Current Research Project

Internationalisation, sustainability development and key barriers facing businesses: A comparative study of the UK and China

The importance of international market has long been recognised by businesses of all sizes, this is particularly relevant for the resource-bound small and medium size enterprises (SMEs).   Under the prolonged economy uncertainty since 2008 and the unpredictable consequence of Brexit, businesses are eager to explore international opportunities, either in the form of sales, manufacturing and/or purchasing.  Nevertheless, little work has been done to explore the internationalisation level and capability of business in the Northwest.  This year-long research project is commissioned by the West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce to investigate internationalisation capability, sustainability and key barriers facing Chamber members, in comparison with their regional and Chinese counterparts.


The cross-national research project is led by Professor Phil Harris and Dr Wing Lam of Business Research Institute at the University of Chester. The research team comprises of experienced researchers from both UK and China.   Key questions raised in this project are:  How internationalised are Chamber members?  What about their sustainability capability?  How well are the members doing in terms of internationalisation and sustainability, in comparison with other businesses in the Northwest, other regions and also their international counterparts in China?  What are the key barriers facing Chamber members under the current political and economic climate?  Is there major difference between Chamber members and other businesses? If so, what are they?


To help us to yield insightful findings, this study will be a cross-national study between UK and China.  China’s continuous economic growth since its Economic Reform in the 1980s has made it an attractive topic for study.  In recent years China is going through a transitional period that internationalisation has become top priority for Chinese Government and enterprise of various size.  It is particularly interesting to compare the internationalisation and sustainability capability of businesses in a developed economy like UK and a rapidly developing economy like China.


In this study a large-scale, cross-national, quantitative survey is adopted.  A pilot study has been conducted and the project team are now in the stage of conducting large-scale survey.  An online survey has been created and is ready for respondents to fill out.  All the information provided is confidential and anonymous.

Businesses’ (business from all regions, both Chamber members and non-members) participation is essential to the success of this project, please help us to make this a success by filling out the online SURVEY.


Any enquires about the project please feel free to contact the research team Professor Phil Harris ( or Dr Wing Lam (


Useful link:  West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce

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