Reminder: Submissions due November 17, 2014



Special Issue of the Journal of International Business Studies





Special Issue Editors

*	Günter K. Stahl (WU Vienna, Austria, [log in to unmask]) 
*	Rosalie L. Tung (Simon Fraser University, Canada, [log in to unmask])
*	Tatiana Kostova (University of South Carolina, USA,
[log in to unmask])
*	Mary Zellmer-Bruhn (University of Minnesota, USA, [log in to unmask])


Deadline for submission:  November 17, 2014


Tentative publication date: Spring 2016




Essentially, international management is management of distance.

Zaheer, Schomaker and Nachum (2012: 19)


The notion that difference and distance are liabilities, whether they are
national, cultural, geographic, or semantic, is pervasive in international
business (IB) research and practice. Constructs such as “cultural distance”
(Kogut & Singh, 1988; Shenkar, 2001), “psychic distance” (Johnson & Vahlne,
1977, 2009), “institutional distance” (Kostova 1996; Kostova, 1999), and
“liability of foreignness” (Zaheer, 1995; Miller & Parkhe, 2002) have guided
much of the IB literature. Barriers, difficulties, costs, and risks
associated with working and doing business across national borders are
emphasized, resulting in a “problem-focused view” of diversity in IB
research (Stevens, Plaut & Sanchez-Burks, 2008). Many issues arising in IB
contexts have been explained in terms of “foreignness,” “unfamiliarity
costs,” “organizational misfit,” “culture novelty,”  “institutional gaps,”
and related concepts, and IB research commonly focuses on discordance,
incompatibility, friction, and conflict, and the negative impact of
distance, diversity, and difference on various outcomes. In short, current
theory and research in IB may have overly emphasized a negative view on
distance and diversity of all kinds (national, cultural, organizational, and
institutional) with an emphasis on liabilities and adverse outcomes
associated with such differences. While existing research is certainly
valuable, focusing on mostly negative processes and outcomes has hindered
our understanding of the processes and conditions that leverage the benefits
of diversity in a wide range of contexts, such as development of strategic
capabilities, foreign direct investment decisions, synergy creation in
cross-border mergers and acquisitions, cross-border knowledge-sharing and
learning, and unleashing the creative potential of diverse teams (Brannen,
2004; Shenkar, 2001; Stahl et al., 2010; Tung & Verbeke, 2010; Zaheer et
al., 2012). 


The goal of this special issue of JIBS is to encourage research that is in
line with a Positive Organizational Scholarship perspective (POS). POS aims
“to develop rigorous, systematic, and theory-based foundations for positive
phenomena. [It] draws from the full spectrum of organizational theories to
understand, explain, and predict the occurrence, causes, and consequences of
positivity” (Cameron et al., 2003: 5-6). POS does not represent a single
theory, but rather offers a fresh lens and encourages scholars to look at
commonly considered phenomena in new ways, as well as to explicitly consider
new phenomena. For example, recent calls to pay greater attention to the
potentially positive outcomes of IB activity and to enhance the benefits of
IB studies for real-world stakeholders (Jonsen, et al. 2010), including
viewing “foreignness as an asset” (Brannen, 2004: 596), exploring the
“upside of cultural distance” (Stahl & Tung, 2013), and “consider(ing) it as
an opportunity for arbitrage, complementarity or creative diversity” (Zaheer
et al., 2012: 26) are examples of looking at phenomena in new ways.
Explicitly considering positive concepts like thriving, resilience,
compassion, and virtue in IB research on differences illustrates
consideration of distinctly different phenomena. Examining the positive side
of differences is not only intellectually beneficial in terms of filling the
gap in the IB literature, but is also crucial for IB practice in light of
the increasing globalization of the world economy as well as growing
intra-national heterogeneity in many countries. 




We invite theoretical and empirical papers using quantitative, qualitative,
or mixed-methods approaches. As aspects of distance, diversity, and
foreignness occur at multiple levels, submissions investigating micro, meso,
macro, or cross-level phenomena are welcome. Research submitted to the
special issue does not need to explicitly apply POS, but can use the POS
perspective as a generative lens to theorize about positive outcomes. Other
existing theoretical perspectives in IB could be linked to theorize why
distance, diversity, and foreignness matter; under what circumstances they
are likely to be beneficial rather than challenging or harmful; how their
effects play out and what motivational and enabling mechanisms are or could
be at work in the process. As such, it is also not necessary for research
submitted to consider only positive outcomes.


