hero image
Dan Li - Indiana University, Kelley School of Business. Bloomington, IN, US

Dan Li Dan Li

L. Leslie Waters Chair in International Business | Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Bloomington, IN, UNITED STATES

Dan Li's research focuses on global strategy by both established multinational enterprises and international new ventures.

Secondary Titles (2)

  • L. Leslie Waters Chair in International Business
  • Associate Editor, Global Strategy Journal



Dan Li is the L. Leslie Waters Chair and Professor of International Business at the Kelley Business School, Indiana University. She received her Ph.D. in Management from Texas A&M University. Her research focuses on the management of multinational enterprises, and appears in journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Organization Science, Journal of Management, Journal of Business Venturing, and Management International Review. Dr. Li is a former Associate Editor of Global Strategy Journal and former Editor-in-Chief of Business Horizons. She has served on the editorial review boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management Studies, and Global Strategy Journal. Li is a member of the Academy of Management and the Academy of International Business, founding member of the International Association of Chinese Management Research, and senior associate of the Research Center for Chinese Politics & Business at Indiana University.

Industry Expertise (8)

Writing and Editing

Management Consulting



International Affairs

Business Services

Training and Development

Program Development

Areas of Expertise (3)

Management of Multinational Enterprises

International Strategic Alliances

Internationalization Process

Accomplishments (4)

Sauvain Teaching Award (professional)


Exceptional Inspiration and Guidance Award, Doctoral Student Association at Kelley School of Business (professional)


Research Award, Institute for Advanced Study (professional)


IU CIBER Faculty Research Awards (professional)


Education (3)

Texas A&M University,: Ph.D., Management 2005

Tsinghua University: M.S. 1999

Peking University: B.A. 1997

Articles (5)

International strategy: From local to global and beyond

Journal of World Business

2016 To survive and thrive, multinational enterprises (MNEs) have had to adapt to dramatic changes and increasing complexity in the global competitive landscape over the past 50 years. MNEs’ international strategies and the academic research on the various attributes and outcomes of these strategies have evolved accordingly. This work reviews the evolution of international strategy research over the past five decades. In particular, the research on international diversification and the timing and speed of entering international markets is closely examined. In recent years, the influence of formal and informal institutions on international strategy has become a central research topic. Furthermore, MNEs’ strategies often seek to explore and exploit critical capabilities to build advantages in international markets. Finally, emerging research themes, such as institutional complexity, business sustainability, emerging economy firms and international new ventures are highlighted.

view more

Comparative international entrepreneurship: A review and research agenda

Journal of Management

2016 This review systematically examines comparative international entrepreneurship (CIE) research, analyzing 259 articles published in 21 leading journals from 1989 to 2010. We outline the importance of multi-country studies of entrepreneurial activity in enabling the comparison and replication of research and generating meaningful contributions to scholarship, practice, and policy. Our systematic review classifies research findings into four levels—individual, firm, industry, and country—each with respect to characteristics, antecedents, and outcomes of entrepreneurial activities as well as theory and methodology. Taken together, our review highlights the heterogeneous nature of entrepreneurship across countries and its role in explaining outcomes at firm (e.g., financial and export performance) and country (e.g., economic growth) levels as well as antecedents at the country level (e.g., culture). We find the CIE literature is highly fragmented with substantial knowledge gaps related to content, theory, and methodology, for which we outline a detailed future research agenda. Given the atheoretical nature of most published CIE research, we provide specific suggestions to extend the current dominant theoretical perspectives (institutions, culture, resource-based view, transaction cost economics, economic growth, and human capital); consider new lenses from management, international business, and entrepreneurship; and integrate and test multiple theories. From a content perspective, we outline the need to define and cross-reference prior studies of entrepreneurship and prioritize emerging phenomena that are critical to practice, and policy, and offer specific directives for integrated and multi-level studies of characteristics, antecedents, and outcomes. Methodological suggestions include theory-based rationale for the selection of countries, greater attention to data collection and sample selection equivalence, and the solutions to the ecological fallacy problem. We urge scholars to work together and across countries, cooperating with interested agencies and associations to develop new longitudinal, multi-level data sets and introduce dual qualitative/quantitative approaches and new diverse, sophisticated analytical tools.

view more

The moderating effect of home country corruption on the host country’s ability to attract FDI

Brazilian Business Review

2016 Prior research has identified a negative impact of corruption on countries’ ability to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) but has been scant in assessing the investors’ home country effects. We extend prior research by distinguishing the pervasiveness and arbitrariness of host country corruption and their effects on FDI inflows. We also test whether the investors’ home country corruption affects FDI decisions. Results show that host country pervasive corruption negatively drives FDI inflows but not the arbitrariness component. While the investors’ home country corruption negatively impacts the overall FDI outflows, investors from countries with high levels of corruption do not seem to be deterred by a high level of pervasive corruption in the host country. These results suggest that there may exist some form of corruption-dealing capability whereby firms from countries with high corruption are less sensitive to host country corruption and in fact they are able to leverage their capability and invest more in corrupt hosts.

view more

Chinese outward FDI: The role of learning

Management and Organization Review

2014 We define the ‘Chinese way’ of internationalization as being oriented toward experimental learning in contrast to traditional internationalization models such as the Uppsala model. Analyses of survey data of private Chinese firms that have made outward foreign direct investments (OFDI) show that only 50% follow the Uppsala Model in which firms follow a staged approach. The other 50% follow more risky explorative OFDI approaches in which the firms learn on the ground experimentally from their OFDI. We further investigate how the founders’ congenital learning, firms’ inward international experience, potential absorptive capabilities, and motivations to learn, influence OFDI performance and how learning outcomes mediate these relationships. We show that the relationship between the firm's potential absorptive capacity and its OFDI performance is fully mediated by what the firm learned from the OFDI project. Also the firm's motivation to learn directly affects performance and is partially mediated by what the firm has learned.

view more

Culture in international business research: A bibliometric study in four top IB journals

Management Research: The Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management

2014 Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to conduct a study on the articles published in the four top international business (IB) journals to examine how four cultural models and concepts – Hofstede’s (1980), Hall’s (1976), Trompenaars’s (1993) and Project GLOBE’s (House et al., 2004) – have been used in the extant published IB research. National cultures and cultural differences provide a crucial component of the context of IB research. Design/methodology – This is a bibliometric study on the articles published in four IB journals over the period from 1976 to 2010, examining a sample of 517 articles using citations and co-citation matrices. Findings – Examining this sample revealed interesting patterns of the connections across the studies. Hofstede’s (1980) and House et al.’s (2004) research on the cultural dimensions are the most cited and hold ties to a large variety of IB research. These findings point to a number of research avenues to deepen the understanding on how firms may handle different national cultures in the geographies they operate. Research limitations – Two main limitations are faced, one associated to the bibliometric method, citations and co-citations analyses and other to the delimitation of our sample to only four IB journals, albeit top-ranked. Originality/value – The paper focuses on the main cultural models used in IB research permitting to better understand how culture has been used in IB research, over an extended period.

view more