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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2021

Louise Curran, Jappe Eckhardt and Jaemin Lee

This paper aims to explore trade policy measures taken in response to COVID-19 and analyses in detail their extent and nature. It assesses their compatibility with World…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore trade policy measures taken in response to COVID-19 and analyses in detail their extent and nature. It assesses their compatibility with World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreements: specifically, whether they were necessary and justifiable efforts to protect the security and health of populations and asks how this widespread recourse to trade barriers may impact on international business?

Design/methodology/approach

This paper analyses an extensive database from the International Trade Centre of trade measures taken in response to COVID-19. It differentiates by type of country, nature and coverage of measures (imports or exports, type of product…). On the basis of existing jurisprudence, this paper analyses whether restrictive measures were likely to be judged legal under WTO rules.

Findings

This paper finds that, although the majority of trade measures are probably justifiable, there were nevertheless many measures whose coverage and/or nature was such that a justification under existing WTO exceptions is, at the very least, arguable. Such widespread and intense instigation of potentially WTO incompatible measures in such a short period of time undoubtedly undermines the global trade rules on which international business has relied for decades.

Originality/value

There is little existing analysis of the legality of measures taken under the security exceptions and no substantial analyses of the measures taken in response to COVID-19. Furthermore, little scholarly attention has been paid to the impacts on international business of the increasing use of WTO “exceptions” to justify trade measures to protect national industries and populations.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Louise Curran and Lee Keng Ng

The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which the firm-specific advantages (FSAs) which underlie international expansion have proved resilient for European…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which the firm-specific advantages (FSAs) which underlie international expansion have proved resilient for European multinational enterprises (MNEs) operating in a key emerging market – China.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopt a qualitative, case study approach, using interview data to explore the companies’ FSAs on market entry, how they evolved over time and the strategies adopted to defend them. They undertook 15 in-depth interviews with decision makers in six companies addressing their experience since market entry. To control for sector-level effects, the authors focus on companies in the environmental protection sector.

Findings

The authors found examples of significant erosion of the FSAs among the case study companies, which undermined their position on the host market and their long-term competitiveness. The key sources of erosion were limitations in market access, exclusion from local networks and the emergence and upgrading of local competitors, often firms with whom the MNEs had collaborated in the past.

Research limitations/implications

The relatively small number of cases (six) limits the generalisability of the findings by the authors. However, the authors are convinced that, given that the case companies are generally large and have long experience in China, the conclusions made are well grounded. In addition, there was the high level of coherence in the reported experiences of the interviewees, providing further support for the findings.

Practical implications

The experience of these case study companies highlights that MNEs have difficulty retaining their unique FSAs when faced with rapidly evolving local competition in a key emerging market. Key strategies mobilised included focussing on a sub-sector of the market and localising both the company and their supply chains. The difficulties experiencing by these case study companies in retaining their FSAs underline the need for MNEs in emerging markets to avoid complacency and constantly innovate, but they also raise questions about their capacity to extend their international reach in the long term.

Originality/value

Very few studies have explored the FSAs of firms and how they evolve over time using a case study-based qualitative approach, especially in emerging markets.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Christoph Dörrenbächer, Rudolf R. Sinkovics, Florian Becker-Ritterspach, Mehdi Boussebaa, Louise Curran, Alice de Jonge and Zaheer Khan

This viewpoint takes up the Covid-19 pandemic as a trigger for a research agenda around societally engaged international business (IB) research.

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Abstract

Purpose

This viewpoint takes up the Covid-19 pandemic as a trigger for a research agenda around societally engaged international business (IB) research.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is organized as a viewpoint. First, it provides an overview of Covid-19 research in business and management and IB in particular. Second, it introduces a societally engaged IB perspective, around poverty and human rights as well as trade.

Findings

The paper offers an annotated introduction to the paper contributions of the special issue with three clusters, “re-reading the crisis”, “crisis protectionism” and “firm strategies during the pandemic”.

Research limitations/implications

The paper points to future research opportunities in terms of crisis management and societally engaged IB research.

Practical implications

The Covid-19 crisis poses new questions for research on international business and its related disciplines. In particular, the political, economic and societal disruption which the pandemic has caused highlights the importance of addressing broader societal issues such as climate change, poverty and inequality through a purposeful and forward-looking research agenda.

Originality/value

The paper and the special issue are some of the first combined research outputs on the Covid-19 pandemic in international business.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 December 2019

Lee Keng Ng and Louise Curran

The purpose of this paper is to explore the simultaneous evolution of LOF and AOF in the context of environmental protection (EP) companies from Europe in the Chinese market.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the simultaneous evolution of LOF and AOF in the context of environmental protection (EP) companies from Europe in the Chinese market.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopt a qualitative, case study approach, using interview data to explore the extent of liability of foreignness and how the FSAs of firms have changed from the time on market entry. The authors undertook 15 in-depth interviews with decision makers in six companies addressing their experience of foreignness during their long tenure in China. To control for sector-level effects, the authors focus on companies in the EP sector.

