Prof Helena Barnard

Professor Helena Barnard
Prof Helena Barnard

Helena Barnard is a full professor at GIBS and responsible for the GIBS doctoral programme. She was on the organising committee for the Academy of Management Africa conference at GIBS in 2013, and is the Academy of International Business (AIB) Vice President for Administration for 2017 to 2020. She is a 2018-2019 Dunning Fellow at the John H Dunning Centre for International Business at Henley Business School.

She is an area editor for the newly launched Journal of International Business Policy, the sister journal of the well-regarded Journal of International Business Studies, and the deputy editor in charge of Africa for the journal Management and Organizational Review. She is on the editorial review board of Global Strategy Journal, IEEE Transactions in Engineering Management and Academy of Management Perspectives.

Before she started her academic career, she worked at Home Depot in the USA from 1999 to 2004, first in Instructional Design and then in Logistics. Her first career was in the field of Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET).


Helena has been an invited speaker on emerging market multinationals at inter alia Aalborg University in Denmark (February 2006), Northeastern University in Boston (August 2012), the COST Action Group at the European International Business Academy in Sussex, UK (December 2012) and at NYU at a conference organised by Phankaj Ghemawat (September 2016).


From 2008 to 2010 she, together with the University of Lund (Sweden) conducted a cross-national project on innovation in the automotive and ICT industries in South Africa, India and China. Helena served on the executive and scientific committee of an EU-funded FP7 project on global innovation networks (2009 – 2011). She also developed the proposal leading to Academy of Management, the leading professional organisation for management scholars, conducting its first-ever conference outside of North America at GIBS in Johannesburg in January 2013.


She is involved with ongoing projects with the University of Strasbourg (France) and Maastricht University (Netherlands) on global academic collaborations and with the Oxford Internet Institute on how online markets are changing business across borders. She is a fellow at the CEIBS Center for Emerging Market Studies and the DIODE network (Development Impacts Of Digital Economies) at Manchester University. She has been rated as an internationally recognised scholar by the South African National Research Foundation.


Director of the Doctoral Programme

In this role, Helena manages the DBA and PhD degrees, and ensures that the research of doctoral students helps support the identity of GIBS as a school that is close to business, and an expert on Africa.

Published Research

Journal articles

Lehdonvirta, V., Kassi, O., Hjorth, I. Barnard, H. & Graham, M. (in press). The global platform economy: A new offshoring institution enabling emerging economy micro-providers. Journal of Management.


Barnard, H., & Luiz, J. M. (in press). Escape FDI and the dynamics of a cumulative process of institutional misalignment and contestation: Stress, strain and failure. Journal of World Business.

Cowan, R., Müller, M., & Barnard, H. (2018). On the value of foreign PhDs in the developing world: Training versus selection effects in the case of South Africa. Research Policy, 47(5), 886-900.

Barnard, H., Cuervo-Cazurra, A., & Manning, S. (2017). Africa business research as a laboratory for theory-building: Extreme conditions, new phenomena, and alternative paradigms of social relationships. Management and Organization Review, 13(3), 467-495.

Barnard, H. (2017). Openness of innovation systems through global innovation networks: A comparative analysis of firms in developed and emerging economies. International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 9(3), 269-291.

Kowlaser, K., & Barnard, H. (2016). Tie breath, tie strength and the location of ties: The value of ties inside an emerging MNC to team innovation. International Journal of Innovation Management, 20(1), 1-31. doi: 10.1142/S1363919616500067

Ansell, G., & Barnard, H. (2013). Working small, acting big: Sources of, and strategies for, business innovation among South African jazz musicians. SAMUS, 33, 11-29.

Levin D. Z., & Barnard, H. (2013). Connections to distant knowledge: Interpersonal ties between more and less developed countries. Journal of International Business Studies, 44(7), 676-698.

Barnard, H., & Pendock, C. (2012). To share or not to share: The role of affect in knowledge sharing by individuals in a diaspora. Journal of International Management, 19(1), 47-65.

Barnard, H., Cowan, R., & Mueller, M. (2012). Global excellence at the expense of local diffusion, or a bridge between two worlds? Research in science and technology in the developing world. Research Policy, 41, 756-769.

Barnard, H. (2011). Emerging centres of excellence: Emerging centres of excellence: Knowledge-sharing between developing country firms and their subsidiaries in the developed world. Innovation and Development, 1(2) 235-251.

Barnard, H. (2011). Emerging multinationals benefiting from subsidiaries located in more developed countries: Drivers for the sharing of capabilities. Innovation and Development, 1(2), 187-203.

Barnard, H. (2010). Overcoming the liability of foreignness without strong firm capabilities: The value of market-based resources. Journal of International Management, 16(2), 165-176.

