I joined Sheffield University Management School in December 2017 as Lecturer in Executive and Professional Education. Prior to entering Academia, I worked as an International Sales & Marketing executive in the Instrumentation and Food & Drink sectors. My industry experience included senior roles within Scottish & Newcastle plc (McEwan’s Ale, Newcastle Brown Ale) and Diageo plc (Guinness, J&B whisky and Malibu Rum). Notably, I was responsible for managing the team responsible for the brewing under licence of McEwan’s 1856 - the first ever British Ale brewed in China – in partnership with state-owned Chongqing Brewery in South-West China. More recently, I have also worked as a Consultant for the Life Science sector in both the UK and China.
My undergraduate degree in Chinese studies, and my time in industry witnessing the challenges that SMEs encountered in their efforts to internationalise to the Chinese market, informed my decision to engage in a PhD. My doctoral research spanned International Business and Entrepreneurship and explored the development of internationalisation networks by UK SMEs to the Chinese market. My thesis was subsequently awarded the 2016 Adam Smith Business School Alumni Prize for PhD Excellence.
I am module leader for 'Global Challenges: Future, Ethics and Sustainability' on our PGT Diploma in Engineering Competence, and 'Collaborative Strategies in a Global Context' on our Executive MBAs and our Executive MScs in Strategic Leadership and Management. I draw both from my research and international industry experience to share my passion for internationalisation and entrepreneurship and give learners the knowledge, skills and tools required for an increasingly globalised and connected world. My teaching philosophy emphasizes experiential and interactive learning through case-studies, class discussions and exercises. Also Director of Programme for the Executive MSc in Strategic Leadership and Management for the University of Sheffield.
My research interests revolve around internationalisation phenomena that span distant institutional frameworks, such as the UK and China. I am particularly interested in understanding how firms and individual boundary-spanners may bridge institutional differences in the context of internationalisation. In that context, I also look at developing qualitative research methods that support the study of phenomena that involve the collection and interpretation of bilingual – and cross-institutional - data.
I am interested in supervising PhD students in the following areas:
• SME internationalisation strategies
• Institutional/cultural distance (formal and informal institutions) and internationalisation
• Social networks in the context of emerging and developed economies
• Novel methodologies and techniques for research that crosses institutional and linguistic boundaries
• Relationship-building and trust development between Western and Chinese firms/actors
Couper, C. (2019) Institutional bridging for SME high-distance internationalisation to China: A contextualised explanation. Management and Organization Review, 15(2): 307-340.
Prashantham, S., Eranova, M., & Couper, C. (2017). Globalization, Entrepreneurship and Paradox Thinking. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 35(1): 1- 9.
Couper, C. & Reuber, R. A. (2013) “Success in Fast-Growth Markets: Strategies for Smaller Players”, The Conference Board of Canada. (Policy paper)
Couper, C. “A Dialectical Approach to Sense Making: Developing Internationalisation Knowledge across Institutional and Linguistic Boundaries”, Academy of International Business – UKI Chapter, 7-9 April 2016.
(Emerald Critical Perspectives on International Business Award for Best Paper)
Couper, C & Prashantham, S. “Lost in translation: Relationship-building challenges of the inexperienced INV in a high distance market”, Academy of International Business Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, 2013.