Portrait of Dr Umair Shafi Choksy

Dr Umair Shafi Choksy

Lecturer in Strategy & International Business


Umair Shafi Choksy is a Lecturer in Strategy and International Business and the Director of Studies for the BSc (Hons) International Business programme at Kent Business School, the University of Kent. He previously worked as a Lecturer in International Business and Management at the University of Manchester, Alliance Manchester Business School (AMBS) (2015-2017). He received his PhD from AMBS (2015) and holds a master’s degree from the University of Manchester.

Research interests

1. Supplier Upgrading, Resilience and Capability Development in Global Value Chains under different institutional context.
This area deals with the issues of supplier upgrading through the interaction of insights from international business, institutional theories, and global value chain literature. Some of the research questions he is looking into are the following:

  • Under what conditions participation in global value chain leads to beneficial outcomes for suppliers operating in developing countries?
  • How institutions (supplier’s home country or/and lead firm’s home country) shape the upgrading of suppliers in global value chains?
  • What distinctive capabilities can facilitate suppliers to build resilience in adverse contexts and in what way these capabilities may be different from suppliers operating in emerging or more advance institutional context? 
  • What policies may facilitate economic upgrading in GVCs for small firm operating in adverse institutional context?
  • What is the impact of industry 4.0 and digitalisation on the power dynamics and upgrading trajectories of GVCs? 

2. Governance, Sustainability Standards and Decent Work Conditions in Global Value Chains
This area deals with the issues of complementarities and conflicts between supplier upgrading and decent work conditions for workers. Some of the research questions he is looking into are: 

  • Does CSR and sustainability standards/code of conduct result in beneficial outcomes for both firms and workers?
  • How does social upgrading captured by workers in GVCs differ due to differences in worker’s skills, gender, race and religion?
  • What strategies, actions and policies facilitate both economic upgrading and social upgrading?  


At KBS, Dr Choksy teaches the following course units at undergraduate and postgraduate level: 

  • Global Value Chains, Strategy and Development (Level 7 Module)
  • Global Business Environment (Level 4 Module)
  • International Business-Theoretical Insights (Level 5 Module)
  •  Business Organisation and Skills (Level 4 Module)
  • Strategy Analysis and Tools (Level 5 Module)
  • International Business Strategy (Level 7 Module)

Previously Dr Choksy has taught the following course units for MSc International Business and Management programme 

  • Comparative Business and Management (Level 7)
  • Research Methods and Data Analysis (Level 7)
  • Multinational Management (Level 7) 


Dr Choksy is interested in supervising PhD students in areas related to his research: 

  • Participation and upgrading in global value chains/global production networks 
  • Firm strategy/capabilities in adverse institutional contexts. 
  • Decent Work Conditions in GVCs
  • Gender dynamics and Human rights in GVCs
  • CSR Governance and Sustainability Standards in GVCs 

It will be beneficial for prospective students to look at the research interests section to better understand the type of questions, Dr Choksy is currently working on

Current Supervisees

  • Zhenhao He: Internationalisation strategies of multinationals from emerging countries: Case Studies from China and Russia
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