Gammeltoft, P., Barnard, H., & Madhok, A. (2010). Emerging multinationals, emerging theory: Macro- and micro-level perspectives. Journal of International Management, 16, 95-101.

Bromfield, T., & Barnard, H. (2010). The evolution of the intellectual property management strategy of an emerging multinational. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 57(1) 118-137.

Bromfield, T., & Barnard, H. (2009). Local effort and global connections: The role of international linkages in the evolution of technological capabilities at Sasol. South African Journal of Economic History, 24, 1-39.

Levin, D., & Barnard, H. (2008). Technology management routines that matter to technology manager. International Journal of Technology Management, 41(1/2), 22-37.

Barnard, H. (2008). Capability development and the geographic destination of outbound FDI by developing country. International Journal of Technology and Globalisation, 4(1), 39-55.

Barnard, H. (2008). Uneven knowledge bases and the success of foreign firms in an advanced host economy. Research Policy, 37, 1674–1683.

Barnard, H., & Tuomi, T. (2008). How demand sophistication (de-)limits economic upgrading: Comparing the film industries of South Africa and Nigeria. Industry and Innovation, 15(6), 647-668.

Barnard, H., Cantwell, J., & Kumar, N. (2007). FDI and the internationalization of R&D: Contrasting perspectives on the United Nations conference on Trade and Development 2005. Research Policy, 36(8), 1288-1294.

Dougherty, D., Barnard, H., & Dunne, D. (2005). The rules and resources that generate the dynamic capability for sustained product innovation. Qualitative Organizational Research, 37-74.

Cantwell, J., & Barnard, H. (2005). Knowledge and organisation in the theory of the firm and MNC: Asset or Action? A commentary on Foss. Journal of Management and Governance, 10(1), 21-27.


Book chapters


Barnard, H., & Rosen, J. (2016). Global entrepreneurship through brokerage: Connecting socially conscious North American investors to South African housing developers. In L. Tihany, T. Pedersen & T. Devinney (Series Ed.), Advances in international management series: Vol, 29: Global entrepreneurship: past, present & future (pp. 95-116). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Barnard, H., Cowan, R., Arranz, F., & Müller M. (2015). The role of global connectedness in the development of indigenous science in middle‐income countries. In D. Archibugi & A. Filippetti (Eds.), The handbook of global science, technology, and innovation (pp.382-405). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Barnard, H. (2014). Mitigating multinationals and the theory of the multinational. In R. Ramamurti & A. Cuervo-Cazurra (Eds.), Understanding multinationals from emerging markets (pp. 195-223). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Barnard, H., & Bromfield, T. (2009). The development and management of an intellectual property strategy in a developing country context: The case of Sasol. In D. Kaplan, The economics of intellectual property in South Africa(pp. 84-112). Geneva: WIPO.

Barnard, H., Bromfield, T., & Cantwell J. A. (2009). Local effort and global connections: The co-evolution of firm capabilities and international linkages under inward-looking national policies. In B. A. Lundvall, K. Joseph, C. Chaminade, & J. Vang, (Eds.), Handbook of innovation systems and developing countries: Building domestic capabilities in a global context (pp. 241-279). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Cantwell, J. A., & Barnard, H. (2008). Do firms from developing countries have to invest abroad? In K. Sauvant (Ed.), Outward FDI and the competitiveness of firms rise of transnational corporations from emerging markets (pp. 55-85). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

Dougherty, D., Barnard, H., & Dunne, D. (2005). The rules and resources that generate the dynamic capability for sustained product innovation. In K. D. Elsbach (Ed.), Qualitative organizational research: Best papers from the Davis conference on qualitative research (pp.37-74). Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing Inc.

Case studies

Barnard, H., & Marks, J. (2014). Microsoft South Africa: Corporate entrepreneurship and innovation (Case No. 9B14M161). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Barnard, H., & Ansell, G. (2012). Capitec Bank: Leveraging banking innovations to attract wealthier customers (Case No. 9B12M095). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Barnard, H., & Hawarden, V. (2011). Daminal in South Africa: management innovation at the Bottom of the Pyramid(Case No. 9B10M09). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Barnard, H., & Muir, B. (2010). Yola: managing multiple challenges (Case No. 9B10M031). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Barnard, H. (2008). Deposita: Whether to dominate the value chain or not (Case No. 9B08M072). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.


Conference papers

Barnard, H., & Mamabolo, A. (2017, August). Human capital investments as sources of skills: An analysis at different entrepreneurship phases. Paper to be presented at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, Georgia.

Barnard, H., & Mamabolo, A. (2017, August). Employee transition throughout an appreciative inquiry intervention. Paper to be presented at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, Georgia.

Barnard, H., & Mamabolo, A. (2017, August). Home-country turbulence as a trigger for outward FDI. Paper to be presented at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, Georgia.

