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Exploiting bullets: international business and the dynamics of war

Martin David Owens (College of Business, Technology and Engineering, Sheffield Business School, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK)

critical perspectives on international business

ISSN: 1742-2043

Article publication date: 27 September 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically review the existing research on the intersection between war and international business (IB) and to map out a future research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on corporate examples and extant literature within IB, political science and international relations, the paper provides an introduction to the main concepts of war, a review of the IB research on war and provides a critical future research agenda.

Findings

The review of the multiple strands of war-related research in IB generally reveals an understudied area. Among other biases, prior research has focused on inter-state wars and has relatively unexplored foreign direct investment (FDI) and non-FDI within civil wars. Furthermore, previous studies offer little attention to how IB and multinational companies contribute to the emergence and development of wars.

Originality/value

The paper develops an analytical and critical research agenda for future research to examine the relationship between war and IB. This includes a set of questions for each of the three major phases of war: pre-conflict, armed violence and post-conflict. To the best of my knowledge, this has not been done before in the context of IB research.

Keywords

Citation

Owens, M.D. (2021), "Exploiting bullets: international business and the dynamics of war", critical perspectives on international business, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/cpoib-05-2020-0063

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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