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Last modified: Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Marjorie A. Lyles

The John W. Ryan Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Programs and Studies

Professor of International Strategic Management and OneAmerica Chair in Business Administration
Kelley School of Business
University Graduate School
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Appointed to IU faculty, 1977
B.S., Carnegie Mellon University, 1969
M.L.S., University of Pittsburgh, 1971
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1977

Marjorie Lyles

Marjorie Lyles

Print-Quality Photo

In 2001, Jim O'Neill, chair of Goldman Sachs, famously theorized that the growing economies of Brazil, Russia, India, and China would represent a global power shift away from the G7 economies and toward those of the developing world. By that time, Marjorie Lyles had been detecting this trend for more than a decade.

She was among the first U.S. business scholars to focus on China, with an extensive array of projects beginning in 1986, when she consulted for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Dalian, China. In 1989 she was in front of the Parliament Building in Budapest when Hungary rejected communism. Also in 1994, she was consulting in Hanoi when the U.S. lifted the trade embargo against Vietnam and everyone was in the streets celebrating. While establishing the IU Center on Southeast Asia, she continued her work on China and Hungary.

Lyles has consulted for important Indiana-based companies and served as a visiting scholar at prestigious universities in China, Thailand, Malaysia, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Her courses in the Kelley School of Business at IUPUI have taken M.B.A. students to China, Brazil, and Russia, where they work with local firms and partner with peers.

"Research is a very important part of our job as professors because it positions us at the forefront of change in the business world, allowing us to suggest ways of dealing with the important issues of the future," Lyles once said.

Over a 27-year career at the Kelley School, Lyles has made "exceptional contributions" to IU's international programs and engagement efforts that have "advanced opportunities for both students and the university to expand their international impact," says Philip L. Cochran, associate dean for Indianapolis operations at the Kelley School. Daniel Smith, dean of the Kelley School, adds, "Professor Lyles' research and outreach activities help IU to become better known locally and strengthen its brand globally. Her worldwide reputation brings important recognition to the Kelley School as well."

Lyles has published more than 60 articles in leading management journals and in 2006 was recognized for having co-written the most influential research paper published in the preceding decade in the Journal of International Business Studies. A year later, she helped to organize the Academy of International Business annual conference in Indianapolis, which was hosted by IUPUI, Cummins, Inc., and the Kelley School. She previously put together a major conference on Vietnam hosted by Eli Lilly and Company that attracted managers and government officials from Southeast Asia, as well as three ambassadors.

Lyles has received two National Science Foundation grants, an uncommon achievement among business scholars. She has been a director of the Strategic Management Society, a trustee of the Strategic Research Foundation, and a member of the executive committees of the Academy of International Business and the Business Policy and Strategy Division of the Academy of Management. She is a fellow in the Academy of International Business.

She was the Arthur Andersen Visiting Professor at the Judge Institute at Cambridge University and spent one year visiting at INSEAD in France. She has also spent time at NIDA (Thailand), USM (Penang Malaysia), and Copenhagen Business School. She is currently an AIM international professor in the U.K. and a distinguished visiting professor at UIBE (Beijing). In addition to her academic work, Lyles has consulted with USIS, the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the United Nations Development Programme, and private firms around the world on international strategies, educational development projects, infrastructure projects, the development of the private sector, and needs assessment for management training.

She also has been an active proponent for Indiana, where she has been a member of the International Development Advisory Board of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. She is a long-standing member of the International Advisory Committee of the American Management Association. Her home is always open to visitors and students from all around the world as she welcomes them to Indiana.

At IUPUI, she has served as chair of the campus's International Affairs Committee. More recently, she has been an important contributor to the relationship between the Kelley School and Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China.

For Lyles, the purpose of academic research in business is to create practical knowledge that can be used by companies. Using field research with businesses, she says she can choose research projects that are both interesting to her and that address current and pertinent issues. She consistently strives to make her research directly applicable to companies' needs.