Special Issue of the Journal of International Business Studies


Special Issue Editors
• Kannan Ramaswamy (William D. Hacker Chair Professor of Management,
Thunderbird School of Management, [log in to unmask])
• Andrew Inkpen (J. Kenneth and Jeannette Seward Chair Professor of Global
Strategy, Thunderbird School of Management, [log in to unmask])
• Aldo Mussachio (Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard
Business School, and Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of
Economic Research, [log in to unmask])
• Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra (Associate Professor of International Business and
Strategy, Northeastern University, and JIBS Reviewing Editor,
[log in to unmask])

Deadline for submission:  October 5, 2012

Tentative publication date: Spring 2014

One of the major trends characterizing the beginning of the 21st century is
the globalization of state owned enterprises (SOEs) and the role of the
state as a cross-border investor. Of immediate relevance to international
business (IB) scholars is the globalization of large SOEs from countries as
diverse as France, Norway, China, Russia, India, Brazil, Kuwait, Saudi
Arabia, Malaysia, and South Korea. While some of these SOEs focus on natural
resource-based sectors such as metals, oil, and gas, others specialize in
technology-based segments such as nuclear power generation, automobile
manufacturing, and telecommunication equipment or in services such as
banking, transportation, or construction as part of their globalization
programs. A relatively recent variation, the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) has
emerged as a key state-directed entity in the global financial and economic
landscape, supporting the globalization of SOEs. While some of the SWFs have
taken a more activist role in managing their portfolios, others have been
far more passive, using their investments to build diplomatic bridges across
countries and to secure goodwill for other projects that might be construed
as national priorities. 

Despite the rise of SOEs as a dominant force in the global economic
landscape, IB scholars’ understanding of these firms remains sparse. Until
recently, most SOEs conducted business within state borders and tended to be
domestically focused and thus outside the domain of traditional IB research.
Much of the extant literature in IB has tended to characterize governments
and business as antagonists, bargaining over shares of rents in host country
contexts, as illustrated by Vernon (1971). Some leading political economists
even accentuate the negative effects of foreign direct investment (FDI),
encouraging governments to view MNCs with suspicion. These historical
viewpoints are ripe for change since many progressive governments have
adopted multiple ways of attracting FDI to their own countries while
systematically exploring opportunities to invest abroad. 

This special issue offers a unique opportunity to consider the role of
governments as promoters of international business activity and to challenge
and extend existing theories of the multinational along interdisciplinary
lines. Since SOEs sit at the important crossroads between international
business and political economy, IB research can significantly benefit from
insightful examinations of the intersection of these two fields. In
particular, the linkage between home country policies that promote the
globalization of domestic SOEs in support of national objectives (e.g.,
securing access to natural resource supplies for other domestic firms) and
the development of state-to-state relationships with countries that are host
to critical resources is likely to be a crucial one that can further our
understanding of this cross-disciplinary domain. 

The successful internationalization of some SOEs creates a challenge to
existing theoretical approaches and assumptions about the competitiveness
and behavior of state-owned firms, the drivers and behavior of multinational
companies, and the relationships between multinationals and governments. The
special issue aims to improve our understanding of this phenomenon as well
as to promote extension of current theories to account for this new
phenomenon. Moreover, analyzing the internationalization of SOEs can serve
as a good incubator for interdisciplinary ideas from a range of fields that
straddle the periphery of the traditional IB domain such as the study of
business and government, developmental economics, financial management,
industrial policy, and public sector management. By building a common
platform drawing on eclectic contemporary work, IB scholars can help address
the core issues that dominate debates on the global role of SOEs, SWFs, and
state sponsored FDI sourcing agencies that are collectively reshaping the
impact of the state in global economic activity. 

Topics for the Special Issue
While state ownership opens many questions and potential research avenues,
we particularly welcome papers that span theoretical boundaries to create
new frameworks and ideas that enhance our understanding of the complexities
associated with state directed global investments. We favor papers that make
quantum jumps in theoretical understanding over those that make incremental
contributions. We will lean toward papers that embrace multiple theoretical
traditions versus those that are more parochial in nature. Although some
areas of inquiry, such as the well-established work on privatization,
transitional economies, and emerging market multinationals, are all critical
areas of work, this special issue will exclusively focus on the global
relevance of SOEs and their impact on the global strategy landscape. We
offer below a few possible questions to provide a flavor of what the special
issue seeks to address. These questions are illustrative at best and are not
intended to set boundaries in terms of the key themes of interest. 

