In Memoriam – Alan Rugman


It was almost twenty years ago that Mark Casson came into my office at the University of Reading and said, “Come along, I want to take you to Oxford to hear a lecture by someone you should meet.”  And so I met Alan Rugman in the ‘city of dreaming spires’, in the most British of educational institutions.


This morning when I opened my email inbox, I was profoundly shocked to learn that he was gone.  I struggle to find words to express my deep feelings of loss.  Alan was a mentor, a colleague, a dear friend and a comrade-in-arms.  I will miss him more than I can say.


I always viewed him as a founding member of the Reading School of International Business, a school that I am proud to be associated with.  It is perhaps fitting that he ended his career at the helm of international business at that very institution.


Alan was many things – intellectually stimulating, witty, prickly and passionate.  But to me his most important characteristics were his kindness, his consideration of others and his complete honesty.  With Alan, there was no subterfuge.  He wore his heart on his sleeve and if he disagreed with you, he told you, bluntly, directly and to your face.  If he upset some people, it was because he was usually right.


He was a true scholar and a gentleman.  He was a great champion of international business research and scholarship.  The Academy of International Business was his home and he served it better than anyone.  I shall work to best of my ability to ensure that the Academy honors him in a suitable and lasting manner.


Ram Mudambi
Professor and Perelman Senior Research Fellow
Fox School of Business, Temple University
Philadelphia PA 19122, USA
Area Editor, Journal of International Business Studies
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