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A bibliometric study on Ghoshal's Managing across Borders

Manuel Portugal Ferreira (Center of Research on International Business & Strategy, Universidade Nove de Julho, Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Multinational Business Review

ISSN: 1525-383X

Article publication date: 11 November 2011



Some scholars imprint an academic discipline by their contribution to the manner in which people think and research, namely, by putting forward novel concepts and insights. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of Sumantra Ghoshal's work on the study of subsidiaries and multinational enterprises and organizational formats for foreign operations.


A bibliometric study focused on Bartlett and Ghoshal's well‐known book Managing across Borders: The Transnational Solution is performed to assess its impact in international business (IB) research. The entire record of publications in the top leading IB journal, Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS ), is examined.


Theoretically supported, Ghoshal's work was keenly influenced by his corporate experiences and his constant questioning of the dominant theories and assumptions. The analyses in this paper show the impact of the work on the “transnational solution”, namely, on the understanding of multinationals and subsidiaries, thus being one of the most notable contributions for IB research over the past 20 years.

Research limitations/implications

The empirical analysis is limited to one, albeit the leading, journal, and to articles published, not including books, theses and other documents, perhaps under‐representing Ghoshal's full impact.

Practical implications

Useful for graduate students and in writing a literature review, this paper presents an interesting manner to examine a scholar's and a theory's impact on a discipline.


This paper presents an extensive bibliometric analysis of research published over a time‐span of 22 years in international business studies.



Portugal Ferreira, M. (2011), "A bibliometric study on Ghoshal's Managing across Borders", Multinational Business Review, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 357-375.



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