Pao Kao

Associerad forskare vid Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, ingång C
751 20 UPPSALA
Box 513
751 20 UPPSALA
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Pao Kao is an Associated Researcher at the Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Sweden. His research interests lie in understanding how firms strategically manage their internationalisation process in the face of changes in market, institutional and technological environments. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Business Research, Journal of Knowledge Management, Journal of International Entrepreneurship, and Journal of Management and Organisational History, among others.


  • emerging markets
  • institutional change
  • international business
  • international marketing
  • turbulence
  • uncertainty


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Pao T. Kao received his Ph.D. in December 2013 from the Department of Business Studies at Uppsala University. His thesis involved longitudinal case studies on the market entry processes of three Swedish firms in China between 1980 and 2010 and aimed to understand how recurring changes in regulative institutions in a host market affect the entry of foreign firms.

Dr. Kao previously holds Postdoc Researcher position in the Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, founded by Wallanderstipendiat. He has previously taught in the Department of Marketing, I.H. Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba (Canada). He has also been a visiting scholar in the Nordic Centre in Fudan University in 2011.

Dr. Kao's research mainly concerns the Internationalisation processes of the firm when encountering changes in the market, institutional and technological environment. He is particularly interested in uncertainty and turbulence and their influence on international business.

Dr. Kao previously received an MSc in International Business from the University of Nottingham, and an MA in Media and Communications from the University of Westminster.


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Project: IHMEC – Opening indoor hygiene SME’s exports to the Middle East construction market

IHMEC project answers to the threat of antibiotic-resistant microbes. The spreading of global infections can be prevented by new and innovative indoor hygiene (IH) solutions. IHMEC project will connect professionals in planning, designing, building, and furnishing IH spaces to form IH solutions. The project brings together relevant clusters from Finland, Sweden and Estonia into a meta-cluster which aims to enter into the Saudi Arabian construction market with new and tailor-made IH solutions.

From the perspective of IB researchers, the IHMEC project highlights the challenges that Small-and-Medium size enterprises (SMEs) encountered in the process of the internationalisation. This is further complicated by the involvement of a meta-cluster, and the drastic institutional differences in the host market. Through this project, we aim to better understand the entrepreneurial behaviour of the SMEs, and how they overcome the challenges in international market entry and expansion.

Project leader: Pao Kao
Project members: Martin Johanson, Siavash Alimadadi, Johanna And
Duration: 2018-2021
Financed by: Interreg Central Baltic Programme (European Regional Development Fund)
Project link:

Project: Institution change, internationalisation of the firm, and emerging markets

Previous studies of MNCs' entry and expansion in emerging markets have tended to hold a static view of the host markets. However, changes in institutions host markets are inevitable. Certain changes can significantly affect the operations and ongoing expansion of the MNCs, requiring them to respond strategically. MNCs' responses may enable them to adapt to the new market situation, while contributing to the social good and sustainability of the host market.

Project leader: Pao Kao

Duration: 2016-2018

Financed by: Handelsbanken Wallanderstipendiat


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Pao Kao