Special Issue of the Journal of International Business Studies





Special Issue Editors:


·         Gary Knight (Willamette University, USA, [log in to unmask])

·         Peter Liesch (University of Queensland, Australia, [log in to unmask])

·         Lianxi Zhou (Brock University, Canada, [log in to unmask])

·         Rebecca Reuber (University of Toronto, Canada, [log in to unmask])


Deadline for submission: November 16, 2015


Tentative publication date:   Spring 2017




The goal of this special issue of JIBS is to encourage research that deepens knowledge of the creation and capture of entrepreneurial opportunities across national borders by diverse organizational types such as international new ventures (INVs), born global firms, micro-multinationals, corporate entrepreneurs, family businesses, and social and non-profit ventures (e.g., Arregle, Naldi, Nordqvist & Hitt, 2012; Coviello & Jones, 2004; Knight & Cavusgil, 2004; Oviatt & McDougall, 1994; McDougall & Oviatt, 2000; Zahra, 2005; Zahra & George, 2002; Zahra, Newey & Li, 2014). 


International entrepreneurship has been defined as “the discovery, enactment, evaluation, and exploitation of opportunities – across national borders – to create future goods and services” (Oviatt & McDougall, 2005: 7).  Recent commentaries on the field (e.g. Cavusgil & Knight, 2015; Coviello, 2015; Jones, Coviello & Tang, 2011; Keupp & Gassmann, 2009; Mathews & Zander, 2007; Zander, McDougall-Covin & Rose, 2015) have urged scholars to move beyond current understandings of early and accelerated internationalization through richer theoretical and empirical investigations of international entrepreneurship. There has long been consensus that the pursuit of opportunity is the core of entrepreneurship (e.g. Knight, 1921; Schumpeter, 1939; Shane & Venkataraman, 2000), whether opportunities are discovered or created (Alvarez, Barney & Anderson, 2013).   Scholars have identified important processes in this pursuit, including processes related to cognition (e.g. Grégoire, Barr & Shepherd, 2010), effectuation (e.g. Sarasvathy, 2001), and bricolage (e.g. Baker & Nelson, 2005; Garud & Karnoe, 2003), and an opportunity-focused perspective is being extended to international entrepreneurship (e.g. Bingham, 2009; Jones & Casulli, 2014; Mainela, Puhakka & Servais, 2014; Sarasvathy, Kumar, York & Bhagavatula, 2014).

Scholarship that integrates perspectives from entrepreneurship and international business, or spans disciplinary boundaries, can create new perspectives or frameworks that improve our understanding of the creation and capture of opportunities across national borders. We invite submissions that advance international business theory in this domain and, ideally, that also contribute to the entrepreneurship literature.



Possible Research Topics

The proposed special issue focuses on the creation and capture of entrepreneurial opportunities across national borders. We seek papers that advance theoretical perspectives and provide valuable insights and new knowledge to enrich international entrepreneurship scholarship, and also that guide practitioners and policy-makers.  We invite submissions from scholars who, individually or collectively, draw on varied theoretical perspectives, adopt diverse empirical approaches, and investigate at multiple levels of analysis.  We particularly encourage submissions that provide conceptual clarity of international entrepreneurship as pursued by different types of market actors, and those that provide new empirical contributions.  Well-conceived submissions antithetical to this domain are welcome too, provided they make a meaningful contribution to the international business field more generally.  Examples of appropriate topics and research questions include, but are not limited to, the following:


·         How can perspectives from entrepreneurship and international business be integrated to create new perspectives or frameworks to enrich an opportunity-based understanding of international entrepreneurship, and unify and improve heterogeneous constructs and operational definitions?


·         What processes are involved in the creation and capture of entrepreneurial opportunities across national borders?   What accounts for variance in these processes and their outcomes?  What is the role in such processes of key IB concepts such as psychic distance, risk, uncertainty, or transnational communities?


·         How does the pursuit of international opportunities vary across categories of individuals?  What new concepts, relationships or processes are important in understanding the cognitions, behaviors and/or outcomes associated with the pursuit of international opportunities by focal categories of entrepreneurs (for example, immigrant entrepreneurs, ethnic entrepreneurs, transnational entrepreneurs or women entrepreneurs)? 


·         How does the pursuit of international opportunities vary across categories of organizations?  What new concepts, relationships or processes are important in understanding the cognitions, behaviors and/or outcomes associated with the pursuit of international opportunities by focal categories of organizations (for example startups, corporations, SMEs, family businesses, social ventures, not-for-profit ventures, governmental agencies, or non-governmental organizations)?


