Dr Karl Warner

  • Lecturer in Strategy (Management)


Dr Karl Warner is a Lecturer in Strategy at the Adam Smith Business School.

Karl is a three-time graduate from the University of Glasgow, earning a MA (Hons of the First Class), MSc (Distinction) and PhD in Management. He returned to the Adam Smith Business School in 2019, having held academic positions as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Queensland, Research Associate at the University of Strathclyde and Lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University.

Karl’s research and teaching broadly examines how technology firms use digitalisation and internationalisation as a commercialisation and growth strategy. Using qualitative methods, he is interested in studying how leadership teams go about building innovation capabilities and networks for collaborating and competing in fast-changing environments.

Karl’s most recent work investigates how incumbent firms in traditional industries are building dynamic capabilities for digital transformation, which has implications for how firms reinvent business models, enhance workplace collaborations and improve organisational cultures.

This work builds on his doctoral research which received the Adam Smith Business School 2015 Prize (Management) for PhD Excellence. Qualitative and longitudinal in design, his thesis explained how and why certain networking activities associated with locating investors, subcontractors and customers help or hinder the internationalisation of medical technology new ventures.

Karl teaches strategic management at all classroom levels (undergraduate to executive education) and has written policy documents on SME capability building for the Scottish Parliament and the European Commission SME General Assembly.

He currently supervises a team of doctoral researchers on topics relating to the digital transformation of large companies in traditional and high-technology industries.

Research interests

Research cluster: Strategy and Technology Management

Areas of expertise:

  • Building capabilities for performance
  • Technology venturing and entrepreneurship
  • Digital transformation strategies
  • Foreign market entry and expansion strategies
  • Case study research and teaching


  • £6995 Edinburgh Napier Business School Research Funding Competition (co-investigator) – awarded 2017
  • £8000 Edinburgh Napier University Early Career Researcher Grant (principal investigator) – awarded 2016
  • £1000 Academy of International Business (AIB-UKI) Doctoral Researcher Grant – awarded 2009


Karl is interested in supervising PhD projects in strategic management, technology entrepreneurship and international business. He welcomes doctoral research applications in strategy areas relating to the digital transformation of small and large firms, digital innovation and entrepreneurship, and the internationalisation of technology-based new ventures.  


Karl has been awarded a Senior Fellowship from the UK Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) for using the case method as a teaching strategy. He incorporates this approach into the following courses:

  • Business competition 
  • Strategic management 
  • MBA strategic management

Additional information

Karl is a member of the British Academy of Management (BAM), the Academy of Management (AOM), the Strategic Management Society (SMS) and the Academy of International Business (AIB).

He is a regular reviewer for leading management journals including the Journal of International Business Studies, Long Range Planning, Journal of World Business, and the International Small Business Journal.