International Business Scholarship: AIB Fellows on the First 50 Years and Beyond: Volume 14


Table of contents

(25 chapters)

The Fellows of the Academy of International Business provide the institutional memory for the Academy of International Business. Through their awards in recognition of practitioners who have made outstanding contributions to the practice of international business, of scholars who have produced pioneering social-science studies that provide new research perspectives for scholars of international business, and of Business-School Deans who have built outstanding academic programs in international business, the AIB Fellows also help to legitimize the field of international business. Among its members, it counts the founders of the field of international business as well as an increasing number of senior scholars whose research has helped to build international business as an acknowledged and renowned academic field of study.

First, AIB conference themes have reflected the issues thought to be important during its 50 years of operations, and the Fellows have regularly staffed Plenary Sessions devoted to these yearly themes (e.g., Eden & Lenway, 2001 on globalization).

Most years, several AIB members are elected as AIB Fellows on account of their excellent international business scholarship, and/or past service as AIB President or Executive Secretary. The Fellows are in charge of electing Eminent Scholars as well as the International Executive and International Educator (formerly, Dean) of the Year, who often provide the focus for Plenary Sessions at AIB Conferences. Their history since 1975 covers over half of the span of the AIB and reflects many issues that dominated that period in terms of research themes, progresses and problems, the internationalization of business education and the role of international business in society and around the globe. Like other organizations, the Fellows Group had their ups and downs, successes and failures – and some fun too!

The history of international business has generated a growing literature. Over the AIB's fifty years, scholars associated with AIB have contributed to this literature but it has been a far broader one. This chapter surveys a sample of the wide variety of works on the history of multinational enterprise, published from the 1950s onward. The works are not only in business history but also in diplomatic and legal history. The literature makes it clear that the multinational enterprise has a long history and is far from a post-World War II or post-1989 phenomenon. The chapter shows the variety in the accumulation of studies in business history directly related to international business as well as the forums where business historians present their findings. It considers why and how international-business history matters for international-business research.

This chapter explores how scholarly work in the fields of Finance and International Business (IB) can be mutually supportive. First, it is clear that technology has been a major driver of modern developments in both Finance and IB. Second, Finance can provide many insights into IB scholarship since it has much to say about firm operations and strategy. Third, IB scholarship with its focus on culture also provides significant opportunities for a better understanding of the global aspects of Finance. Finally, it is contended that transaction-costs economics provides an excellent theoretical and fundamental basis for bringing together IB concepts and Finance scholarship. However, while the potential for Finance and IB scholarship to contribute to each other is great, such advances must await the removal of cultural barriers between the two disciplines.

Rapid and dramatic changes in the global landscape have profound implications for marketing strategy. This chapter explores four key areas that impact global marketing strategy. The most fundamental change is a shift in emphasis from developed markets to those in emerging market economies. A related change is the increasing cultural diversity and heterogeneity in markets throughout the world. Third, marketers must develop mechanisms to transfer skills and learning from one market to others. Finally, the notion of configural advantage – that is, leveraging the geographic configuration of dispersed assets, capabilities and resources to compete more effectively in world markets – is proposed as a way to develop successful marketing strategies for the 21st century.

Internalization theory explains the existence and functioning of the multinational enterprise. It contributes to understanding the boundaries of the multinational enterprise, its interface with the external environment and its internal organizational design. Much work in the international strategic-management sphere has unfortunately not taken on board internalization-theory thinking and lacks the insights provided by this comparative institutional approach. In this chapter, we show how well-known international strategic-management models could be enriched and their normative implications altered by adopting an internalizing-theory lens.

This chapter examines the internationalization of the national origin of multinational enterprise (MNEs), starting with European firms at the turn of the 20th century, US firms after World War II, Japanese firms after the 1980s, and, most recently, emerging-market firms, including those from low-income countries such as China and India. The acceleration of this trend in recent decades has been driven by changes in government policy, technology, capital markets and international social networks. As a result, MNEs are being spawned in more countries, in more industries and at earlier stages of a firm's evolution than before. These changes have also transformed the established Western MNE from raw-material-seeker and tariff-jumper to efficiency- and innovation-seeker. Therefore, going forward, the MNE must be viewed as a heterogeneous entity, distinguished by national origin, size and raison d’ệtre – from resource-seeking firms to knowledge-generating and processing firms. The chapter concludes with important questions raised by these developments for future IB research.

The potential benefits of globalization – seen as progressive worldwide economic integration – have been touted by many economists, government officials and journalists, but the obstacles to its acceptance are seldom assessed against its putative advantages. Some opposing observers, protest groups and a few governments have warned about the inequities and burdens of globalization. However, few have focused on the multiple obstacles to, or on the necessary policies and attitudes for, successful moves to globalization. International Business researchers need to encompass the multiple aspects in the political, social and cultural realms that are affected by, and involved in, the process of globalization and require acceptable treatment. A fundamental reconciliation is required between socio-economic systems based on relationships and those based primarily on market signals in order to reduce conflicts and achieve the necessary community of interests.

