Journal of East-West Business

Call for Papers for Special Issue on

Internationalization of Russian economy and firms:
inward and outward perspective

Volume 1. Strategy and operations of foreign firms in Russia

Volume 2. Internationalization process of Russian firms

Special Issue Editor:

Andrei Panibratov (Saint Petersburg State University, Russia)

Internationalization of emerging markets is not brand new phenomenon, with many economies (such as Brazil, India, Kazakhstan, Poland, South Korea and many others)  being successfully integrated in the global business environment. The economic development in these countries is based on the intensive presence of foreign companies in these countries markets, and also strongly affected by international trade and investment projects of firms from these economies.

Russia, in contrast with these countries, is late-internationalizer, due to the delayed economic development and political constrains remaining from the time of the Soviet Union. As a consequence, western firms first established their operations in the markets of Eastern Europe, bringing capitals and technologies and investing in the infrastructure and institutions, which led to the more advanced economic position of many east-European economies compared to Russia (Filippov & Duysters2011).

The internationalization record of Russia is also characterised by the limited amount of Russian multinational enterprises (MNEs), outward foreign direct investments (OFDI) targeting mostly tax havens, weak knowledge base of Russian firms with international operations, and modest advantages of Russian MNEs over their global counterparts. Nevertheless, the interest of foreign investors in Russia has always been high. The immediate reaction of Western firms to the fall of the communism resulted in a waterfall of investment and trade projects from Europe and the USA to Russia (Wright et al. 2002). After the stabilization of the investment climate, in the early 2000s, global companies further increased not only amount but also the scale of their investment projects, with several ‘mega-deals’ in the energy sector. Even facing obstacles such as global financial crisis in 2008 and sanctions in 2014, the interest of western enterprises in Russia remained relatively high (WIR 2016).

Recent developments of the Russian economy and institutions have also initiated a new wave of outward investments from Russia and increased the international involvement of Russian firms. This became even more evident with the increased support by the Russian government of various cooperative incentives, e.g., between Russian and Chinese enterprises (Panibratov 2016).

In addition, many traditional patterns of Russia’s internationalization have changed. Being historically based on the exploration and trade in the area of natural resources (from agriculture to petroleum), today international achievements of Russian firms, as well as their ability to overcome liability of foreignness, are more and more explained with the ability to rely on technologies and know-how (Panibratov 2015), and knowledge-based competencies of these firms including human capital development and harvesting of talents (Latukha 2015).

Although the combination of financial and political resources with local approaches to business development is discussed in the context of other emerging economies (Ramamurti 2009), Russian firms create their own, often unique business models, based on the various government attitudes towards Russian firms (Panibratov 2012). This is, in general, more applicable to the large enterprises in strategically important sectors (Mihailova and Panibratov 2012), but is also relevant for more technology-intensive industries such as IT and software (Panibratov and Latukha 2014) due to remaining influence of post-communist legacy on these firms’ operations.

Although some research on internationalization of Russia’s economy and enterprises has been done (Puffer & McCarthy 2011), the literature remains modest. The existing gap can be addressed by topics such as business strategy, competitive advantages, knowledge and innovations, and political capital – as of foreign firms in Russia, and as of Russian firms abroad. 

This Special Issue, hence, provides the opportunity to present two perspectives – inward and outward internationalization – of Russia. Potential research questions that could be answered in this Special Issue are:

How multinational firms from advanced economies adjust their competitive advantages for expansion in Russia, what is the cost of this adaptation?

·       What capabilities of multinational firms cannot be successfully implemented in Russia, and how does this influences these firms’ competitive position?

·       What are the specifics of the knowledge acquisition, exploitation, and dissemination between headquarters and subsidiaries of Western firms in Russia, and of Russian firms abroad?

·       To what extent the experience of pioneers-multinationals in Russia generated a learning advantage over other foreign firms in the current economic and geo-political situation?

·       How does the process of switching from natural-resources to technologies-driven expansion define internationalization of Russian firms at country-, industry- and firm-level?

·       What are the determinants of Russian firms’ strategy abroad? What are the origins and explanations?

What is the role of home country institutions in the internationalization of Russian firms?

·       What are the effects of liability of foreignness for Russia’s inward and outward investments? What are the consequences of the country of origin effect? What are the specifics of ‘being Russian’ liability?

·       What is the role of political capital in the internationalization of Russian firms?

·       How strategies of multinational firms originating from Russia help to broaden the IB theory?

Deadlines, Submission Guidelines and SI Editor Information

Submissions to the Special Issue must be submitted through the WJEB website. The deadline for submissions is May 1, 2017No late submissions will be accepted. The preference is made for submissions establishing a debate consistent with the literature cited below. Please indicate in the cover letter that your submission is to be reviewed for the Special Issue on Internationalization of Russian economy and firms: inward and outward perspective.