Findings

The authors found the evolving AOF of the firms were challenged to a significant extent that caused difficulties in reducing their LOF over time. The EP sector is dominated by state-owned enterprises that have unique organized structure preventing localized foreign firms from gaining access into the institutionalized network. This deeply quilted institutionalized network had a corrosive effect in the gradual erosion of the LOF manifested from unfair price strategy practice, forced collaborations, ostracization of project participations, operational barriers, prohibited and restricted market access. The research also uncovered the rebirth nature of LOF that caused AOF to lose its significance across bureaucracy and ownership changed.

Research limitations/implications

The relatively small number of cases (six) limits the generalizability of the findings by the authors. However, the authors are convinced that, given that the case companies are generally large and have long experience in China, the conclusions made are well grounded. In addition, there was the high level of coherence in the reported experiences of the interviewees, providing further support for the findings.

Practical implications

The experiences of these case study companies highlight that MNEs need to be vigilant and creative in constantly improving their FSAs so that the competitive distance between them and the local competitors remains substantial.

Originality/value

Very few studies have explored both assets and liabilities of foreignness in the host country regulatory context using a case study-based qualitative approach, especially in emerging markets.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 March 2010

Louise Curran and Soledad Zignago

This paper explores the regionalisation of the European Union’s supply chains and the impact of enlargement by looking at trends in trade in intermediate products between…

Abstract

This paper explores the regionalisation of the European Union’s supply chains and the impact of enlargement by looking at trends in trade in intermediate products between 1995‐2007. The findings show that enlargement has not significantly impacted overall levels of regionalization although it has led to quite major changes in the division of labor within the EU. In addition, the impacts have been very varied depending on the sector involved. There has been a greater consolidation of the EU supply chain in medium‐tech and up‐market goods while in low‐market and high‐tech goods, market share has been ceded to non‐EU sources.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 December 2016

Lee Keng Ng and Louise Curran

The objective of this chapter is to explore the experience of EU companies in the environmental protection sector in China focusing on their difficulties and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this chapter is to explore the experience of EU companies in the environmental protection sector in China focusing on their difficulties and the mitigating strategies mobilized.

Methodology/approach

We adopt a qualitative, case study approach, using interview data to explore the liability of foreignness (LOF) experienced by the companies studied and the strategies adopted to overcome LOF.

Findings

We found examples of all categories of LOF identified by Eden and Miller (2004), among our case study companies, but the most problematic and persistent were discrimination hazards. Companies adopted various strategies to cope with LOF, including maximizing the use of local employees, developing relationships with local and national government actors, and establishing partnerships with local companies. None had chosen a combative legalistic approach to the unfair treatment they had suffered.

Research limitations

The relatively small number of cases (six) limits the generalizability of our findings. However, we are convinced that the size of our case companies and their long experience in China mean our findings are well grounded, although more research is needed.

Practical implications

The experience of our case study companies can help to inform the strategy of companies interested in entering and developing the Chinese market.

Originality/value

Very few studies have explored LOF through a case study-based qualitative approach. This research therefore helps to supplement findings from more large-scale quantitative analyses. In addition, there is little research on the LOF of foreign companies in China. Given the growing importance of the market, we believe the question merits further analysis.

Details

China and Europe’s Partnership for a More Sustainable World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-331-3

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 September 2008

Louise Curran

478

Abstract

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 25 September 2007

Steve Hayes and Louise Curran

3682

Abstract

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Content available

Abstract

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Article
Publication date: 12 April 2013

Louise Curran and Michael Thorpe

The aim of this paper is to shed light on recent debates in this journal on differences in home‐region orientation depending on type of company and the home region in…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to shed light on recent debates in this journal on differences in home‐region orientation depending on type of company and the home region in which they are based.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper looks at the structure of trade (imports and exports) across different types of goods in order to shed light on differences between sectors and types of technology. The paper also explores structures across regions in order to shed light on regional differences.

Findings

This research indicates that there are major differences in structures of trade between different types of goods. However, these differences do not necessarily conform to a clear pattern across different technological levels and differ between regions and the direction of trade. The fact that Asian cultures have greater psychic distance from European and North American cultures is not reflected in higher levels of home‐region orientation.

Research limitations/implications

The paper helps to clarify some of the hypotheses on home‐region orientation recently identified in this journal and, thus, helps to advance theories about why this orientation is so prevalent. The main limitations are related to the methodology. Using trade data, the paper cannot define the boundaries of the firm and, therefore, can only make conclusions at the macro level. These conclusions can, nevertheless, help to orient work at the micro level to further explore the key questions which recent work has raised.

Originality/value

Limited comparative work across sectors or technologies has been undertaken in the context of the debate on home‐region orientation. Differentiating between different types of goods can help to give us insights into why so many companies tend to focus so consistently on their home region, while others are more global.

Details

Multinational Business Review, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1525-383X

Keywords

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