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The role of national distance in international business: a review from 1980 to 2017

Zhibin Zhou (Department of International Trade and Economics, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang, China)
Jongwook Kwon (Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea)
Bo Zhang (Henan University of Technology, Zhengzhou, China)
Junjian Li (Ludong University, Yantai, China)
Hak cho Kim (Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea)
Ji Hyun Heo (Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Republic of Korea)

Review of International Business and Strategy

ISSN: 2059-6014

Article publication date: 7 December 2020

Issue publication date: 17 May 2021

121

Abstract

Purpose

During the past several decades, national distance (ND) increasingly became a vital cornerstone in international business (IB) research, as both explicit and implicit distance are parts of the essential reasons for IB activities. However, there are various and chaotic methods to measure ND in the last literature; therefore, this paper aims to suggest legitimate uses of ND in the IB field and the best ND dimensions for various situations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper used a historical overview of the theoretical background and conceptual development of ND based on the past four decades worth of studies in leading 17-IB journals using Google Scholar. The authors also focus on multiform ND measurement methods and details through qualitative and quantitative analysis based on previous studies’ data collection.

Findings

This research summarized the common measurement methods and elements of different ND and proposed solutions based on a multifaceted analysis.

Originality/value

The micro analysis examines each type of ND in terms of the proportion of variables, issues, measurement methods, representative proxies beyond previous studies. This research also tried to provide clarity and suggest solutions to these problems through our macro& micro-analysis.

Keywords

Citation

Zhou, Z., Kwon, J., Zhang, B., Li, J., Kim, H.c. and Heo, J.H. (2021), "The role of national distance in international business: a review from 1980 to 2017", Review of International Business and Strategy, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 153-176. https://doi.org/10.1108/RIBS-07-2020-0083

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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