By: Francis Schortgen, Ph.D., MBA, MA
Drawing on my academic training – MBA (with a focus on corporate strategy and international Business) and a Ph.D. in Political Science (with a focus on Asia) – and professional background (having worked in the business consulting industry in South Korea), my research is largely at the intersection of international business/international political economy/international relations. Over past decade, I have focused on Chinese business internationalization, before subsequently expanding into regional political economy, trade, and investment trends. Most recently, I have been focusing on the challenges faced by Chinese technology companies in their international expansion efforts as well as on the geoeconomic, geopolitical and geostrategic implications of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
Much of that research has been presented at major international conferences at Harvard University, U.C. Berkeley, MIT, National University of Singapore, and Shanghai Jiaotong University to name a few. My research on Chinese high-tech companies (“Weaponing Globalization: Chinese High-Tech in the Crosshairs of Geopolitics”), China’s Belt and Road Initiative (“China and the 21st Century Silk Roads: A New Era of Global Economic Leadership?”), and the geopolitics of international trade (“Geostrategic Economics in the 21st Century: China, America and the Trans-Pacific Partnership”), has been published in Huawei Goes Global: Made in China for the World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020), China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative: The Changing Rules of Globalization (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), and Advances in Geoeconomics (Routledge, 2017), respectively.
At the present time, I am also conducting research on the nascent technology cold war between the U.S. and China, focusing specifically on the semiconductor industry. On the teaching side, my are of expertise is in global business and emerging market dynamics, with a particular focus on business strategy and market entry. From January to March 2021, I was a Visiting Professor in the Department of Economics & Finance, School of Business and Law, at the University of Agder (Norway) where I taught an online graduate-level course on "Emerging Markets".
One of my preferred methods of teaching is the Harvard Case Method, as it allows students to assume the role of the case protagonist and grapple with real-world scenarios, the better to prepare them to manage business challenges as well as capitalize on emerging opportunities.
Apart from my academic focus, I also remain deeply connected with the business world, having been a regularly featured guest speaker at the Horasis Asia meetings in Bangkok, Thailand (2016), Kolkata, India (2017) and Binh Duong New City, Vietnam (2019), and most recently the Horasis Global meeting (virtual, 2021). These meetings bring together corporate leaders from around the world for the purpose of “enacting a vision for a sustainable future”. I regularly incorporate insights gained through these high-level interactions in my various classes. Since 2013, I have also been invited on three occasions to share my research insights on Chinese business internationalization, the geopolitics/geoeconomics of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and the accelerating U.S.-China technology rivalry to various projects in the Business and Management Collection of Henry Stewart Talks, a leading provider of online, audio-visual seminar-style talks. In 2017, I accepted an offer from a Dubai-based partner (Middle East, Africa, and Asia) of Camelot Management Consultants to contribute to a business publication titled “Should the GCC Start to Learn Mandarin: learnings from the Chinese-African Story”
Finally, through my annual “Dynamic World Cities” travel seminar, I aim to give students a short-term, high-impact and unparalleled opportunity to network with high-level business executives and government officials. Since 2015, I have taken students to Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai/Abu Dhabi, Seoul and Shanghai. As part of this initiative, students have had the opportunity, among others, to network with the legendary investor Jim Rogers (Singapore); the CEO of the Singapore Stock Exchange; a VP of Emirates Airline (Dubai); the chief economist of the Government of Dubai; and the Head, Geopolitical Risk (Asia) of the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), to name just a few.
In short, as an educator and scholar, I have considered it my professional responsibility to extend the learning experience and knowledge acquisition beyond the classroom and to equip students to the best of my abilities with the requisite insights, analytical skills, and personal confidence to manage diverse and complex challenges in today’s globalized world and to help them grow into accomplished, confident, and effective leaders of tomorrow.