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Doctoral student writing

Multicultural business to business supply chain management

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


The position involves the conduct of research projects with multicultural organisations in the supply chain sector and their partners.

Multicultural business-to-business relationships are adaptive systems which operate in complex business environments. Inevitably, in today’s economic world, diverse cultures exist within various countries and nationalities which increase the likelihood that cultural clashes will arise. A strong focus beyond that of the international multicultural supply chain perspective is required to explore, explain, develop, and test aspects of supply chain management. Studies exploring the dynamics of organisational culture have acknowledged that it provides direction, cultural adaptation, as a learning process, can mitigate the negative impacts of cultural differences in business-to-business relationships by generating benefits for the organisations engaging in those relationships. The supplier skill complementarity, supplier goal compatibility, supplier financial soundness and information systems compatibility are accessed once partners confirm that they are ready to cooperate. Future research could focus on the management and measurement of multicultural collaborative business to business relationships. The PhD programme undertaken when conducting the research concentrated on a strategy process perspective in addressing the linkages inherent in multicultural cooperation through partnering relationship management, utilising evaluation and refining criteria in examining the processes of renewal and business advantages.

Specifically, research can use combinations of qualitative and quantitative methods or qualitative methods over time to better capture the variables and outcomes of interest. Hence the research would be focused on the field of supply chain management both practically and theoretically. A strong focus beyond that of the international multicultural supply chain organisations perspective is required to explore, explain, develop, and test aspects of supply chain management.

It also implies the publication of the output of the research in academic and professional journals. More specifically, the research will mainly focus on humanitarian supply chains design and management for effectiveness and value creation purpose. The main duties of the PhD candidate are gathering and analysing data from the partnering organizations, designing, exploring and developing a modelling framework, and running experiments. The student will spend some time with the partnering organizations to understand their operations and supply chain processes.


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Jia, F. and Lamming, R. (2013) Cultural adaptation in Chinese-Western supply chain partnerships--Dyadic learning in an international context. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol.33, No.5, pp.528-561.

Narayanan, S., Narasimhan, R. and Schoenherr, T. (2015) Assessing the contingent effects of collaboration on agility performance in buyer–supplier relationships. Journal of Operations Management, Vol.33, pp.140-154.

Huang, Y., Han, W. and Macbeth, D.K. (2019) The complexity of collaboration in supply chain networks: an exploratory study of the Chinese automotive sector. Supply Chain Management: an International Journal. ISSN 1359-8546.


Dr Weixi Han

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

Please visit our how to apply page for a step-by-step guide and make an application.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

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Weixi Han