·         How are organizations managing the challenges of early and/or accelerated internationalization in pursuing international opportunities?  How do such firms manage costs, uncertainty and risks in such environments?  How do they overcome inherent liabilities to be perceived as legitimate and reputable?  What are their subsequent trajectories?  We particularly welcome research in this area on firms in emerging, rapid-growth and less-developed economies, and from disciplines that have been under-represented to-date such as human resource management, finance, accounting, operations and policy studies.


·         How do advanced technologies and digitization provide new and enhanced prospects to create and capture international opportunities?  How does the sociomateriality of technologies impact interactions among market actors, and, for example, overcome the challenges of lack of a local presence?  What are trade-offs between scale and adaptation?


·         How do cultures and institutions, such as governments, regulations, and industries, affect market and nonmarket approaches to the pursuit of international opportunities, and, in turn, how do entrepreneurial activities affect cultural and institutional contexts?  What institutional policies and practices impact, or are impacted by, the pursuit of international opportunities?  How does entrepreneurial internationalization vary across different cultural and institutional environments?



Submission Process

All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this special issue.  Manuscripts must be submitted in the window between November 2, 2015, and November 16, 2015, at  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]).



Alvarez, S.A., Barney, J.B., & Anderson, P. 2013.  Forming and exploiting opportunities:  The implications of discovery and creation processes for entrepreneurial and organizational research.  Organization Science, 24(1): 301-317.


Arregle, J-L., Naldi, L., Nordqvist, M., & Hitt, M.A. 2012.  Internationalization of family-controlled firms: A study of the effects of external involvement in governance.  Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 36(6): 1115-1143.


Baker, T., & Nelson, R. 2005.  Creating something from nothing: Resource construction through entrepreneurial bricolage.  Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(3): 329-366.

Bingham, C. 2009.  Oscillating improvisation: How entrepreneurial firms create success in foreign market entries over time.  Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 3(4): 321-345.

Cavusgil, S.T., & Knight, G. 2015.  The born global firm:  An entrepreneurial and capabilities perspective on early and rapid internationalization.  Journal of International Business Studies, 46(1): 3-16.

Coviello, N. 2015.  Re-thinking research on born globals.  Journal of International Business Studies, 46(1): 17-26.

Coviello, N., & Jones, M. 2004.  Methodological issues in international entrepreneurship research.  Journal of Business Venturing, 19(4): 485–508.

Garud, R., & Karnoe, P. 2003.  Bricolage versus breakthrough: Distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship.  Research Policy, 32: 277-300.

Grégoire, D.A., Barr, P.S., & Shepherd, D.A. 2010.  Cognitive process of opportunity recognition:  The role of structural alignment.  Organization Science, 21(2): 413-431.

Jones, M.V., & Casulli, L. 2014.  International entrepreneurship:  Exploring the logic and utility of individual experience through comparative reasoning approaches.  Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 38(1): 45-69.

Jones, M. V., Coviello, N., & Tang, Y. K. 2011.  International entrepreneurship research (1989-2009): A domain ontology and thematic analysis.  Journal of Business Venturing, 26(6): 632-659.

Keupp, M., & Gassmann, O. 2009.  The past and the future of international entrepreneurship: A review and suggestions for developing the field.  Journal of Management, 35(5): 600-633.

Knight, G., & Cavusgil, S.T. 2004.  Innovation, organizational capabilities, and the born global firm.  Journal of International Business Studies, 35(2): 124-141.


Knight, F.H. 1921.  Risk, Uncertainty and Profit.  New York:  Houghton Mifflin.


Mainela, T., Puhakka, V., & Servais, P. 2014. The concept of international opportunity in international entrepreneurship:  A review and research agenda.  International Journal of Management Reviews 16(1): 105-129.

Mathews, J., & Zander, I. 2007.  The international entrepreneurial dynamics of accelerated internationalization.  Journal of International Business Studies, 38(3): 387-403.

McDougall, P., & Oviatt, B. 2000.  International entrepreneurship: The intersection of two research paths.  Academy of Management Journal, 43(5): 902–906.

Oviatt, B., & McDougall P. 1994.  Toward a theory of international new ventures.  Journal of International Business Studies, 25(1): 45–64.


Oviatt, B. & McDougall, P. 2005.  The internationalization of entrepreneurship.  Journal of International Business Studies, 36(1): 2-8.


Sarasvathy, S.D. 2001.  Causation and effectuation:  Toward a theoretical shift from economic inevitability to entrepreneurial contingency.  Academy of Management Review, 26(2): 243-263.