This chapter offers a template for examining the rigor and validity ideals in international business survey research. It provides (1) observations on how research-quality checks are currently used, and (2) recommendations about prerequisites for their use. These recommendations are based on the idea that the ideal of rigor and validity is not absolute and cannot be achieved by ad-hoc checks. We argue that there must be certain linkages and progression in attempting higher quality in survey research. We propose a hierarchy of stipulations to strive for highest validity and rigor goal, which we entitle commensurability. As such, this framework outlines the different steps which need to be examined progressively to approach commensurability.

This chapter reviews the main developments in international-business (IB) research since the late 1950s. It does so in the context of: (1) the changing world economic environment and (2) advances in scholarly thinking. It then identifies five emerging characteristics of our contemporary global economy and suggests that IB researchers should pay more attention not only to the fundamental challenges now affecting our human landscape but also to the institutional environment within which IB activity is conducted.

Increased global sourcing of manufacturing and service activities has been a prominent part of the restructuring of firms’ supply chains in the 1990s and beyond. Academics and consultancy firms have largely supported the view of global sourcing as one of the key drivers of superior performance. As we are now increasingly discovering, the drawbacks of offshore outsourcing – or, put differently, the advantages of vertical integration – have been underestimated or even neglected. In this chapter, we first discuss the need to balance sourcing levels and then how global sourcing levels must achieve a strategic fit with the environment. Finally, we synthesize these balance and fit perspectives to suggest how, over time, changes in the fit alter the required balance in global sourcing. From this synthesis, we develop a number of future research questions related to important conceptual perspectives on sourcing. For managers we provide indications of how they can achieve a balance and a fit of their sourcing strategies.

International advertising standardization/adaptation has been a dominant area in the international marketing literature. In this chapter, we explore the evolution of thought related to international advertising standardization/adaptation beginning in the 1920s. Through a stage theory historical analysis, we decompose thought in international advertising standardization/adaptation into three unique stages: (1) practitioner evolution, (2) scholarly initiation and (3) conceptual and empirical refinement. Given this approach, we contend that the factors considered in earlier stages were necessary for later development. Further and more importantly, we argue that, for the evolution of thought in relation to international advertising standardization/adaptation to evolve, researchers must begin to engage in a number of acts central to building a unified foundation. We propose a series of issues that need to be addressed in order to advance our understanding of international advertising standardization/adaptation.

Too much International Business research is limited by the demands for rigorous theory and it lacks impact on the “real world.” Instead of looking for exactitude, scholars could enlarge their conception of scholarship and look for insight about causality. The ferment of globalization and technological advance cannot adequately be understood by single-discipline work, but it presents an enormous opportunity for us to break away from long-cherished orthodoxies and connect directly with other disciplines and with the world of practice. Such a change will require courage, but the prize – linking theoretical insight to practical action – is worth the investment.

The premise is that simulation is a dynamic model of reality systems. This chapter proceeds with an operational definition of a simulation embodying a virtual world representing the real world of international business (IB) operations. The inference is made that participating “Company teams” of students get a pilot experience of running a multinational enterprise (MNE) and, what is more, an understanding of the problems and challenges faced by the MNEs as well as their regulators and customers. The dynamics inherent in simulation puts actual implementation of strategy in focus, setting it apart from traditional case discussion. Features beyond the inherent dynamics of IB simulations are discussed in some detail. The conclusion is drawn that such simulations should have a prominent role in IB curricula. Ideally, they bring to bear experiential learning from practice.

Do we make a difference? This chapter raises a series of questions that each of us must ask as scholars, teachers and consultants in the field of international business about our efficacy and potential influence in the world. In systematically asking the questions, this chapter challenges many of the implicit assumptions underlying international-business scholarship and its future.

The largest business unit is no longer the multinational corporation but rather, cooperating networks of globally connected organizations and firms. The principal focus of this chapter is to identify trends which have come to a head in the last two decades in the world economy and have fostered interorganizational cooperation on an unprecedented scale. The technological, political, spatial and cultural complexities of global operations are becoming simply too great in many areas to be encompassed by a single company or agency. It is impossible to build a technologically complex global civilization without interorganizational cooperation, any more than a multicellular organism could survive without cooperation between its distinct but specialized constituents. The chapter reviews the evolutionary basis for cooperation, describes recent economic forces that have shaped interorganizational cooperation and describes why planetary economic cooperation is our “manifest destiny.”

The development in the German-speaking countries of International Management (IM) as an academic discipline is analyzed both from a research-oriented and an institutional standpoint. This development is characterized by a relatively long run-up after early beginnings in the 1920s and a steep jump during the past 15–20 years. Business Administration and Strategic Management rather than Economics have influenced the IM field which is now an established subject in its own right. The resulting discipline is well on its way to overcoming an alleged “black hole-image” of international isolation on the part of German-speaking countries’ scholars.

In the 21st century First Global Civilization, there are major forces of constructive global interdependence in all regions of the world and in all civilizational domains, including, political, economic, socio-cultural and religious, ecological and outer-spacial. At the same time, there are often equal and opposite forces for destructive global interdependence in the same areas. This led me to formulate Five Scenarios for the future of the First Global Civilization ranging from a Fragile Future with high degrees of vulnerability in all civilizational domains to a set of Doomsday or Final Futures.

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Research in Global Strategic Management
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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