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Durham University

Research & business

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Dr Dylan Sutherland, BSc, MPhil, PhD

Associate Professor in Management and MSc Management Route Leader (International Business) in the Business School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 45394
Room number: MHL 523

Contact Dr Dylan Sutherland (email at


Dylan completed an M.Phil. in the Economics of Developing Countries at Cambridge University before undertaking an ESRC funded PhD at the Judge Business School (looking at the emergence of Chinese business groups). In 2002 he was appointed as an Assistant Director of Development Studies at Cambridge's world leading Centre for Development Studies. In 2004 he moved to Trinity College, Dublin (2004-7) where he designed and delivered a new suite of modules in Development Studies. In 2005 he was awarded a €300,000 Development Education Grant by Irish Aid (affiliated to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ireland) which was used to promote awareness of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. To this end he built a successful team to run the high profile MDG lectures series and accompanying on-line learning and teaching resources. In 2007 he moved to Nottingham University’s newly created School of Contemporary Chinese Studies to further pursue his research interests on Chinese business and development. As Director of the Masters Programmes he created and managed a number of successful new programmes and modules on Chinese business (offered at Nottingham’s business school). In 2011 his growing research focus on Chinese MNEs brought him to Durham University Business School. In Durham he assumed responsibility for undergraduate and postgraduate modules on East Asian business (Asia and Pacific Rim, BUSI 3041 and East Asian Business & Management, BUSI 5A815). Dylan currently supervises a number of PhD students that regularly meet as a sub-group of the International Business Research Group.

Throughout his career Dylan has been involved in designing and delivering new modules and programmes. He has won a number of education related grants. His modules are well received by students and very popular. In 2016 he was awarded the Durham University Business School Dean’s teaching award for teaching excellence. He takes an active interest in pedagogical methods and uses active and problem based learning methodologies, coupled with reflective teaching practices. He acts as an internal and external examiner (i.e. UCD, University of Cambridge University, Leeds University).

Dylan has lived and worked in China for several years (i.e. Foreign Expert, Tianjin Ligong Xueyuan (1995-6) Beijing Waiyu Xueyuan, (1998-9)) and speaks and reads Chinese. He has undertaken extensive funded fieldwork across China (i.e. ESRC, British Academy, Lloyds Tercentenary grants). He makes frequent visits to China for work (such as conferences, research trips, leading study tours etc.) and pleasure. Prior to moving into academia he worked in a successful family business. He likes sailing (trans-atlantic yachtsman), golf (Cambridge Blue), squash (formerly a regular county league player), football (with the Durham staff football team) and kitesurfing.

Research Interests

Dylan has a broad range of research interests stemming from his early academic appointments teaching Development Studies and Chinese Studies. He lived, worked and studied in China for several years, where he has undertaken extensive funded fieldwork (i.e. via the ESRC, British Academy, Lloyds Tercentenary Foundation).As well as producing two research monologues, an edited book and numerous book chapters, his research is published across a broad range of disciplines in eminent academic journals. This includes the fields of business and management (i.e. Journal of World Business, International Business Review, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Industry and Innovation etc.) economics (i.e. Cambridge Journal of Economics), geography (Journal of Economic Geography, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society) and Chinese Studies (China Quarterly, Journal of Contemporary China). His research outputs have been returned for the past two UK research assessment exercises and its impact is growing rapidly (three articles, for example, were among the most highly cited papers in their respective journals). His research is highly topical (i.e. tax havens, Chinese MNEs etc.) and he regularly contributes media stories and commentary on Chinese business (i.e. International Finance Review, China Daily). His research on the transiting of Chinese outward FDI via tax havens was recently awarded the best paper award by the Chinese Economics Association (based on citation metrics over previous five years).

He is an associate editor of Asian Business and Management, Palgrave’s sister publication to Journal of International Business Studies. His current research projects have focused on explaining the emergence of Chinese MNEs in light of current economic and business theory, with a focus on technology acquisition and strategic asset seeking behaviours, as well as the routing of FDI via tax havens and offshore financial centres (an issue of growing methodological interest and importance in International Business Studies). He welcomes potential PhD students to contact him to discuss possible research projects.

Mini Biography

Dr Dylan Sutherland has a broad range of research interests related to contemporary East Asian business, with a specific focus on Chinese business. His current research looks at explaining the emergence of Chinese business groups and MNEs in light of current economic and business theory.

Research Groups

Business School

Research Interests

  • Understanding emerging market MNEs in the light of current International Business theory
  • Measurement of MNE Activity (see co-organised AIB 2014 panel with Prof. J. F. Hennart)
  • Business groups, including their positive and negative attributes and understanding these in light of current business and management theory