Papers could address a wide range of issues, including but not limited to
topics that


*	Infuse the IB literature with new constructs generated in POS
research such as resilience, meaningfulness, positive emotion, altruism,
relationship transformation, and high-quality connections, and study how
these constructs enable individuals, groups, and organizations to gain the
benefits of diversity, distance, and difference.
*	Consider positive outcomes investigated in POS like thriving,
virtue, and abundance.  These could support investigation of questions like:
What does organizational thriving mean in diverse institutional contexts? 
*	Consider traditional organizational outcomes in IB and examine the
contexts and conditions under which foreignness enhance a corporation’s
legitimacy, reputation, attractiveness, or brand value.
*	Integrate theories that traditionally haven’t been simultaneously
considered to reconcile challenges and benefits, such as research on the
multinational advantage versus liability of foreignness. Integrating such
perspectives could illuminate the conditions generating value from
difference, diversity, and distance.
*	Unpack mixed results and curvilinear findings to develop theory
about enabling processes that “bend the curve” from negative to positive, or
delay inflection points to extend positive benefits of diversity. This could
support investigations of the relationship between differences and
innovation, for example, which show an inverted-U-shaped relationship. What
could support benefits of diversity to innovation at very high levels of
*	Investigate further how research on diversity in organizations has
shown that individuals vary in how much they value diversity. Can concepts
like happiness, joy, fulfillment, self-esteem, or other positive states
alter the extent to which individuals value diversity rather than feel
threatened by difference?  
*	Apply different research methodologies and designs than
traditionally used in IB research to study topics like cross-border
alliances, mergers, and acquisitions. Process research or qualitative
research may reveal important insights into how firms develop valuable
capabilities and reap synergistic benefits from these activities and uncover
new understanding of difference, diversity, and distance by examining
positive processes that create beneficial outcomes/patterns.
*	Consider positive individual traits and behaviors like character,
talent and responsible behavior and investigate their role in leader
effectiveness in diverse contexts.
*	Investigate what is positive global leadership, developing a
framework that goes beyond cultural similarities and differences and
identifies common ground for leveraging diversity, both locally and
*	Explore how the experience of being foreign and/or marginal,
typically considered negative, could lead to enhanced creativity and help
individuals develop a global mindset.
*	Refine theories of adaptation to consider how concepts like
replenishment and resilience can support phenomena like emerging market
multinationals learning from their foreign operations, particularly their
activities in developed markets.
*	Examine the idea of abundance gaps created by distance, diversity,
or difference in research on international entrepreneurship and “born
global” organizations.
*	Differentiate between when difference and distance have a positive
effect on MNEs and when they don’t. For example, are there some instances
when an outsider perspective (such as the use of global teams from
subsidiaries) is valuable in regards to sustainable corporate renewal or
growth and when having a more culturally integrated team would be more


The main contributions sought with the special issue include: analyzing the
reasons for possible overemphasis on the negative in current research on
foreignness, diversity, and distance, and identifying ways to overcome this
imbalance; motivating the development of new theoretical perspectives or the
application of theoretical perspectives seldom used in the international
business literature to refine the distance and diversity constructs and
shedding new light on the positive outcomes of differences in the context of
IB; exploring situational contingencies (moderators), intervening mechanisms
and processes (mediators), and non-linear relationships between foreignness,
diversity and distance and outcome variables – possibly drawing on POS
research to introduce new constructs to IB; reassessing whether
“foreignness,” “diversity,” and “distance” are appropriate metaphors with
which to describe, analyze, and assess the impact of difference variables in
international business.


Submission Process

All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this special issue.
Manuscripts must be submitted in the window between November 3, 2014, and
November 17, 2014, at  <> All submissions will go through the
JIBS regular double-blind review process and follow the standard norms and


For more information about this call for papers, please contact the Special
Issue Editors or the JIBS Managing Editor (
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]). 




Brannen, M. Y.  2004. When Mickey loses face:  Recontextualization, semantic
fit, and the semiotics of foreignness.  Academy of Management Review, 29(4):

Cameron K. S., Dutton, J. E. & Quinn, R. E. 2003. Foundations of positive
organizational scholarship. In K. S. Cameron, J. E. Dutton and R. E. Quinn
(Eds), Positive organizational scholarship. Foundations of a new discipline:
3-13. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J. E. 1977. The internationalization process of the
firm – A model of knowledge development and increasing market commitments.
Journal of International Business Studies, 8(1): 23-32. 

Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J. E. 2009. The Uppsala internationalization process
model revisited – From liability of foreignness to liability of
outsidership. Journal of International Business Studies, 40: 1-21.

Jonsen, K. et al. 2010. Scientific mindfulness: A foundation for future
themes in international business. In T. Devinney, T. Pedersen, and L.
Tihanyi (Eds), Advances in International Management: The Past, Present and
Future of International Business & Management (Vol. 23, pp. 43-69). Bingley,
UK: Emerald.