Sarasvathy, S., Kumar, K., York, J.G., & Bhagavatula, S. 2014.  An effectual approach to international entrepreneurship: Overlaps, challenges, and provocative possibilities.  Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 38(1): 71-93.


Schumpeter, J.A. 1939.  Business cycles:  A Theoretical, Historical, and Statistical Analysis of the Capitalist Process.  New York: McGraw-Hill.


Shane, S., & Venkataraman, S. 2000.  The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research.  Academy of Management Review, 25(1): 217-226.


Zahra, S. 2005.  A theory of international new ventures: A decade of research.  Journal of International Business Studies, 36(1): 20–28.

Zahra, S., & George, G. 2002.  International entrepreneurship: The current status of the field and future research agenda. In M. Hitt, R. Ireland, M. Camp, & D. Sexton (Eds.) Strategic leadership: Creating a new mindset: 255–288. London: Blackwell.

Zahra, S., Newey, L., & Li, Y. 2014.  On the frontiers:  The implications of social entrepreneurship for international entrepreneurship.  Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 38(1): 137-158.


Zander, I., McDougall-Covin, P., & Rose, E.L. 2015.  Born globals and international business: Evolution of a field of research.  Journal of International Business Studies, 46(1): 27-35.


Special Issue Editors

Gary Knight is the Helen Jackson Chair in International Management at Willamette University in Salem and Portland, Oregon, USA, and Visiting Professor at the University of Southern Denmark.  He is Chair of the Western United States Chapter of the Academy of International Business.  He has published widely on born globals and international entrepreneurship, including several articles in JIBS.  His 2004 co-authored article on born globals won the 2014 JIBS Decade Award.  Co-authored books include Born Global Firms: A New International Enterprise.  He is currently an editor of the International Business book collection at Business Expert Press.  He testified on firm internationalization before the US House of Representatives Small Business Committee.  He was inaugural Chair of the “SMEs, Entrepreneurship, and Born Global” track of the Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business.  His co-authored textbook with S. Tamer Cavusgil and John Riesenberger, International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities, 3rd Ed, is published by Pearson Prentice-Hall.  His PhD in international business is from Michigan State University.  Prior to academia, he was the export manager of an internationalizing SME. 


Peter Liesch is Professor of International Business in the UQ Business School at The University of Queensland, Australia.  He has published extensively on small firm internationalization and born global firms.  He co-edited a special issue on early internationalization at the Journal of World Business, and jointly won an Australia Research Council Grant on born globalsFunded by the Australia Business Foundation, he jointly produced Born to be Global: A Closer Look at the International Venturing of Australian Born Global Firms.  His publications have appeared in the Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of World Business, and others.  Currently Associate Editor, Strategy and International Business with the Australian Journal of Management, he was also Senior Editor of the Journal of World Business.  He served as Vice-President (Administration) of the Academy of International Business and Vice-President of the Australia and New Zealand International Business Academy.  A Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Professional Member of the Economics Society of Australian (Qld) Inc., his Ph.D. is from the School of Economics at The University of Queensland.

Lianxi Zhou is Professor of Marketing and International Business in the Goodman School of Business (GSB) at Brock University, Canada.  He is also a Visiting Professor at the Nottingham University Business School (NUBS) China, and has served as Chair Professor in the School of Management and Economics at Shaoxing University and Honorary Professor in the MBA School of Management Zhejiang Gongshang University, China. Previously he taught at the University of Guelph, Canada and Lingnan University in Hong Kong. His recent research on international entrepreneurship has focused on born globals and international new ventures. He brings perspectives from international marketing, entrepreneurship, and IB theories to the study of international entrepreneurship. He has published extensively in refereed journals, including Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, International Business Review, Journal of International Marketing, Journal of World Business, and others. Also, he has taught for MBA and EMBA programs in a number of leading universities across Canada, Hong Kong, and the Chinese Mainland. He is currently in the Editorial Board for the Journal of International Marketing. He received his PhD in Marketing from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.

Rebecca Reuber is Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, and Area Editor for International Entrepreneurship at JIBS.  Her recent IE research has focused on the internationalization of internet-based new ventures.   She sits on the editorial boards of Journal of Business Venturing and Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, and recently completed three terms as Associate Editor at Family Business Review.  She has held visiting positions at the University of Adelaide, the University of Glasgow, the University of Victoria, The Australian National University, and Dartmouth College.  She has also conducted policy-oriented research in the international entrepreneurship area, in collaboration with the Conference Board of Canada, Industry Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade Canada, and the Commonwealth Secretariat. 




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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