Frequently Asked Questions


What is the project about?

‘Globalizing Actors in Multinational Companies’ is a publicly-funded research project conducted by academics from Loughborough University London and the University of East Anglia. The project seeks to investigate how norms—well-established behaviours, beliefs, and processes within organizations—are created, disseminated across borders, and adapted over time. Our particular interest lies with the individuals who are responsible for the creation, diffusion, interpretation and negotiation of norms across international operations and the resources they mobilize to help them succeed.


What do I get from participating?

  • Understanding how and where norms emerge and spread enables managers to streamline processes within their organization, contributing to improved performance.
  • Informal CPD working with a team of academic thought leaders.
  • Regular meet ups in London with peers to share knowledge and build networks.
  • Access to the research findings in a range of forms to support your own work.


Is Participation confidential?

Yes, we guarantee complete confidentiality. This applies to companies as a whole, for which we will create and use pseudonyms in any publication. It also applies to individuals in that any information provided by one person will not be disclosed to others in a way that makes them identifiable. Participants are free to withdraw from the study at any time.


How much will participating cost?

Participation is entirely free of charge. We only ask for some of your time to speak to the researchers and complete surveys.


How much time/effort do we need to commit?

The project will be based on partnerships with a range of organizations. There are three main stages to the project, of which interviews with staff in the partner organizations is the first. The partnership will involve the company agreeing to some staff time being devoted to these interviews. The precise number of staff is not set in stone and can be discussed and will be shaped by such issues as the size of the company and the range of norms that are pertinent. As a rough guide it is anticipated that the number will range between three and ten.

Subsequent stages of the project will involve a group of staff taking part in a survey and diary study. We are confident that our partners will see value in engaging with these subsequent stages, but we are not seeking commitment to this at this stage.


What are the timescales?

The project runs between September 2016 and August 2019. We seek to collect data with our partner organizations mainly in 2017, before moving into analytical and knowledge dissemination phases in 2018-19. Project meet-ups to share insights generated and offer an opportunity to network and exchange knowledge with other partner organizations will be held at regular intervals throughout the project duration.


Who from my organisation should be involved?

In the early stages of the project, we welcome the opportunity to speak to any member of the organization who can shed light on the process of the creation, dissemination and implementation of norms that operate across borders. More specifically, it is likely to involve two or three individuals who have a good knowledge of the context of the firm, who are able to talk knowledgably about the strategy and how it has developed over time as well as the more particular issue of the nature of global norms. The interviews are also likely to involve some of those who have a role in the creation, dissemination and implementation of global norms – who we term ‘globalizing actors’. These people may include those on international assignments, those who frequently work with offices in other countries, or those in international teams. However, the specific roles will vary from company to company.


Why are you doing this & who is funding?

The project is academic research and will advance our understanding of a range of issues within multinational corporations. Results from this work will have important implications for organizations who seek to understand how and where norms emerge and spread, enabling managers to streamline processes in order to improve performance.

The project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (award number ES/N007883/1), a non-departmental public body that receives most of its funding through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).


What do you get from this work?

The work has no profit motive, but seeks to generate new knowledge of academic, business, and public interest. We will publish the main findings in a range of formats and outputs whilst maintaining complete confidentiality (see below).


Who else is involved?

The project is led by Professor Tony Edwards at Loughborough University London and co-investigated by Professor Phil Almond at Loughborough University London, Professor Kevin Daniels, and Professor Olga Tregaskis at University of East Anglia.