Kogut, B. & Singh, H. 1988. The effect of national culture on the choice of
entry mode. Journal of International Business Studies, 19(3): 411–432.

Kostova, T. 1996. Success of the transnational transfer of organizational
practices within multinational companies. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation,
University of Minnesota.  

Kostova, T. 1999. Transnational transfer of strategic organizational
practices: A contextual perspective. Academy of Management Review, 24(2):

Miller, S. R., & Parkhe, A. 2002.  Is there a liability of foreignness in
global banking? An empirical test of banks' X-efficiency.  Strategic
Management Journal, 23(1): 55-75.

Shenkar, O. 2001. Cultural distance revisited: Towards a more rigorous
conceptualization and measurement of cultural differences. Journal of
International Business Studies, 32: 519–536.

Stahl, G. K., Maznevski, M. L., Voigt, A., & Jonsen, K. 2010. Unraveling the
effects of cultural diversity in teams: A meta-analysis of research on
multicultural work groups.  Journal of International Business Studies, 41,

Stahl, G.K., & Tung, R. 2013. Negative biases in the study of culture in
international business: the need for Positive Organizational Scholarship.
Academy of Management Conference, Orlando, August 9-13, 2013.

Stevens, F. G., Plaut, V. C., & Sanchez-Burks, J. 2008. Unlocking the
Benefits of Diversity. All-Inclusive Multiculturalism and Positive
Organizational Change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 44:

Tung, R. L., & Verbeke, A. 2010.  Beyond Hofstede and GLOBE:  Improving the
quality of cross-cultural research. Journal of International Business
Studies, 41(8):  1259-1274.

Zaheer, S. 1995. Overcoming the liability of foreignness. Academy of
Management Journal, 38(2): 341-363.

Zaheer, S., Schomaker, M. S., & Nachum, L. 2012.  Distance without
direction: Restoring credibility to a much-loved construct. Journal of
International Business Studies, 43: 18-27.


Special Issue Editors

Günter K. Stahl is Professor of International Management at Vienna
University of Economics and Business (WU Vienna). Prior to joining WU
Vienna, he served for eight years as a full-time faculty member at INSEAD,
and was a visiting professor at Duke University, the Wharton School of the
University of Pennsylvania, Northeastern University, and Hitotsubashi
University. His research interests include the socio­cul­tural processes in
teams, alliances, mergers and acquisitions, and how to manage people and
culture effectively in those contexts. He has served on the editorial boards
of several academic jour­nals and recently was a co-guest editor for special
issues of Academy of Management Learning & Education on “Cross-Cultural
Management Education: Exploring Multiple Aims, Approaches, and Impacts,” of
Academy of Management Perspectives on “Responsible Leadership,” and of the
European Journal of International Management on “Global Leadership.”


Rosalie L. Tung is the Ming & Stella Wong Professor of International
Business, Simon Fraser University. In 2003-2004, she served as President of
the Academy of Management.  She was formerly a Wisconsin Distinguished
Professor, University of Wisconsin System.   She is a Fellow of the Royal
Society of Canada, the Academy of Management, the Academy of International
Business, and the British Academy of Management.  She has published many
books and articles on international human resource management, international
business negotiations and comparative management.  She serves on the
editorial board of many academic journals.


Tatiana Kostova is the Buck Mickel Chair and Professor of International
Business at the University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of
Business. Her research is in the areas of international management,
macro-organizational behavior, and organization theory. In particular, she
studies cross-border transfer and adoption of organizational practices, MNC
legitimacy, headquarters-subsidiary relationships in MNCs from an agency and
social capital perspective, multiculturalism, psychological ownership, dual
identification, and others. She is also interested in conceptualizing and
measuring contextual embeddedness of MNCs with an emphasis on the
institutional environment, its multiplicity and complexity. Dr. Kostova has
served as Vice President of AIB, Chair of the International Management
Division of the Academy of Management, as well as on the editorial boards of
many international business and management journals. She is AIB Fellow. 


Mary Zellmer-Bruhn is Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the
University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.  Her research
focuses on knowledge and learning, and composition and diversity in teamwork
and workplace collaboration, with particular interest in cognitive and
cultural diversity. Her recent work emphasizes the role of context in team
learning and knowledge management, and language and cultural diversity
social cognition. She has particular interest in multi-level and
longitudinal research. Zellmer-Bruhn is Area Editor for the Journal of
International Business Studies. She has served on the editorial boards of
several leading journals, including currently Organization Science and
Management International Review. She currently Chairs the Executive
Committee of the College of Organization Science (INFORMS), and was a past
board member of INGROUP.






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

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