• Traditional IB research has tended to view cross-border businesses and
governments as antagonists seeking to maintain their own spheres of control
and focused on maximizing their own share of the benefits that accrue from
economic activity. However, recent changes demonstrate that governments,
through SOEs, can play the role of enablers of cross-border activity. How do
home governments foster state-to-state relationships that help SOEs to
access vital resources? How do such ventures share the risks and rewards?
What mechanisms can be used to promote the stability of such ventures and
shield them from changes in political climate? How do SOE-SOE partnerships
perform? How do SOE-SOE partnerships effectively mitigate the risk of
• Government ownership imposes unique demands on organizations as they
strive to meet the different, often conflicting objectives of economic
performance and national mission. How do prevailing theories of
international strategic expansion account for the uniqueness of governments
as owners? Since many of the original theories in IB research tend to
revolve around privately owned organizations, how might a focus on
government ownership enhance and extend prevailing theories of international
growth and firm conduct in the global landscape? 
• The pressures of responding to the numerous challenges of implementing a
successful global strategy call for radically new ways of managing SOEs. It
demands a departure from the typical unipolar, home-country centric view to
a multipolar, global view of deploying assets, managing a global workforce,
and pursuing strategies that build economic value outside the domain of the
home country. How have SOEs transformed themselves as a result of the global
exposure? How has this exposure altered the nature of the relationship
between an SOE and its home country? What are the key determinants that
drive the level of involvement of the State as the owner in major strategic
decisions of a globalized SOE? Does the degree of involvement change with
the success of the globalization efforts?
• Many resource-rich governments in the last decade launched SWFs to channel
their excess revenues from booming commodity markets. However, relatively
little is known about their behavior as investors. Are they are just another
form of state-run pension funds, making international investments in a
relatively passive and apolitical way? Or, are they multinationals with
complex strategic and political agendas? What are the conditions under which
these entities are able to use the power of capital to secure access to
global assets, influence favorable policy treatment in the host country, or
leverage reciprocal benefits?

Submission Process
All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this special issue.
Manuscripts must be submitted in the window between September 17, 2012, and
October 5, 2012, at All submissions
will go through the same double-blind review process that JIBS uses for
regular manuscripts and follow the same norms and processes that have been
established by the journal; see 

For more information about this call for papers, please contact the Special
Issue Editors.

About the Guest Editors
Kannan Ramaswamy holds the William D. Hacker Chair of Management at the
Thunderbird School of Global Management. Much of his recent work is set in
emerging markets and explores the determinants of success in these settings
and the creation of core competences by local firms that emerge as
multinational enterprises from these countries.  He is also extensively
involved in working with business leaders from a wide range of Fortune 100
companies across the world. He has authored over 50 refereed papers and 20
case studies.  His research has appeared in distinguished journals such as
the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies,
Academy of Management Journal, Management International Review, Journal of
Management, and Journal of Business Research. Oxford University Press
published his book Global Strategy: Creating and Sustaining Advantage Across
Borders co-authored with Professor Andrew Inkpen.

Andrew Inkpen holds the Seward Chair of Global Strategy at the Thunderbird
School of Global Management.  His research has involved areas such as the
management of joint ventures and strategic alliances, cross border and
inter-firm knowledge management and transfer.  He is on the editorial boards
of various journals, including Journal of International Business Studies,
Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, and Journal of
Management Studies. He has extensive experience working with executives from
a variety of industries and firms.  He has written more than 50 refereed
research articles, more than 40 teaching cases, and numerous book chapters.
He is the co-author of several textbooks and co-author of Global Strategy
(Oxford: 2006; with Kannan Ramaswamy) and the Global Oil and Gas Industry:
Management, Strategy and Finance (Pennwell: 2011).

Aldo Musacchio is an associate professor in the Business, Government, and
International Economy Unit (BGIE) at the Harvard Business School and a
Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research
(NBER). He has a Ph. D. in Economic History from Stanford University.  His
book, Experiments in Financial Democracy (Cambridge University Press, 2009)
focused on how companies can adopt corporate governance practices that
protect investors in relatively adverse legal and institutional
environments. His current research project looks at the current state of
state capitalism around the world, at turnarounds in state-owned
enterprises, and at what works and does not work when government banks
finance private companies (with a special focus on the case of Brazil). In
addition to his scholarly work, he has also written several case studies on
companies with a strong state owned heritage in emerging market settings. He
advises nonprofits focused on education in Latin America and consults for
state-owned enterprises in Latin America.

Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra is an Associate Professor of International Business
and Strategy at Northeastern University. He has a Ph.D. from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and another from the University of
Salamanca. He analyzes how firms internationalize and is currently studying
the emergence of developing-country multinational firms. His geographical
area of expertise is Latin America. His research appears in leading academic
journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of International
Business Studies, Research Policy, and Strategic Management Journal, among
others, and in several edited books. He is the reviewing editor of Journal
of International Business Studies, and an editorial board member of Global
Strategy Journal, Journal of World Business, Organization Studies, and
Strategic Management Journal, among other journals. His research has
received numerous awards, including best paper awards from the Academy of
Management and European International Business Academy, and best
dissertation in strategy from the Academy of Management.


Anne Hoekman
Managing Editor, Journal of International Business Studies
JIBS Editorial Office
Academy of International Business
Michigan State University
Tel: +1-517-481-3518
Fax: +1-517-432-1009
Email: [log in to unmask]
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