About Time: Putting Process Back into Firm Internationalisation Research
Management International Review Management International Review publishes research-based articles that reflect significant advances in the key areas of International Management.
Its target audience includes scholars in International Business Administration. MIR is a double-blind refereed journal that aims at the advancement and dissemination of applied research in the fields of International Management. The scope of the journal comprises International Business, Cross-cultural Management, and Comparative Management. The journal publishes research that builds or extends International Management Theory so that it can contribute to International Management Practice.
About the Focused Issue
Research on the internationalisation of the firm gained momentum in the 1970s. The dominant explanations from this period conceptualised internationalisation as a process that occurs over a period of time. Since then, internationalisation has received considerable scholarly attention.
However, while it is agreed to be a process, internationalisation of the firm is infrequently studied processually. Cross-sectional research designs dominate research in this area, and studies that pose process-based questions (i.e., in the form of ‘How does firm internationalisation evolve over time?’) are rare. Calls for longitudinal research and the inclusion of temporal dimensions are made regularly, but have not been taken up.
This inattention to process persists even though there has been considerable progress in process methods and theorising. Within the field of management, Andrew Pettigrew, Ann Langley and Andrew Van de Ven, among others, have articulated the difference between process- and variance-based research and provided a vocabulary and roadmap for process researchers.
Our aim with this focused issue is to advance understanding of how to study internationalisation as a process. We welcome conceptual and empirical papers that question mainstream variance-based assumptions, propose novel approaches and methods, and use process research to develop, challenge and extend theory in the area of firm internationalisation. We are open to qualitative submissions as well as quantitative papers based on longitudinal data.
Contributions are sought that address the following process-related questions:
1) What process/es does internationalisation involve? This could include issues such as:
- understanding specific phases as part of the firm’s overall internationalisation process, e.g. pre-, de- and re-internationalisation;
- post-entry trajectories of firms (i.e. going beyond the focus on entry mode and locational choices);
- conceiving internationalisation as a learning process, a process of organisational change, etc;
- studying operation modes over time, e.g. franchising and foreign direct investment as a process;
- Considering different units of analysis: not just the firm but e.g. product, business unit or business model.
2) What methodological innovations are needed to advance understanding?
- business history and historical methods, and other interdisciplinary approaches;
- methodologies for studying the future;
- quantitative approaches to longitudinal analysis;
- ethnographic methods for studying the micro-processes of internationalisation;
- options for studying internationalisation as a non-linear process.
3) Once we study internationalisation as a process, what new insights do we gain? Possibilities for theoretical advances might include:
- Applying complexity theory, co-evolutionary theory and other theories that allow for dynamic explanations;
- Developing process theories that explain change over time;
- Taking account of context and its changes in the internationalisation process;
- Taking a process approach to research on (so-called) ‘Born Globals’ and INVs, the early and accelerated internationalisers;
- (Even perhaps) rethinking the concept of internationalisation itself.
- All papers will be subject to MIR’s blind review process
- Authors should follow MIR guidelines, http://www.mir-online.de/Guideline-for-Authors.html
- Contributions should be submitted in English, in a Microsoft Word or compatible format via e-mail attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>
- Questions can be addressed to any of the co-editors: Peter Liesch (firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>), Niina Nummela (firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>), Catherine Welch (firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>)
- For further information, see
- Submission deadline: 31 October 2013
About the Guest Editors
Peter W. Liesch is Professor of International Business in the UQ Business School at The University of Queensland, Australia. His research interests include the facilitators and inhibitors of the internationalisation of the firm, particularly the smaller firm.
Niina Nummela is Professor of International Business at the University of Turku, Finland. Her research interests include SME internationalisation, cross-border acquisitions and mixed-methods research strategies.
Catherine Welch is Associate Professor in the Discipline of International Business at The University of Sydney, Australia. Her current research interests focus on qualitative research methodology and firm internationalisation processes.