Karl Warner

Karl Warner

Dr Karl Warner



Dr Karl Warner is a Lecturer in Strategy and International Business at Edinburgh Napier University’s Business School. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and holds the Adam Smith Business School 2015 Prize (Management) for PhD Excellence at the University of Glasgow.

His research lies at the intersection of international business, strategy and entrepreneurship, with a focus on organisational capability and network building for firm survival and growth. He has been a finalist for the Academy of International Business Worldwide 2015 Best Competitive Paper Award (Bangalore, India), and has worked on research projects with Queensland (Australia), Chalmers (Sweden), Pavia (Italy), Strathclyde (UK), Sheffield (UK), and Stetson (USA) Universities which have all investigated the international growth of small and medium sized enterprises.

His research examines how entrepreneurial firms build organisational capabilities and business networks for sustained profitable growth. He is investigating this question in a variety of empirical settings, ranging from new ventures in the global medical technology sector to multinational corporations that have pursued digital transformation in fast-changing environments. He is interested in how goals are achieved or abandoned – by studying what people actually do – and whether these individual behaviours aggregate into capabilities and connections for competitive growth.

He teaches strategy, international business and innovation at all classroom levels (undergraduate to executive education) in Edinburgh, Singapore and online. Karl has delivered CPD Capability Development workshops, designed organisational learning materials, while wrote policy documents on SME capability building for the Scottish Parliament and the European Commission SME General Assembly.

Karl’s teaching and research ambitions are to encourage more students to start viable international businesses, and work with institutional bodies to help Scotland attract more foreign direct investment.

Research Interests

International entrepreneurship
Dynamic capabilities
Networks and social capital
Business model innovation
Digital innovation
Digital platform strategies
Digital transformation

Teaching and Learning

Dr Warner currently teaches:

SOE09101 - Strategic Management in a Global Context (undergraduate)

SOE09102 - International Business (undergraduate)

HRM1119 - Leadership, Strategy & Innovation (MSc)

HRM1120 - Leading Strategic Decision Making (MBA/Executive MBA)

PhD Supervision

Dr Warner would be interested in supervising PhD students on the following topics:

Digital entrepreneurship: The role of networks and social capital for business model innovation.

Building digital capabilities for new venture internationalisation.

Digital transformation of incumbent firms in traditional industries.


Conference Activity

  • SMEs Going Global: Where now for internationalisation research? Society for the Advancement of Management Studies
  • Going international: Building confidence, capabilities and connections (Sheffield University Management School, University of Sheffield)
  • Panel Member of Doctoral Colloquium at Academy of International Business (UK & Ireland Chapter) Conference


Fellowships and Awards

  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Best Paper Finalist - Academy of International Business/Temple Best Competitive Paper Award
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA)


Invited Speaker

  • International Business and Entrepreneurship Research Seminar Series (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow)
  • First Year PhD Students' Study Retreat (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow)


Membership of Professional Body

  • Academy of International Business
  • Academy of Management - Entrepreneurship / Technology & Innovation Management Divisions



  • Long Range Planning
  • Journal of International Business Studies
  • International Small Business Journal
  • Qualitative Market Research
  • Journal of World Business
  • International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research


Visiting Positions

  • Visiting Scholar, University of Queensland, Australia.


Current Post Grad projects