International Business School Suzhou

Research Strategy, Direction and Highlights

Established in 2013, IBSS aims to become a leading international business school. High quality research output with impact, as measured against international benchmarks and standards, is crucial in realizing the School’s vision.

During its research strategy’s development stage (2013-2016), IBSS implemented a series of core initiatives and policies. Now in its reinforcement stage (2017-2020), the current focus is on establishing three key pillars of research strength:

1) Clusters of Research Excellence

Harness and enhance existing areas of research expertise among IBSS faculty by identifying specific research clusters as well as a number of university-level research centers. These research clusters are enhanced through staff and PhD student recruitment, and research funding. Below is a list of priority research clusters in the School’s three divisions

Accounting and Finance [ACF]

Auditing and Taxation

Derivative and Commodity Markets

Corporate Governance and Managerial Control

Empirical Asset Pricing

Market-based Accounting Research

Market Microstructure

FinTech and Big-Data Analytics for Accounting and Finance applications

Economics [ECO]

Behavioral Economics

Labor Economics

Economic and Regional Development

Macroeconomics and Finance

Experimental Economics

Mathematical Economics

Political Economy

Management [MAN]

Corporate Strategy and Sustainability

Operations and Supply-Chain Management

Human Resource Management


International Business and Strategy

Management Information System

Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management

2) Academic Research with Impact

Publication in internationally recognized high ranking journals and presentations at prestigious overseas conferences are two main channels to contribute towards IBSS’s international academic research reputation.

Academic research with impact is based on publication in internationally ranked academic journals. IBSS measures journal quality based on a twin journal-ranking system that combines the journal lists of UK’s Association of Business Schools (ABS) and the Australian Business Deans’ Council (ABDC). IBSS faculty aspire to produce impactful publications in ABS 4*/4 and ABDC A* journals.

Examples of top journal publications (2015-2019) by IBSS faculty across the main disciplines [with two-digit alphanumeric ABS/ABDC ranking]:

4*A* Journal of International Business Studies x 2

4A*Journal of Service Research

4*A* Journal of Financial Economics

4A*Energy Economics

4*A* Marketing Science

4A*Journal of Corporate Finance

4*A Economic History Review

4A Journal of World Business

4A* Review of Finance x 3

3A* Journal of Banking and Finance x 3

4A* European Journal of Operations Research x 2

3A* Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control x 2

Examples of recent presentations (2017-2019) in prestigious conferences by IBSS faculty across main disciplines.

American Accounting Association (AAA)

Econometric Society: US/Asia-Pacific/China

European Accounting Association (EAA)

Academy of Management (AOM)

British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA)

Academy of Marketing Science (AMS)

Financial Management Association (FMA) Meetings: US and Europe

Academy of International Business (AIB)

China International Finance Association (CIFA)

International Association for Business and Society (IABS)

3) Practice-oriented research with impact

Research activities with strong corporate links is another main channel to enhance IBSS’s research reputation in the local area [Suzhou Industrial Park SIP] and greater Jiangsu region in which it operates and competes in. Many Fortune 500 companies operate in SIP, such that research with strong corporate links also enhances the international reputation of IBSS.

Practice-oriented research is also delivered through the notion of research-led teaching, especially in post-graduate programmes. Work placements, summer internships, the analysis of real data in coursework and assignment are some of the attributes of research-led teaching activities here at IBSS.

An example of practice-oriented research with impact to industry in IBSS lies in its affiliated Research Institutes (RIs):

  • Quantitative Finance
  • Big Data Analytics and Technology
  • Operations and Supply Chain Excellence

Established in 2016 in conjunction with another university department, and with funding from SIP government, these RIs share a common objective to promote cross-disciplinary practice-oriented research that encompasses strong interaction and networking with firms operating in SIP. For more information, please visit the relevant RI’s website.

In addition, IBSS has recently established two school-level research centres to reflect current trends in research direction, and to provide a platform for industry collaboration.

IBSS Biometrics Lab is a new initiative to facilitate cutting-edge behavioral research that incorporates biometrics readings e.g. eye-tracking, skin-conductance, heart rate and emotion-recognition. The array of 'choice process' data allows researchers to better understand the neuro-psycho-physiological processes behind individuals’ preferences and decision-making. Hosted in IBSS, the Biometrics Lab aims to connect researchers from different disciplines, both within the business school and with other departments.

IBSS Centre for FinTech Studies (CFTS) is a first step for IBSS to consolidate all its FinTech-related research and development efforts under a common platform. The CFTS vision is to bring together the research efforts of academics with technical expertise in data science and machine-learning models, and those who require such technical expertise in various research applications pursued by the main disciplines of a business school. The CFTS mission is to establish research links with strong data-science research centers of overseas universities.

During the next consolidation stage [2020-2025], IBSS research strategy aims to achieve sufficient critical mass in research-active faculty across all of its academic divisions, which will further attract high-calibre research-active faculty, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students, thus sustaining the current momentum to improve its profile in both academic and practice-oriented research.