The Selection Committee for the JIBS Decade Award is pleased to announce that the 2007 JIBS article “The determinants of Chinese outward foreign direct investment” by Peter J. Buckley, L. Jeremy Clegg, Adam R. Cross, Xin Liu, Hinrich Voss and Ping Zheng (all at Centre for International Business, Leeds University Business School, UK, during the time of publication), has been selected as the winner of the 2017 JIBS Decade Award.


The award, sponsored by Palgrave Macmillan, is designed to recognize the most influential paper published in the Journal of International Business Studies ten years prior and is presented at the annual AIB conference. In order to be considered for the JIBS Decade Award, an article must be one of the five most cited articles published in JIBS for the year being considered.  


This year’s Selection Committee members were Gabriel R.G. Benito (Chair, BI Norwegian Business School), the current AIB Program Chair Sarianna Lundan (University of Bremen), and immediate past AIB Program Chair Charles Dhanaraj (IMD). JIBS Editor-in-Chief Alain Verbeke was an ex officio, non-voting committee member.


In recommending the award-winning article, the committee noted that, “Buckley et al. (2007) was among the pioneering empirical studies of Chinese outward foreign direct investment (OFDI), and broadly from the emerging countries. It was originally published in a focused issue of JIBS entitled International Expansion of Emerging Market Businesses (guest edited by Rosalie L. Tung and Yadong Luo) that included several of the most impactful articles published in the journal in 2007. In fact, the 2007 JIBS focused issue comprised five out of the 10 most cited articles over the last decade.


Buckley and his colleagues provide a truly comprehensive treatment of Chinese investment abroad making it a landmark study in understanding OFDI. The study spans three decades of OFDI going all the way back to the first few investments in the early 1980s when China introduced open doors policy, taking its first cautious move towards internationalization. The study goes all the way into the 2000s when the go global’ policy was implemented.


While standing firmly on received theory of foreign direct investment, the framework used in the study includes a relatively broad set of variables, suitably matching the unique context of Chinese OFDI, and by extension also possibly OFDI from other emerging countries. While the main empirical part of the study is statistical, it also includes a fairly detailed historical overview, thereby providing an unusually rich depiction of the empirical setting.


The study was among the first of its kind to tackle the measurement and estimation issues related to Chinese OFDI, and as such it served to establish a very useful template for empirical research in the following years. Despite being an empirical study, which often lag behind conceptual articles in citations, Buckley et al. (2007) has gained a wide impact as measured by the scholarly citations (data from the Web of Science), from popular Google Scholar citations, as well as the number and breadth of the journals which have cited the article. The original empirical research has spawned several new studies in multiple countries and brought in new attention to the topic of outward FDI.  The innovativeness of the paper is that while most of the studies on emerging markets such as China were focused on inward FDI, Buckley and his associates drove the field’s attention to broaden its scope to OFDI from emerging countries.


For all these reasons, the selection committee recommends the Buckley et al. (2007) paper, which has become a widely cited and highly impactful article, for the 2017 JIBS Decade Award.


A session will be held at the upcoming 2017 AIB Annual Meeting in Dubai, in which the authors and invited discussants Mauro Guillen and Exequiel Hernandez (University of Pennsylvania), and Ravi Ramamurti (Northeastern University) and Jenny Hillemann (Vrije Universiteit Brussel),  will comment on the paper. A reception honoring the Decade Award winning paper and its authors will also be held as part of the closing reception at the conference. We hope that you will join us in Dubai to attend these events; the date and times will be available at when the conference program is finalized.

A retrospective by the authors, together with the discussants’ commentaries, will be published in the first issue of the 2018 volume of the Journal of International Business Studies.



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