CALL FOR PAPERS Special Issue of the Journal of International Business Studies INTERNATIONALIZATION IN THE INFORMATION AGE Special Issue Editors • Juan Alcacer (Harvard Business School, USA, [log in to unmask]) • John Cantwell (Rutgers Business School, USA, [log in to unmask]) • Giovanni Dosi (Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Italy, [log in to unmask]) • Sergio Mariotti (Politecnico di Milano, Italy, [log in to unmask]) • Lucia Piscitello (Politecnico di Milano, Italy, [log in to unmask]) Deadline for submission: December 31, 2013 Tentative publication date: Spring 2015 Introduction With the emergence of what many scholars call an information and communication age, the associated changes in the character of international business (IB) activity have been profound, as illustrated by the discussion over the idea that the world has become flat. However, the debate about the relative importance of various drivers behind what has sometimes been called the third industrial revolution has been lively yet remains inconclusive. Some of the features that have been suggested as characterizing the new age include the following: organizational decentralization, vertical disintegration and specialization, modularity, flexibility, accelerated knowledge creation, exchange or diffusion, and increased knowledge complexity, inter-organizational collaboration and openness, and various kinds of networks. Institution settings have also changed alongside the new wave of technological innovation, leading to changes across countries in the mechanisms responsible for standardization, intellectual property rights, and the institutional conditions fostering individual and local creativity but which have also been associated with new regulatory and industrial policies, trade policies, privatization and liberalization. Many of these changes have facilitated the internationalization of firms. In this context, business activity from production to knowledge creation has come to rely on internationally highly disaggregated and geographically dispersed value chains; and yet a continued centralization of certain functions (including R&D, marketing and finance), as well as control over subsidiary management and decision making. At the same time this has left the way for corporate disaggregation, and more decentralized organizational forms in which resources, including technology and managerial talent, might be distributed among subsidiaries and integrated between them through strong interdependencies. Thus, the traditional model of the MNE as a simple hierarchy and related conceptual approaches are in danger of becoming anachronistic and progressively less appropriate in capturing new trends and opportunities made feasible by the new technological paradigm, which has triggered or required new forms and processes for the international organization of production. Flexibility, knowledge creation, collaboration and international connections, as well as the characteristics of the institutional contexts in which these expanded interorganizational relations are embedded have become essential elements to be considered for the contemporary MNE. A finer slicing of the value chain is associated with networked forms that have shifted the boundaries of the firm. So the contemporary MNE is defined by the orchestration of international networks rather than merely by the international ownership of assets. This topic can usefully be addressed from the standpoint of several extant streams of international business (IB) research and, in turn, it suggests the need to develop the theory of the MNE and international production in various new directions. The purpose of this Special Issue is to suggest how established IB approaches can be positively adapted, revised or extended to allow for the restructuring of MNEs and the new organizational forms of internationalization which have arisen to better explore and exploit the trajectories of the Information and Communication technological paradigm. For example, the O (Ownership) advantages of Dunning’s eclectic paradigm now consist of capabilities that are dispersed among actors which are part of a common network, and a primary O advantage of the MNE becomes its ability to foster innovative connections between specialized capabilities across countries and organizations; the L (Location) dimension should allow that location-bound characteristics alone cannot fully explain firms’ locational strategies, and that firm-location developmental interactions must be taken into account more fully; while the I (Internalization) dimension might be adapted to allow for the spread of more open and informal interorganizational relationships and networks. Topics In particular, we aim to encourage a multidisciplinary understanding of these issues by integrating IB more closely with research in progress in organization studies, and approaches from economic sociology, international economics, strategy, management and others. The objective of the special issue is to develop a finer-grained analysis of how the nature, boundaries and organizational forms of the MNE have adapted to more recent technological and institutional changes. We hope that this collection of papers will contribute to the ongoing yet still inconclusive dialogue among scholars in these disciplines, with the aim of constructing a more unified body of theory and a common epistemology for thinking about the continuing processes of transformation of IB activity. Hence, we welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions, and papers adopting either a single or multi-level analysis. Illustrative topics may include: • The traditional paradigm of the MNE as a simple hierarchy had been already questioned in the 1980s and complemented by the notion of a globally networked transnational corporation in response to environmental forces and simultaneous demands for global efficiency, national responsiveness, and worldwide learning. Extending this line of reasoning, what further restructuring of international corporations, and new organizational processes and practices in firms’ internationalization, would be more appropriate to exploring and exploiting the trajectories of the Information and Communication (IC) paradigm? • The international fragmentation of production systems and the geographical dispersion of the value chain have opened up new scenarios and opportunities for new actors. How has the relative relevance of location factors and geographical hierarchies changed? How are emerging market countries capturing these opportunities to catch up and to shift their role in global supply/value chains? How do recent processes of backsourcing/backshoring reflect the same changes (i.e. are they the other side of the same coin)? • Increasing de-verticalization and modularity of products and processes foster complex and dispersed network organizations. How do firms manage multifaceted portfolios including various forms of corporate partnering, external collaboration and non-equity forms across borders? What governance structures have been adopted to manage cross-country interorganizational networks? What creative value chain orchestration approaches are needed in this landscape? And what are the characteristics of a wider range of inter-organizational ties? Does the initiative for network formation come still at the firm level, or are more disaggregated levels of analysis needed? Are cross-boundary and cross-functional teams as well as flexible project-based forms of organizations more appropriate forms? • How do changes in the international economic, technological, and social environment create new opportunities and roles for SMEs, international new ventures, international entrepreneurship and global start-ups? Conversely, what is the evolution in the role of large global companies when they metamorphose from being primary producers and distributors to becoming aggregators? Have they successfully developed a new capacity to act as knowledge and capability coordinators or integrators? • Technological revolutions and the evolution of industrial structures: How do information and communication as well as new digital technologies change sectoral boundaries (e.g. between manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries), deconstruct traditional industries, and stimulate the emergence of new sectors? Are reallocation and recombination of innovative efforts among international intra-firm and external actors facilitated by these new general purpose technologies? How do changes in sectoral boundaries impact corporate diversification and stimulate new organizational forms to manage geographical dispersion? • Organizations evolve and adapt to their technological and institutional environments, and these changes are not unidirectional. What are the conditions enabling the harmonious co-evolution of MNE international networks with their institutional environment and policy context? What is the role of country-specific institutional systems? Do changes in the relationship between the public and private spheres, such as public private partnerships, play different roles in different industries and countries? • How, and to what extent, does the emergence of new manufacturing technologies (e.g. digital manufacturing - additive manufacturing, continuous manufacturing, collective manufacturing, crowdsourcing, cloud computing and cloud manufacturing) lead to the international reorganization of production networks? How, and to what extent, do information technologies and increasing flexibility impact upon labor market and employment practices (e.g. freelance labor and project based work when internationally managed or coordinated)? Submission Process All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this special issue. Manuscripts must be submitted in the window between December 17, 2013, and December 31, 2013, at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jibs. All submissions will go through the JIBS regular double-blind review process and follow the standard norms and processes. For more information about this call for papers, please contact the Special Issue Editors or the JIBS Managing Editor ([log in to unmask]). For a list of references cited in this call and information about the Guest Editors, please see the full call for papers available at http://www.palgrave-journals.com/jibs/Internationalization_SI_Call_for_Paper s.html. ------------------- 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] Web: www.jibs.net Want to stay up-to-date on JIBS? Follow @JIBSupdates on Twitter! ____ AIB-L is brought to you by the Academy of International Business. For information: http://aib.msu.edu/community/aib-l.asp To post message: [log in to unmask] For assistance: [log in to unmask] AIB-L is a moderated list.