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Personal profile

Research Expertise and Interests

Maintaining a fundamental interest in business-to-business and industrial strategy, Professor Nicholson's conceptual interests include a focus on the local-international link and the interplay between core and peripheral areas. 

More recently, he has found a specific interest in the overlaps between economic geography, international business and industrial marketing. Professor Nicholson's research pursues the topics of developing economy contexts such as Vietnam, Pakistan, Nigeria China, Libya and Egypt.

His more recent work focuses on the process of internationalisation, particularly of SMEs, though he has not ceased to take interest in foreign investors in emerging markets. In a thread of evolving work, Professor Nicholson is also investigating recombinant innovation in peripheral areas. 



Following a professional background in the agricultural and supply chain industries, working in business development and sales, Professor Nicholson joined Hull University as a Lecturer in Marketing and Business Strategy. For thirteen years he gained extensive teaching experience, leading over 20 different modules and undertaking the position of Programme Leader for both under and postgraduate programmes in marketing and management.

Professor Nicholson went on to become a Reader in Strategic Management at Sheffield Hallam University, joining the University of Huddersfield in 2017 as Head of the Department of Management.

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Business-to-Business
  • Industrial Strategy
  • Strategy-as-Practice
  • Value B2B Co-Creation
  • Coopetition
  • Migrant Entrepeneurship
  • Absorptive Capacity
  • Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
  • Effectuation Processes
  • Knowledge Transfer
  • Technological Catch-Up
  • Supply Chain Sustainability
  • Impact of Institutions on Businesses
  • Structuration
  • Critical Realism
  • Theory Building Research
  • Emerging Markets
  • Less Developed Markets
  • Innovation
  • Internationalization
  • Time and Space
  • Geographic Proximity
  • Process
  • Emergence
  • Ecosystems
  • Clusters
  • Social Capital
  • Social Upgrading
  • Business Models
  • Business Model Innovation
  • Open-Innovation
  • Value Co-Creation
  • Platform Innovation
  • Boundary Spanning
  • Sense-Making
  • Global Value
  • Supply Chains
  • Change
  • Change Management

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Research Output

Experienced professionals and doctoral study: A performative agenda

Kelly, S., Nicholson, J., Johnston, P., Duty, D. & Brennan, R., 13 Mar 2020, In : Industrial Marketing Management. 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Emergent coopetition from a sensemaking perspective: A multi-level analysis

    Pattinson, S., Nicholson, J. & Lindgreen, A., 1 Jan 2018, In : Industrial Marketing Management. 68, p. 25-35 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 6 Citations (Scopus)

    Enhancing Creativity Through Workspace Design

    Suckley, L. & Nicholson, J., 19 Jul 2018, The Palgrave Handbook of Creativity at Work . Martin, L. & Wilson, N. (eds.). 1st ed. Palgrave Macmillan UK, p. 245-263 19 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  • 11 Citations (Scopus)

    The interplay between social capital and international opportunities: A processual study of international 'take-off' episodes in Chinese SMEs

    Tian, Y., Nicholson, J. D., Eklinder-Frick, J. & Johanson, M., Apr 2018, In : Industrial Marketing Management. 70, p. 180-192 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 6 Citations (Scopus)


    • 16 Oral presentation

    The charlatans: Possession, corporate shamen and the cult of the empowering leader.

    Paul Willis (Speaker), John Nicholson (Speaker), Kevin Orr (Speaker)
    10 Jul 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Explaining the sales and marketing interface: Perspectives on the production of B2B value propositions

    Simon Kelly (Speaker), Paul Johnston (Speaker), John Nicholson (Speaker)
    7 Sep 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Engaged scholarship and the experienced marketing professional: Academic relevance and marketing practice

    Simon Kelly (Speaker), Paul Johnston (Speaker), John Nicholson (Speaker)
    6 Sep 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Institutional voids and institutional capital: Evidence from Chinese SMEs

    Anna Tian (Speaker), John Nicholson (Speaker)
    6 Sep 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Trust building in a Complex Innovation Ecosystem: a Contingency Framework

    Steven Pattinson (Speaker), John Nicholson (Speaker), Adam Lindgreen (Speaker)
    6 Sep 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation