AIB 2017 Conference Call for Papers

Theme: The contribution of MNEs to building sustainable societies

Program Chair: Sarianna Lundan, University of Bremen, Germany (
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Submission Deadline: November 15, 2016 NEW DEADLINE 

The goal of this year's conference is to shift the focus of the analysis
from the motivations and consequences of internationalization for the firm,
to looking at the impact of the activities of MNEs on their home and host
countries. Besides offering managerial advice on how better to manage these
kinds of distance-related challenges, we want to draw greater attention to
policy advice, and ask what do governments need to know about multinational
enterprises to engage them in building sustainable societies.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) drafted by the United Nations and
adopted by the global community in 2015 contain 17 goals that correspond to
169 measures1. They are an extension of the Millennium Development Goals,
but incorporate substantially broader and measurable targets, and unlike
their predecessors, they are to be implemented by developed and developing
countries alike.

The first two goals continue to target issues pertinent to developing
countries, namely ending poverty and hunger in all its forms. The remaining
goals cover all aspects of healthy and productive lives, beginning with the
sustainable use of ecosystems, sustainability of the oceans, clean air and
access to fresh water. The goal of making cities resilient and sustainable
involves increased investment in infrastructure, such as water, sanitation
energy and transportation. It also includes the provision of good quality
comprehensive education and decent work, with a particular view on the
empowerment of women and girls.

Multinational enterprises (MNEs) are instrumental in providing the technical
expertise, management skills, investment and corporate social responsibility
necessary to meet these goals. According to estimates made by UNCTAD, the
annual investment required to meet these goals amounts to $5 to $7 trillion
globally in the period 2015-2030. The developing country share of this
amount is estimated to be about $3.9 trillion annually. The current MNE
investment in the relevant sectors such as transportation and communication
infrastructure and water and energy utilities amounts to about $1.4 trillion
annually, and if this proportion of private to public investment were to
continue (the 'business as usual' scenario), the MNE contribution could rise
to $2.3 trillion, or nearly 60% of the required amount2. Potentially, the
contribution of private investment might rise even further, if MNEs were
effectively incentivized to undertake investments in the least developed
countries (LDCs).

Building sustainable societies is thus not the sole domain of governments,
but rather a question of partnerships and an ongoing dialogue between
governments, firms and civil society. In the first instance, such
partnerships call on the participation of MNEs as employers and as producers
of goods and services, but they naturally also incorporate their role as
responsible corporate citizens.

The scholarship in International Business (IB) has approached these issues
from three main perspectives. First, the IB field has accumulated
substantial body of knowledge on how the costs of distance in general, and
particularly the costs of distance that arise from missing or underdeveloped
institutions, influence how multinational firms conduct business across
borders. In some cases MNEs internalize activities that they would normally
externalize, and in so doing, they might engage in building infrastructure
or providing services like education or healthcare provision in addition to
their main value adding activities. In other cases, institutional deficits
simply make the environment more difficult to decipher, diminishing the
ability of the multinational firm to adjust its business model and cost
structures to meet the needs of emerging markets.

A second strand of the literature has examined the conditions under which
firms proactively go beyond regulation to improve their environmental and
social performance. In some cases MNEs have taken action because powerful
stakeholder groups have forced them to do so, in other cases, the
investments have been seen as necessary to protect the firm's reputation and
to manage situations that make them potentially vulnerable in host

Third, the international business literature has a long tradition of
examining the negotiating process between firms and governments,
particularly in the extractive industries and more recently in
public-private partnerships in the infrastructure sectors. Among other
things, this literature has highlighted how firms secure access into these
markets, and shield themselves against the 'obsolescing bargain' and other
forms of opportunism on the part of the host governments.

Taken together, this demonstrates that the field of IB has already
contributed a notable literature on the interface between the firm,
governments and other stakeholder groups in host countries. In all three
perspectives, MNEs are increasingly seen as active agents that co-evolve
with governments and other actors resulting in the creation of new

In order for governments to effectively partner with multinational firms,
they need to understand the motivations, capabilities and vulnerabilities of
multinational firms as both economic and social actors. They also need to
evaluate the limits of this engagement, and to understand the appropriate
forms of governance for it. This calls for scholarship where the perspective
of the firm is complemented by a policy-making viewpoint, that to date has
not been considered as often in IB scholarship.

While the technology and financial capital brought by foreign investors are
essential building blocks to achieving sustainable societies, MNEs bring
much more to the host countries. In some cases multinational firms
substitute their own rules when the rules of the market are missing. In
other cases, they take part in negotiations and discussions about the
content of the prevailing rules. As economic actors, they can alleviate or
contribute to existing problems. For example, with their employment
practices, do MNEs reduce discrimination and inequality or do they increase
it? Do they help to mitigate some of the problems to do with migration, or
do they contribute to the further exploitation of migrant workers? How do
they cope with periods of extreme uncertainty and crises that impact
emerging markets disproportionately?

Like all actors, the agency of the multinational firm is limited by the
technical and human systems they embody. While multinational firms are
highly adaptable, they are not infinitely adaptable, and deviations from the
societal and market structures that prevail in the developed world cause
considerable difficulties for established MNEs to overcome. At the same
time, the solutions the multinationals might prefer are not necessarily the
solutions governments would prefer, in part because governments are
accountable to the citizenship as a whole, while multinational firms are
responsive to specific stakeholder groups. Governments and MNEs have
intersecting but not overlapping responsibilities.

With this year's conference, we want to examine what can be uncovered about
the behavior of multinational firms in different contexts that can helps us
to craft better public policy. This is policy that recognizes and
understands the potential of multinational firms in contributing to
sustainable societies, while also being aware of the limits of their

1  <>

2 UNCTAD World Investment Report 2014, p.145.


AIB 2017 Submission Information

Papers submitted to the AIB 2017 conference need to be submitted to one of
the ten regular tracks or one of the two special tracks addressing the
conference theme. Each paper or panel proposal must be submitted to only one
track. Please select the track closest to your proposal from the list below
using the keywords as a guide. Please note that there is also a "Special
Submissions" track for authors where the appropriate track presents a
conflict of interest with the track chair(s).

All single country studies must focus on IB relevant topics such as MNEs,
international institutions, trade, global value chains etc.

1. The internationalization process and international entrepreneurship

Track Co-chairs:

Olli Kuivalainen, University of Manchester, UK and Lappeenranta University
of Technology, Finland (  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )
Rudolf Sinkovics, University of Manchester, UK and Lappeenranta University
of Technology, Finland ( <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )

Rapidly internationalizing SMEs compete and cooperate with large MNEs in the
global market. This track seeks contributions that examine the
internationalization process of different kinds of firms, whether small and
entrepreneurial firms, established multinationals, or latecomer MNEs from
emerging markets. It covers contributions that focus on the characteristics
of the process, whether gradual, rapid or leapfrogging, increasing or
decreasing, as well as the various kinds of human, financial and political
resources firms draw on in their internationalization process. It also
covers contributions that examine the specific influence of different kinds
of entrepreneurs such as women, expatriates or diaspora entrepreneurs.

Keywords: Internationalization process model; Gradual internationalization;
Rapid internationalization; Internationalization and performance;
Divestment; Exporting by SMEs; International entrepreneurship;
Entrepreneurial networks; Early internationalization; International new
ventures; Born global firms; High tech start-ups; Micro-multinationals;
International entrepreneurial orientation; Women entrepreneurs; Internet
entrepreneurs; Expatriate entrepreneurs


2. Managing the value chain

Track Co-chairs:

Somnath Lahiri, Illinois State University, USA (  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )
Debmalya Mukherjee, University of Akron, USA (  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )


What determines the economic footprint of the firm, and how should the value
chain be managed in order to create a sustainable competitive advantage for
firms? This track concentrates on the management and coordination of the
different functions that comprise disaggregated value chains. It deals with
the location of the operations of the MNE, outsourcing and offshoring
decisions (and the reversal of such decisions), as well as the cross-border
coordination of the contractual and equity-based relationships throughout
the value chain.

Keywords: Outsourcing; Offshoring; Global production networks; Geography of
IB activities; Clusters and subnational regions; Global value chains;
Disaggregation of value chains; Value chain coordination; Sourcing; Supply
chain management; Logistics; Relocation of production;
Re-shoring/Backshoring; OEM contracting


3. Marketing and consumer research

Track Chair:

Dirk Morschett, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (
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Stefan Schmid, ESCP Europe, Germany (  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )


How do you reach customers in mature markets, emerging markets or at the
bottom of the pyramid? This track focuses on the downstream activities of
MNEs and the different modalities of reaching customers abroad. It examines
issues related to the importance of branding and buyer behavior across
countries, as well as the influence of the home country on consumer
perception. It also invites papers that examine the application of
informatics in marketing, such as in the development of big data and social
media analytics.

Keywords: Exporting; Franchising; Advertising; Marketing channels;
Distribution channels; Brand loyalty; Brand management; Pricing; Buyer
behavior; Base of the pyramid retailing; Entry mode; Market orientation;
Market segmentation; Consumer behavior; Cross-cultural marketing;
Buyer-supplier relations; Country-of-origin perceptions;
Business-to-business marketing; Online markets; Big data; Market design;
Mobile and social media analytics


4. Innovation and knowledge management

Track Chair:

Grazia Santangelo, University of Catania, Italy (  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )


Knowledge creation and transfer across countries are central to our theories
of the MNE. This track deals with the technological and organizational
generation and transfer of new knowledge. It examines the internal and
external aspects of innovation activities, with the internal aspects being
focused on knowledge generation and transfer within the MNE, and the
external being focused on contractual and equity-based collaborations with
external partners. It also examines the changing geography of innovation and
the access of the multinational firm to location bound sources of
innovation, and the influence of national and regional innovation systems on
this process.

Keywords: Networks for innovation; Global and local knowledge; Technology
management; Knowledge sourcing; Knowledge creation and diffusion; Knowledge
sharing; Organizational learning; Exploration vs. exploitation; Absorptive
capacity; Open innovation; Knowledge governance mechanisms; Knowledge
access; R&D subsidiaries; National and regional innovation systems; Reverse
knowledge transfer; Centers of excellence; Innovation clusters; R&D
offshoring; Licensing; Learning alliances; University-MNE relationships


5. Organization strategy and management

Track Co-chairs:

Olivier Bertrand, SKEMA Business School, France (
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Marie-Ann Betschinger, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (
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What organizational forms do MNEs adopt at different points in their
evolution? This track focuses on the organizational and structural
challenges and responses of multinational enterprises. It examines different
strategies MNEs adopt to overcome the integration-responsiveness dilemma and
to achieve an effective balance between centralization and decentralization.
It also welcomes papers concerned with organizational change that is driven
by corporate management, and the overall impact of the top management team
on the development of organizational capabilities and organizational

Keywords: Multidomestic strategy; Transnational strategy; Global strategy;
International competitiveness; Mergers and acquisitions; Growth strategies;
Global networks; Global alliances; Parent-subsidiary relationships;
Headquarters role; Regional headquarters; Organizational change and
development; Organization culture; High performing organizations; Boundary
spanning; Organizational capabilities; Core competencies; Top management
teams; Virtual teams


6. Human resource management

Track Co-chairs:

Dan Caprar, The University of Sydney, Australia (
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Betina Szkudlarek, The University of Sydney, Australia (
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Global leadership, international HRM, global talent management and diversity
management are vital to the management of human resources within the
multinational firm. This track encompasses papers dealing with the range of
HR activities from recruitment and selection to training, compensation,
retention as well as leadership development within the multinational firm.
It also examines the positive and negative effects of diversity on the
performance of the organization, issues related to cross-cultural
management, and the role of language in multinational organizations.

Keywords: International human resource management; Expatriate management;
Talent management; Training and development; Retention; Leadership
development; Global staffing; Global mindset; Diversity; Cross-cultural
management; Cross-cultural communication and language; International
mobility; Multicultural teams; Intercultural competence and cultural
intelligence; Bicultural and multicultural identity; International
migration; Education and international careers; Cosmopolitans; Returnees;
Diasporans; Gender issues across cultures; Work-family issues


7. Corporate governance and financial management

Track Co-chairs:

Ruth Aguilera, Northeastern University, USA (  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )
David Reeb, National University of Singapore, Singapore (
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This track deals with the range of ownership structures that link the firm's
owners and managers and their impact on the management and performance of
the firm. It deals with the impact of different kinds of board structures on
the effectiveness of governance, the differences between public, privately
held and state-owned firms, and the influence of large or activist
shareholders on the governance of the firm. It also deals with the
accounting and finance issues that arise in an international context in
terms of e.g. differences in accounting standards, reporting standards,
financial risk management, access to international capital markets and
cross-border taxation.

Keywords: Ownership structures; Board processes, practices, and
effectiveness; Board diversity; Governance in family-owned firms;
Shareholder categories; Mechanisms for protecting shareholder rights; Levels
and composition of management compensation; Institutional investors;
Shareholder activism; Stakeholder activism; Directorship interlocks; State
ownership; Corporate groups; International finance and taxation; Transfer
pricing; Accounting standards and conventions; Non-financial accounting and
reporting standards; Capital structure; Corporate control; Exchange rate
exposure; Macroeconomic risk management; International financial
integration; Corporate performance; Financial risk management; International
cross-listing; International financial reporting


8. International business policy

Track Co-chairs:

Jeremy Clegg, University of Leeds, UK (  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )
Miguel Matos Torres, University of Leeds, UK (  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )


MNEs have an economic, as well as a social and political impact on their
home and host countries. The economic aspect entails the impact of MNEs and
FDI on economic growth and industrial and economic restructuring, market
structure, and the competition between countries and regions to attract
investment. The social and political dimensions deal with the issues of
ethics and legitimacy and efforts by the multinational enterprise to
mitigate political risk by engaging in negotiations with various
stakeholders to enhance its position. In addition to these effects, papers
in this track examine how different kinds of institutional regimes condition
the activities of multinational firms, and the extent to which MNEs are able
to shape the regulatory regimes that govern them on the national, regional
and supranational levels.

Keywords: Business-government negotiation; Formal and informal institutions;
Institutional distance; Comparative analysis of institutions; Legitimacy of
business practices; Ethics and corporate citizenship; Sub-national
institutions; Political risk; Political ties; State ownership; Business
systems; Competitive advantage and home country advantages; Varieties of
capitalism; Legal systems; Regulatory systems; International agreements;
Regional integration; Intellectual property rights protection; Patterns of
FDI and trade; Investment attraction and locational competition; FDI impact
on home and host countries; Economic development and growth; Knowledge and
productivity spillovers; Public-private partnerships; Stakeholder
engagement; Accountability of investors


9. Teaching IB

Track Co-chairs:

Liesl Riddle, George Washington University, US (
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Maria Elo, University of Turku, Finland (  <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask] )


What do students need to know about IB, and how to make teaching IB more
effective, more fun and more rewarding? This special track deals with all
aspects of teaching IB, including handling diverse classrooms, case teaching
in international business, as well as the use of different tools and methods
such as simulations, role-play and various forms of multimedia to enhance IB
teaching. Please see the separate
<> Call for Papers for
Special Track on Teaching IB for further details and submission

Keywords: Experiential learning; Developing an IB curriculum;
Internationalizing the business school curriculum; Cross-cultural
classrooms; Case teaching; Executive education; International study tours as
part of the IB experience; Simulations and role-playing; Blended learning;
Multimedia in IB teaching


10. Conference track: The contribution of MNEs to building sustainable

Track Chair:

Elisa Giuliani, University of Pisa, Italy (
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This track invites contributions that deal with the sustainable development
goals and the role of MNEs in meeting these goals. While the papers
submitted to the conference track could also be submitted to any of the
other tracks that cover different aspects of MNE activity, papers that
address one or more of the focal areas of the SDGs such as poverty, climate
change, energy and innovation infrastructure or economic growth, should be
submitted to the special conference track. We also invite submissions
dealing with related themes such as new business models for sustainable
development, social innovation and multistakeholder development cooperation.

Keywords: Renewable energy investment; Infrastructure investment; Investment
in education, training and health; Climate change mitigation; New business
models for sustainable development; Social innovation; Multistakeholder
partnerships; Development cooperation; Human rights impact; Environmental
impact; Impact on poverty alleviation; Impact on gender equality


11. Conference host track: Managing turbulence and ambiguity

Track Chair:

Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan, Karlshochschule, Germany (
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask] )

Whether we are looking at black swans, macro-environmental shocks, political
conflict or internal risks, crisis management is critical for MNEs, SMEs,
IGOs, NGOs and governments to manage their international reputation, retain
legitimacy and gain resilience in order to overcome these events. In spite
of its practical relevance, there has been a dearth of studies on
cross-border crisis management and the strategies needed to mitigate the
effects of high uncertainty and ambiguity in international business. Some
regions, such as the Middle East, appear more vulnerable to crisis, and yet,
businesses run efficiently and effectively - suggesting a multi-lens
perspective is needed, separating the HQ and host country viewpoints. This
track invites qualitative, quantitative and conceptual papers examining how
MNEs are coping with extreme events and uncertainty in their operations.

Keywords: Crisis and chaos management; Typology of crises; Global versus
local crises - classification, perception and management; Predictability of
spillovers; Types of collateral damage; Crisis containment strategies and
mitigation; International stakeholder management; Organizational resilience,
adaptation and coping behaviors; Crisis communication across international
markets and stakeholders; Reputation and legitimacy management; Political
interventions in international crisis management and their impact on firms
and trade


All submissions will be handled through the AIB online submission system.
All manuscripts and proposals must be submitted by November 15, 2016 NEW
DEADLINE. Please refer to the
<> detailed
submission instructions page for additional information on how to prepare
and submit your submission. For up-to-date information about the conference
and related events, please check the conference website at
<> Any
questions regarding this call for papers should be addressed to the track
chairs or the Program Chair,  <mailto:[log in to unmask]> Sarianna Lundan


Sarianna Lundan
University of Bremen, Germany 
Program Chair, AIB 2017 Annual Meeting
 <mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]


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