cross cuts the dispersal of cultural communities and transfer or cultures and heritage across borders. Typical topics in this cluster would include heritage management, transfer and transformation of heritage, globalised food cultures, international students, transnational university campuses, role of digital revolution in changing education, and distance learning programmes and practices.

Transnational Mobility is an interdisciplinary cluster focusing on the mobility of people, things and cultures and the repercussions of these mobilities. International migration, refugees, immigrant integration, acculturation, migration governance, refugee burden, remittances, border management, migration policies, labour market integration of immigrants, animosity between host and guest communities, xenophobia, Brexit, and the Trump effect are typical topics to be covered in this cluster.

Research news and events at RCTBM

RCTBM organises research seminars, conferences, workshops and other training activities. You can follow the summaries and key findings of current and past research undertaken by the RCTBM members here.

Most recently RCTBM’s project led by Professor Jonathan Liu and Professor Brian Hook on British Chinese Heritage focusing on Chinese participation in British armed forces during the war has been completed. This was a collaborative project with Ming Ai Institute London and funded by Lottery Heritage. You can find further details of the project outcomes here.

More about the RCTBM