50th Anniversary Special Issue of the Journal of International Business Studies

Tentative publication date:   late 2019

The Academy of International Business (AIB) is a social community of scholars dedicated to creating and disseminating knowledge on international business (IB) challenges, with JIBS as its main, global conduit for publishing leading research.

In 2019, JIBS will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. The 50th year anniversary issue of the journal will address the broad issue of ‘Changing the World: How IB Research Makes a Difference.’ The anniversary issue will include scholarly pieces that can be theoretical in nature, empirical, or managerially oriented. Each paper will showcase how the research presented has made a difference to changing the world in a tangible fashion (retrospective work) or could do so in the foreseeable future (prospective work). The ‘world’ can refer to an entire subfield of IB research and teaching, or to mainstream managerial practice, or both. A few examples of past IB research that clearly meets the ‘changing the world’ criterion, include C. Bartlett and S. Ghoshal’s work on the transnational solution; G. Hofstede’s work on culture’s consequences; W.C. Kim and R. Mauborgne’s work on procedural justice in multinational enterprises; and S. Zaheer’s work on overcoming the liability of foreignness.

However, IB research making a difference should be interpreted generously, especially for prospective work aimed at transforming contemporary academic discourse or managerial practice. The work of IB researchers provides insight on IB phenomena, but whether an entire subfield of IB research and teaching, or mainstream managerial practice will be significantly altered by this insight, is never guaranteed. For example, in the face of well-researched, unambiguous conclusions on linkages between specific managerial actions and performance (or the absence thereof), mistaken views from the past might still reign for long periods of time, whether in research and teaching, or in managerial practice.

The JIBS Editors will consider work that includes how IB research is affecting – or is constructively interacting with – functional fields in management and other social sciences, so as to address more effectively critical IB subject matter. The subject matter studied can range from micro-foundational challenges to society’s grand questions. The reference to ‘critical’ subject matter means that the work should have major implications for our understanding of the governance, the strategy or the performance of internationally operating firms. Of special interest is work on internationally operating firms that goes against common perceptions, and that provides balanced analysis of the costs and benefits of particular managerial choices or courses of action. One example is analysis of the vulnerability of MNE networks and value chains, rather than the supposed market power thereof. A second example is integrative analysis of entry strategy (including mode mixes and in-depth study of firms’ entire foreign-operations portfolios) and the effects of compounded distance, seldom found in past research. A third example includes fact-based analysis of the outcomes of firm-level, industry-level and macro-level decisions and actions fostering globalization or de-globalization. Of particular interest is also how IB research can make a tangible difference in the practice of management, whether by increasing economic efficiency, creating better outcomes for a variety of stakeholders, or even improving the welfare of mankind broadly construed.

As regards theoretical papers, the JIBS Editors have a preference for path-breaking work, rather than incremental contributions, though radical new ideas should be solidly grounded in extant research. For empirical work, the JIBS Editors would like to see submissions that build mainly on primary data, rather than secondary data, in order to maximize the likelihood of truly path-breaking work, and with the authors having an unambiguously strong command of their data. Finally, papers with a distinct managerial flavor have been a hallmark of JIBS since 1970. In keeping with this tradition, the anniversary issue aims to include pieces that combine ‘state-of-the-art’ scholarly insight with important, evidence-based recommendations for management. As noted above, retrospective work, credibly documenting achievements of IB research in truly ‘making a difference’, will also receive full consideration.

The JIBS Editors are inviting submissions aligned with the ‘changing the world’ theme, and subject to the above qualifications, in three tracks.

Track 1: Theory papers making distinct contributions to the ‘changing the world’ theme, by recombining elements of IB theory with state-of-the-art findings from functional fields in management and from other social sciences.

Track 2: Empirical papers making distinct contributions to the ‘changing the world’ theme, by building mainly on primary data, and providing truly novel insight into the critical subject matter covered.

Track 3: Managerial-practice oriented papers making distinct contributions to the ‘changing the world’ theme, through evidence-based guidance on how to improve the governance, strategy or performance of internationally operating firms.

Submission Process and Deadlines

All manuscripts for the JIBS 50th Anniversary Issue will be reviewed as a cohort. Manuscripts must be submitted during the period July 9–20, 2018, to: http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jibs

All submissions will go through a first, fast-track evaluation round, conducted by the JIBS Reviewing Editor and Editor-in-Chief, to assess the suitability for the Anniversary Issue. Papers viewed as being sufficiently aligned with the ‘changing the world’ goals will be assigned to a member of the JIBS Editors team for further evaluation and subjected to double-blind review. High-quality submissions insufficiently aligned with the anniversary issue’s goals will be reassigned to the standard evaluation process for regular JIBS issues.

It is anticipated that a formal workshop will be organized for the papers that have passed the first round of double-blind reviews, in order to provide editorial guidance for additional revisions. This workshop will likely be organized in late 2018.

For more information about this Call for Papers, please contact the JIBS Managing Editor (managing-editor@jibs.net).