Management Professor Wins International Business Award

Yamlaksira Getachew, assistant professor of international business and strategy, won the SSE Gunnar Hedlund Award for his dissertation titled “Institutional Voids, Investment Purposes, and Foreign Subsidiaries of Multinational Enterprises.”

Presented at the European International Business Academy (EIBA) conference in December, the Gunnar Hedlund Award is considered the most prestigious award for doctoral dissertations in the field of international business. In 1997, the Institute of International Business at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) established the award in memory of Professor Gunnar Hedlund.

“I feel tremendously honored and privileged to receive this award,” said Getachew. “This award validates the work I’m doing to advance a better understanding of multinational businesses in developing countries and offer solutions that have the potential to make a major impact.”

Getachew’s dissertation examines whether, how, and when the absence or lack of market-supporting institutions (which he calls institutional voids) influence the viability of foreign subsidiaries of multinational enterprises (MNEs). When MNE subsidiaries enter locations where institutional voids abound (such as Africa), they encounter increased cost of doing business. His dissertation presents theoretical as well as empirical evidence suggesting that institutional voids not only lead to increased cost but they can also generate strategic benefits.

“I’m an African, with a strong interest in contributing to a better understanding of Africa as a context of doing business,” said Getachew. “My dissertation is the first structured and systematic attempt at doing just that. I consider myself the kind of academic who not only seeks to speak to academic audiences but, through research, is able to inform policy decisions in Africa and beyond.”