Papers will be blind peer-reviewed. We will make initial editorial decisions by July, 2017.

For questions about the special issue, please contact Andrei Panibratov ([log in to unmask]; [log in to unmask]).

Indicative literature consistent with the theme of Volume 1 – Strategy and operations of foreign firms in Russia

Kouznetsov, A. (2009). Country conditions in emerging markets and their effects on entry mode decisions of multinational manufacturing enterprises: Evidence from Russia. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 4(4): 375-388.

Latukha, M, Doleeva, A., Järlström, M., Jokinen, T, & Piekkari, R. (2016). Does corporate language influence career mobility? Evidence from MNCs in Russia. European Management Journal, Published online 13 January 2016.

Mihailova, I. (2015). Outcomes of learning through JVs for local parent firms in transition economies: Evidence from Russia. Journal of World Business, 50(1): 220-233.

Panibratov, A. (2014). Developing brand awareness via social networks as a new sprout of global firms’ strategy on the Russian market, Journal of Euromarketing, Special Issue ‘Branding as a Lever of Competitiveness in the Bigger Europe’, 23(1-2): 37-56.

Panibratov, A. (2009). Internationalization process of Russian construction industry: Inward investments perspective. Journal for East European Management Studies, 2: 210-228.

Panibratov, A. (2016). Unraveling the IJV rationale in emerging markets: The case of multinational enterprises in the Russian construction industry. Journal of East-West Business, 22(2): 97-117.

World Investment Report. (2016) Investor Nationality: Policy Challenges. United Nations publication. Geneva: UNCTAD.

Wright, M., Filatotchev, I., Buck, T. and Bishop, K. 2002. Foreign partners in the former Soviet Union. Journal of World Business, 37(3): 165-179.

Indicative literature consistent with the theme of Volume 2 – Internationalization processes of Russian firms

Dikova, D., Panibratov, A., Veselova, A., & Ermolaeva, L. (2016). The joint effect of investment motives and institutional context on Russian international acquisitions, International Journal of Emerging Markets, 2016, 11(4): 674-692.

Filippov, S. & Duysters, G. (2011). Competence-building in foreign subsidiaries: The case of new EU member states, Journal for East European Management Studies, 16(4): 286-314.

Kalotay, K. & Panibratov, A. (2013). Developing competitive advantages of Russian multinationals through foreign acquisitions, in P.J. Williamson, R. Ramamurti, A. Fleury and M.T.L. Fleury (eds.) The Competitive Advantage of Emerging Market Multinationals. Cambridge University Press, New York: 220-238.

Kalotay, K. & Sulstarova A. (2010). Modeling Russian outward FDI. Journal of International Management, 16: 131-142.

Kalotay, K. (2005). Outward foreign direct investment from Russia in a global context. Journal of East-West Business, 11(3/4): 9-22.

Kuznetsov, A.V. (2012). The development of Russian multinational corporations. International Studies of Management and Organization, 41(4): 34-50.

Latukha, M. (2015).Talent management in Russian companies: domestic challenges and international experience. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(8), 1051-1075.

Michailova, S., McCarthy, D.J. & Puffer, S.M. (2013). Russia: As solid as a BRIC? critical perspectives on international business, 9(1/2):5-18.

Mihailova, I. & Panibratov, A. (2012). Determinants of internationalization strategies of emerging market firms: A multilevel approach. Journal of East-West Business, 18(2): 157-184.

Mihailova, I., Shirokova, G., and Laine, I. (2015). New venture internationalization from an emergent market: Unexpected findings from Russia, Journal of East-West Business, 21(4): 257-291.

Panibratov, A. & Latukha, M. (2014).Obtaining international results through partnerships: Evidence from Russian MNEs in the IT sector. Journal for East European Management Studies, 19(1): 31-57.

Panibratov, A. (2015). Liability of foreignness of emerging market firms: the country of origin effect on Russian IT companies. Journal of East-West Business, 21(1): 22-40.

Panibratov, A. (2016). Home government influence on Russian MNEs: Balancing control against interest. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 11(4): 474-496.

Panibratov, A. (2012). Russian multinationals: From regional supremacy to global lead. Routledge, London, U.K.

Puffer, S.M., & McCarthy, D.J. (2011). Two decades of Russian business and management research: An institutional theory perspective. Academy of Management Perspectives, 25(2): 21-36.

Ramamurti, R. (2009). What have we learned about emerging-market MNEs? in R. Ramamurti and J.V. Singh (eds.) Emerging Multinationals in Emerging Markets. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: 399-426.