In Memoriam, Professor Alan Rugman 1945-2014

08 July 2014

In Memoriam, Professor Alan Rugman 1945-2014 image

We are deeply saddened to announce the sudden death of Professor Alan Rugman, Head of International Business and Strategy at Henley Business School, and a founding fellow of the John H. Dunning Centre for International Business, both part of the University of Reading.

Alan Rugman was an outstanding academic, and a leading figure in both International Business and Strategic Management. His research has shaped how academics and policymakers around the world view international business. Alan also had a leading role in the development of Henley Business School, for which he worked tirelessly. Many will remember him as a valued colleague and friend; others will recall his enjoyment of good intellectual debate. All will remember his passion for his work and his zest for storytelling.

Alan was an early proponent of Internalisation Theory, which along with the Eclectic Paradigm, are the basis of what is popularly known in academic literature as ‘The Reading School’. This line of research was highly influenced by a one-year sabbatical at the University of Reading's Department of Economics in the 1970s, where he worked closely with other Reading-based pioneers in this field, including Mark Casson, Peter Buckley and John Dunning.

He published over 300 articles dealing with the economic, managerial, and strategic aspects of multinational enterprises and with trade and investment policy. These have appeared in such highly-regarded journals as: The American Economic Review, Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of International Business Studies. Perhaps his most important publication developed the theory of internalisation in a North American context: "Inside the Multinationals", Columbia University Press 1981 (reissued in 2006). He was also co-author of a leading textbook: "International Business" which is now in its sixth Edition. He is recognised as one of the 10 most-cited scholars in the field of international business worldwide.

He served as an external adviser to two Canadian prime ministers on issues of trade, FDI and international competitiveness, and in such capacity advised on the negotiation and adoption of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Professor Rugman joined the University of Reading in 2007. He previously held the L. Leslie Waters Chair of International Business at the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, 2001-2009. He was Thames Water Fellow in Strategic Management at Templeton College, University of Oxford from 1998-2001. He held tenured posts at the University of Toronto 1987-1998, Dalhousie University 1979-1987, and the University of Winnipeg 1970-1978 and had been a visiting professor at Columbia Business School, London Business School, Harvard University, UCLA, MIT, Warwick Business School, and the Paris-Sorbonne University. As a leading authority in international business, Professor Rugman served as President of the Academy of International Business in 2004-2006. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy in 1991 and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 1998.

All who knew Alan will be deeply saddened by this news. We will all miss a valued colleague and dear friend.

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If you have any questions, please contact Jilly Birks, PA to Professor John Board, Dean & Professor Ginny Gibson, Deputy Dean by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 1491 418771 or +44 (0) 118 378 7197.