Engaging Practitioners on Emerging Markets

Insights @ Center for Emerging Markets

Cutting edge ideas and advice for global leaders about emerging markets


Research by Juan Bu and Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra shows that new ventures in emerging markets, initially created informally, suffer from costs that persist and constrain a firm's ability to innovate even after they formalize their status. As a result of these informality costs, informally created new ventures are more likely to develop imitative rather than innovative new products. However, being acquired by other firms and improvements in the national innovation system can weaken the persistence of these informality costs, resulting in more innovation. To explain these findings, Bu and Cuervo-Cazurra develop the concept of internal imprinting, which captures how the internal characteristics of a company result in the establishment of practices that persist over time, affecting behavior and innovation. Managers in emerging markets should consider formalizing their firms from the beginning or joining a private business group to mitigate the negative impact of informality on their firms' innovativeness.

In 1972, Nairobi, Kenya became the first developing country to host the headquarters of a UN organization, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEP's presence in Nairobi has increased Kenya's global governance stature. However, it has not fulfilled the promise of promoting greater input from developing countries. The location has posed challenges to UNEP, including security concerns, recruitment and retention of staff, communication and infrastructure difficulties, and the need for resources. Professor Ivanova's recent book about UNEP's first 50 years identifies practical ways for improving its effectiveness as a premier multilateral institution for addressing the grand environmental challenges of our time.

Chinese companies are reinventing management through an approach called “digitally enhanced directed autonomy” (DEDA). DEDA uses digital platforms to give frontline employees direct access to corporate resources and capabilities, allowing them to organize themselves around business opportunities without managerial intervention. Autonomy is directed where it is needed and tracked. By giving teams the freedom to design, produce, and sell their products, companies can foster innovation, increase employee engagement, and improve customer satisfaction. The authors use case studies to examine how Chinese companies utilize DEDA and how Western companies might learn from it.


Annual symposia on a timely topic relating to emerging markets aimed principally at business executives and policymakers

The center organizes an annual symposium on a timely topic relating to emerging markets aimed principally at business executives and policymakers in the New England region. Speakers are typically CEOs and high-level executives of companies operating in, or from, emerging markets. Symposia are live cast and archived on our Youtube Playlist. They are made possible by gifts to the Center for Emerging Markets by David Nardone, corporate partners and an anonymous donor.

Symposium: Rethinking Your China Strategy

June 6, 2019 – After more than a year of rocky US-China trade relations, how are global firms changing or adapting their China strategy? These questions and more were answered by the CEOs and CXOs of companies such as Li & Fung (Hong Kong), Hasbro, PCCW-Media Group (Hong Kong), PerkinElmer, Enright, Scott & Associates and others.

Symposium: Rise of Asia – How should US Companies Respond? 

June 5, 2018 – The Center for Emerging Markets welcomed Jimmy Weng, DMSB'07, Peter Goodson, Syed Jafry and other prominent guests at its 8th Annual Symposium to discuss how US companies can leverage Asia in their global strategies.

Symposium: Thriving in Volatile Emerging Markets

June 7, 2016 – The Center for Emerging Markets welcomed Nariman Behravesh, Stephen Hayes and others at its 7th Annual Symposium to discuss effective strategies in the face of market volatility.

Symposium: Beyond the BRICs

June 2, 2015 – The Center for Emerging Markets welcomed Jonathan Berman and other distinguished guests at its 6th Annual Symposium to discuss opportunities in non-BRIC emerging markets.

Keynote speaker Jonathan Berman at CEM's 6th Symposium
2013 – Emerging Markets: The New Realities
2012 – Winning in Emerging Markets
2011 – Managing Information and Risk in Emerging Markets
2010 – Emerging Markets: Opportunities and Challenges
2009 – Capitalization on Emerging Market Opportunities

Region-focused Series

Lectures and talks focused on key regions of the developing world

India Lecture Series

The India Lecture Series brings thought leaders to Northeastern University for free and public lectures on critical issues impacting the world's second most populous country. It is now endowed and known as the Vivek and Vandana Sharma India Lecture.

China Lecture Series

The China Lecture Series at the Center for Emerging Markets explores important topics about China and its role in the world.

China Insight Series

China is one of the world's most important and least understood economies. D'Amore-McKim's world-class faculty presented this unique and timely series that provided practical insights into the present and future of China's economy.

Africa Speaker Series

The Africa Speaker Series explores business, social, and developmental issues in this diverse continent with the youngest and fastest growing population. From time to time, events in this series are co-organized with Northeastern University's Africa Global Initiative.