12th Annual International Business Research Forum


Organizers:  Masaaki Kotabe, Liesl Riddle, Petra Sonderegger, and Florian Täube

Conference - October 15, 2011
Manuscripts Due - June 30, 2011
Temple University

Philadelphia, PA 19122


Significant scholarly attention in international business has been paid to cross-border movements of financial capital through foreign direct investment, portfolio investment, and international entrepreneurship. The transnational flows of people and the different types of capital that they possess has received lesser attention. Communication and transportation innovations associated with globalization now enable migrants to stay in contact with and visit their countries of origin more easily and cheaply than ever before. This has given rise to the phenomenon of “diasporas,” groups of emigrants who leave their countries of origin for a prolonged period of time but still demonstrate a strong link with their migration history and a sense of co-ethnicity with others of a similar background.


Diasporans often invest in their home countries through direct and portfolio investment or through the establishment of new ventures in their homelands. Diaspora capital—human, social, and financial—may be a useful development resource for migration-sending countries, many of which are among the most capital needy in the world.  With the help of the Chinese diaspora, China has won the race to become the world’s factory.  In a similar vein, with the help of the Indian diaspora, India could become the world’s technology lab. Capital from diaspora investment and entrepreneurship also has played an important role in industrialized countries, such as Israel, Ireland, and Italy, furthering economic growth and innovation.


Diaspora investment and entrepreneurship are now recognized as a new frontier in the literature regarding foreign investment and developing countries. This conference will bring together scholars from around the world investigating this growing area of international business research.


The Research Forum encourages the submission of research aimed at understanding the causes, processes, and impacts of diaspora investment and entrepreneurship. Both theoretical and empirical pieces will be considered. We are open to both quantitative and qualitative methodologies; theory-building case studies are invited (teaching cases cannot be considered). Possible areas of research inquiry include but are not limited to:


Impact of Diaspora Networks on Diaspora Investment and Entrepreneurship. Diasporas are often conceptualized as networks of people, and research on diasporas builds on this notion and flows of and within such networks. Networks help diasporans overcome various challenges such as language, foreignness etc., that result in positive economic effects in the homeland, such as the evolution of the IT industry in India. To what extent do diasporan investors and entrepreneurs benefit from these networks and knowledge about their country of origin markets?  To what extent—if at all—do they suffer the liability of foreigness when operating in their countries of origin? 


Diaspora Investment Motivation.  Diaspora investment has been driven by both pecuniary and non-pecuniary investment interests. More recent work has examined the social and emotional motivations for diaspora investment in conflict-affected countries. Why are diasporans interested in investing in their countries of origin? To what extent do diaspora investment motivations differ across country-of-origin contexts?


The Process of Diaspora Investment and Entrepreneurship.  The process of homeland investment is influenced by a host of factors such as altruism and agency that can extend beyond family and close kin. Acculturation and (re-)contextualization also are genuine factors that affect the context of diaspora investment and entrepreneurship. What are the specific challenges or advantages that diaspora investors and entrepreneurs face and to what extent and why might these challenges or advantages differ from those faced by non-diaspora investors and entrepreneurs?


Diasporas and Multinational Enterprises.  As employees of MNCs, some diasporans play influential roles in the foreign-market entry decision-making process, often encouraging their employers to at least investigate the possibility of investing in the diasporan's country of origin.  To what extent do diasporan managers employed by MNCs affect the foreign-market location decisions made by their firms? Are MNCs' foreign market entry mode choices affected by the opinions and/or involvement of diasporan managers?


Impact of Diaspora Investment and Entrepreneurship.  Diaspora investment/entrepreneurship generates new jobs and increased income, turns “brain drain” into “brain gain,” contributes to the diffusion of technology and production knowledge, assists in the internationalization of domestic firms, and stimulates foreign investment from non-diaspora sources. Are there other economic, social, and/or political spillover effects that result from this type of foreign investment and international entrepreneurship? 


Diasporas and Government Policy.  Many diasporas themselves are organizing to advocate for policy reforms to create stronger business-enabling environments in their countries of origin. Some country-of-origin governments are seeking creative ways of promoting diaspora investment.  The positive development impact of diaspora investment and entrepreneurship for migration-sending countries has been widely recognized by many in the policy community, including the United Nations, the World Bank, and the US Agency for International Development. To what extent are diasporas affecting institutions and policy frameworks in their countries of origin? How can government policy stimulate interest in and facilitate diaspora investment and entrepreneurship? What challenges do they face in doing so? 

Manuscript Submission:  The forum will consider proposals for research presentations, panels and poster sessions. If you are submitting a panel, please ask all panelists to email indicating that they will attend if the panel is accepted. Manuscripts and panel proposals should be prepared in accordance with Journal of International Management’s Style Guide for Authors available at: All manuscripts should be submitted electronically by June 30, 2011, at: Manuscripts are submitted with the understanding that they are original, unpublished works and are not being submitted elsewhere.  Please direct any questions regarding the research forum to either of the co-chairs, Masaaki Kotabe ([log in to unmask]), Liesl Riddle ([log in to unmask]), Petra Sonderegger ([log in to unmask]), and Florian Täube ([log in to unmask]).  Additional information about the Annual IB Research Forum may be found on our website at:  The best papers from the forum will be published in a Special Issue of the Journal of International Management.

Liesl Riddle, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of International Business & International Affairs
Co-Director, Diaspora Research Program:

The George Washington University
2201 G Street NW, Funger Hall Suite 401
Washington DC 20052
p. +1 202.994.1217
f. +1 202.994.7422

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