Barnard, H., & Chaminade, C. (2011, November). Global innovation networks: What are they and where can we find them? (conceptual and empirical issues). Paper presented at the 9th GLOBELICS International Conference, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Barnard, H., & Bandyopadhyay, I. (2011, August). Innovation in a mature versus emerging industry in a country with underdeveloped institutions. Paper presented at the Academy of Management, San Antonio.

Barnard, H., & Levin, D. (2011, August). Connections to distant knowledge: Expatriate ties and the developing world. Paper presented at the Academy of Management, San Antonio.

Barnard, H., & Ansell, G (2011, June). Working small, acting big: sources of, and strategies for innovation in the South African music industry. Paper presented at the International Conference on Arts, Society and Sustainable Development, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria.

Barnard, H., & Ismail, T. (2010, November). Making methodological decisions in cross-country, cross-industry research: Articulating the assumptions underlying indicators. Paper presented at the 8th GLOBELICS International Conference, Kuala Lumpur. Retrieved from

Barnard, H., & Ismail, T. (2009, October). Ranking M&A attractiveness in the developing world. Paper presented at 7th Globelics, Dakar, Senegal.

Barnard, H. (2009, August). Isomorphic pressures and demonstration effects: Conformity and upgrading in international business (with Poisson). Paper presented at the Academy of Management, Chicago, USA.

Barnard, H. (2009, July). How firm capabilities change the effect of realized locational resources. Paper presented at the Academy of International Business Conference, San Diego, USA.

Barnard, H. (2008, September). Emerging centres of excellence: Knowledge-sharing between developing country firms and their subsidiaries in the developed world. Paper presented at the 6th Globelics International Conference, Mexico City, Mexico.

Barnard, H., & Dunne, D. (2008, August). Exploring the role of social rules for sustained product innovation. Paper presented at the Academy of Management, Anaheim, USA.

Barnard, H., & Buys, A. (2008, August). How low and medium research intensity relates to sectoral patterns of technological change. Paper presented at the Academy of Management, Anaheim, USA.

Barnard, H., Fey, C., Peng, M., Rananurti, R., Teagarde, M. B., & Lu, J. W. (2008, August). Conducting strategy research on/in emerging markets. Paper presented at the Academy of Management, Anaheim, USA.

Barnard, H., & Blomfield, T. (2008, July). Learning the purpose of patenting and scientific publications: How the intellectual property management strategy of an emerging multinational evolved. Paper presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Internationa Business, Milan, Italy. Abstract retrieved from


Hirsch, S., Barnard, H., Lee, Y-J., Pak, Y. S., & Anzola, M. (2008, July). Foreign direct investment for smaller emerging markets to the developed world. Paper presented at the 50th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Internationa Business, Milan, Italy. Abstract retrieved from

Barnard, H. (2007). Film as a mechanism for industrial upgrading by developing countries. Proceedings of the 19th annual conference for the Southern Africa Institute for Management Scientists, University of Johannesburg.

Dougherty, D., Barnard, H., & Dunne, D. (2004, January). Exploring the everyday dynamics of dynamic capabilities.Paper presented at the 3rd Annual MIT/UCI Knowledge and Organizations Conference, Laguna Beach, CA. Retrieved from

Consulting Involvement

She has been involved in an EU FP7 project on Global Innovation Networks and has been the recipient of grants from the SA-based NRF and Canadian grant agency IDRC. She has done work for SAMRO on the South African music industry.

Significant Achievements


  • 2016: Recognised by the NRF as an internationally recognised scholar (ranking effective 2106 to 2021)
  • 2013: Programme committee member and liaison with host organisation of the first-ever Academy of Management conference outside of North America
  • 2010: Co-editor of a special issue of Journal of International Management together with Peter Gammeltoft and Anoop Madhok on emerging multinational
  • 2007: Best reviewer, Academy of International Business
  • 2007: Knut Holt Prize for Best Paper, ISPIM Conference, Warsaw Poland
  • 2005: Rutgers Technology Management Research Center Dissertation Research Award
  • 2004: National Research Foundation (South Africa) prestigious scholarship for doctoral study abroad
  • 1998: Old Mutual Gold Medal for top MBA student at University of Pretoria.
  • BA (Hons) English (UP)
  • MBA (UP)
  • PhD (Management) (Rutgers)
Fields of Interest

Her research interests are in how knowledge (and with it technology, organisational practices and innovation) moves between more and less developed countries, particularly in Africa.

She researches both organisational mechanisms (notably emerging multinationals and internet-enabled businesses) and individual mechanisms such as scientific collaborations, doctoral training and the diaspora.

Professional Memberships
  • Academy of Management (2003 to present)
  • Academy of International Business (2003 to present)
  • Globelics (Global Network for Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems) (2004 to present)
  • European International Business Academy (2003 to present)
  • Strategic Management Society (2014 to present)

We are processing your request, please be patient.