Meet the IE-Scholar: Tanja Leppäaho

LUT University, Finland

What are your key areas of research?

My key area is the internationalization process rather widely. I’ve been looking at the internationalization process through different types of companies, mainly entrepreneurial family-owned firms, but also through entrepreneurial early internationalizing enterprises, which we generally call international new ventures. However, my data has enabled me to track the evolution of international new ventures over 150 years, during which some of them have become multinational enterprises. In many of my studies, I have focused on international networking [of firms] over time. Recently, I have started studying enterprises from the creative industry and the cognitions of entrepreneurs when they make decisions about internationalization.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I am working on three different datasets and various projects related to them. My focus is on an extensive archival dataset of Finnish forest firms covering their internationalization from the 1850s until today. My second focus is on another extensive archival dataset from an enterprise of the creative industry. My third focus is on the cognitions of family managers in their decision-making for internationalization. I am of course also focusing on the other spheres of my work, such as courses, supervision, and grant applications.

What are a few of your hobbies or interests?

Well, I have three children, so I spend a lot of time with them. That’s my hobby number one. Otherwise, in my free time, I like to take walks (often with my dog Terho) and enjoy some nice cafeterias, with friends or alone. I’m into essential oils, so I do many things with them. To recover from my intense job and take care of my family, I enjoy nature. It is a good way of being in balance again.

Where will we see you next?

You will see me at the EIBA conference in Lisbon.