Dear all

I'm pleased to announce that the first 2011 issue of critical perspectives on international business has published.  Details of the papers follow, and the full editorial is pasted beneath.

Free online access is also available for a short time - please visit the journal homepage at and enter username: CPOIB and password: E174220.

Dr Martyn Lawrence
Senior Publisher


Article Title: Becoming "world-class"? Reputation-building in a university merger
Authors: Hanna-Mari Aula, Janne Tienari
Article Type: Research paper
Keywords: Acquisitions and mergers, Finland, Universities
Pages: 7-29
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Article Title: Subsidiary power in multinational corporations: the subtle role of micro-political bargaining power
Authors: Christoph Dörrenbächer, Jens Gammelgaard
Article Type: Research paper
Keywords: Intergroup relations, Politics, Subsidiaries
Pages: 30-47
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Article Title: Learning from the periphery: beyond the transnational model
Authors: Ayse Saka-Helmhout
Article Type: Research paper
Keywords: Entrepreneurialism, Learning organizations, Multinational companies, Social environment, Subsidiaries
Pages: 48-65
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Article Title: Transnational corporations and international law: bringing TNCs out of the accountability vacuum
Authors: Alice de Jonge
Article Type: Research paper
Keywords: International law, Transnational companies
Pages: 66-89
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Article Title: Finanzkapital in the twenty-first century
Authors: Nikhilesh Dholakia
Article Type: Research paper
Keywords: Economic depression, Finance, Financial control, Marxist economics, Recession
Pages: 90-108
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Book Review
Title: Corporate Power and Ownership in Contemporary Capitalism: The Politics of Resistance and Domination
Pages: 109-110
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Book Review
Title: Critical Representation of Work and Organisation in Popular Culture
Pages: 111-112
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Welcome to the first issue of critical perspectives on international business (CPoIB) of Volume 7. In 2010, CPoIB gained important recognition by winning Emerald's Best New Journal Award, an award that seeks to highlight new journals that are publishing outstanding quality research on current, strong and evolving subjects. The journal also attracted Emerald's Outstanding Special Issue Award for the special issue on "Reflections on a global financial crisis" (Vol. 5, No 1/2). In addition, CPoIB saw its editorial team strengthened with the appointment of seven associate editors and additions to the Editorial Advisory Board. Article downloads continued to grow throughout 2010 as did the international spread of the journal's readership. Indeed, CPoIB is now available in almost 1400 institutions across the globe. Building on these achievements, we begin the seventh year in the life of CPoIB with renewed confidence. Moreover, in a global economic environment characterised by an increasing number of challenges and contradictions the need for a journal that provides a space for critical reflection on the issues surrounding international business is greater than ever.

Turning to the current issue, we are pleased to present another exciting collection including five research articles considering a range of topics, from building a "world class" reputation and subsidiary power and learning in multinational corporations to the regulation of transnational corporations (TNCs) and the characteristics of the global financial system. Two book reviews are also included in this issue. With contributions from authors in Australia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, UK and USA this issue reflects our continued commitment to producing a truly international journal.

The business of internationalisation is becoming an increasingly important strategy for universities. The growing competition among universities in international markets has given rise to a range of quality ranking lists and universities are making major investments in developing their international reputations. In the first article, "Becoming 'world-class'? Reputation-building in a university merger", Hanna-Mari Aula and Janne Tienari elaborate on reputation-building through their study of the merger of three universities in Finland to form Aalto University. In so doing, they contribute to an area that has remained unexplored in the mergers and acquisitions literature. Aula and Tienari reveal how key actors sought to build the reputation of the new university and how issues related to reputation become (re)constructed in different fora and vis-ā-vis different stakeholders.

This is followed by "Subsidiary power in multinational corporations: the subtle role of micro-political bargaining power", in which Christoph Dörrenbächer and Jens Gammelgaard seek to enhance the understanding of genuine sources of subsidiary power and how they work in headquarters-subsidiary relationships. Drawing on a review of the relevant literature and four illustrative case studies, the authors identify the following four genuine types of subsidiary power: micro-political bargaining power; systemic power; resource-dependency power; and, institutional power. The authors find that the first of these plays a subtle but crucial role in the enactment of the three other types of power.

Continuing the focus on subsidiaries, Ayse Saka-Helmhout argues, in "Learning from the periphery: beyond the transnational model", that the role of the subsidiary in multinational enterprise learning and innovative capability building has not been considered outside the structural properties of the transnational or integrated network configuration. Highlighting the role of agency in learning beyond effective configurations, Saka-Helmhout demonstrates that an international structure can also promote higher levels of learning when subsidiaries' orientation to enact acquired knowledge or their "effortful accomplishments" are considered.

Alice de Jonge highlights the disparity between the huge global influence and reach of TNCs on the one hand, and the lack of an international legal infrastructure for regulating their activity on the other, in her article, "Transnational corporations and international law: bringing TNCs out of the accountability vacuum". She notes that existing avenues for holding TNCs accountable for breaches of international standards are woefully inadequate. After rejecting the idea of subjecting TNCs to potential criminal liability, de Jonge proposes a set of principles for international TNC responsibility modelled on the 2001 Draft Articles on State Responsibility. She also highlights the potential future role of regional human rights courts and the International Labour Organisation in holding TNCs to account.

The final research paper focuses on the financial system, a topic that has been much discussed in this journal since the global financial crisis of 2008. In "Finanzkapital in the 21st Century", Nikhilesh Dholakia draws inspiration from Rudolf Hilferding's 1910 book Finanzkapital to explore the nature of financial capital in the contemporary era from a political-economic and culture theory perspective. In so doing, he present seven "theses" that probe the nature of Finanzkapital prior to, during, and after the Great Recession of 2007-9 and offers suggestions to resist and transcend politico-economic and business systems based on the unstable foundations of financial capital.

This issue also includes two book reviews. In the first, Hugo Radice reviews S. Soederberg's book, Corporate Power and Ownership in Contemporary Capitalism: the Politics of Resistance and Domination. In the second book review Chris Ivory considers Critical Representation of Work and Organisation in Popular Culture by Carl Rhodes and Robert Westwood.

We hope that you will enjoy reading this issue of CPoIB, that it will stimulate further critical debate concerning issues of relevance to international business and, importantly, that it will inspire further responses in the academic community, in the classroom and in the wider context of global society. As always, we encourage readers to participate in ongoing discussions and to raise new issues through contributions to the journal. We welcome academic paper submission, viewpoint pieces, reviews and review essays as well as suggestions and proposals for special issues.

Editors: Joanne Roberts, George Cairns

Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Registered Office: Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA United Kingdom. Registered in England No. 3080506, VAT No. GB 665 3593 06

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