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Theme: Global Business and the Digital Economy
Submission Deadline: November 28, 2017 NEW DEADLINE
Coping with the digital economy-the application of internet-based digital technologies to the production and trade of goods and services-is becoming indispensable for any modern firm. Digitalization and digital technologies are transforming every industry and almost every aspect of business, and companies need to reinvent their businesses to survive and excel in today's more dynamic global environment. The internet-of-things, artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, big data analytics, mobile and cloud computing, digital platforms, 3D printing, robotics and much more have significantly influenced processes, products, services and business models, with important implications for everyone’s lives. Rising to the digital challenge often involves creating new business models, finding new ways to innovate, leveraging social media tools to engage with consumers, reconfiguring resources and perhaps even designing new organizational structures.
Beyond business itself, the digital economy calls for transformation of governments, education and societies as a whole. The McKinsey Global Institute suggests that globalization has entered a new era defined by data flows. Digital platforms create more efficient and transparent global markets in which far-flung buyers and sellers can find each other with a few clicks. The near-zero marginal costs of digital communication and transactions open new possibilities for conducting business across borders on a massive scale. Trade was once dominated by tangible goods and was largely confined to advanced economies and their large multinational companies. Today global data accessibility allows more countries and smaller enterprises to participate. This shift changes how business is done across borders, and where the economic benefits are flowing.
As digital platforms have become global in scope, they are driving down the cost of cross-border communication and transactions, allowing businesses to connect with customers and suppliers anywhere. They reduce the minimum scale needed to go global, opening up international business to smaller firms and entrepreneurs around the world. One result is that new competitors and new types of competitors can emerge rapidly from any corner of the world, forcing companies to rethink their strategies and capabilities, and to do so quickly. Well-established companies, in particular, face pressure from start-ups unencumbered by legacy systems and willing to innovate rapidly. The involvement in the digital economy of firms from developing nations is narrowing those nations’ productivity gap with better-developed economies. All the evidence suggests that we are only in the very early stages of this phenomenon, so enormous opportunities are still at stake.
Many countries have formulated programs intended to support participation in the digital economy. These commonly involve developing broadband infrastructure, promoting the digital sector in various ways, experimenting with e-government, encouraging businesses to adopt digital technologies, and promoting digital literacy among the population. Apart from preparing for global competition by installing internet-related infrastructure, many governments are trying to encourage firms to adapt their businesses to the more challenging and volatile digital environment. Some suggest that governments and firms should work together to identify promising opportunities emerging from the digital economy.
International business scholars have rich knowledge of the costs of doing business abroad, traditionally arising from geographic distance and institutional gaps. The digital economy is now, however, blurring the boundaries. Institutional differences and particularly geographic separation may in future be much less important than they have been in the past. Indeed, advanced connectivity and shared information may even reduce the gaps among nations in terms of culture and values. Yet today we know relatively little about how such changes might influence business strategies and firms’ performance in international business.
The goal of this year’s conference is to discuss how the digital economy may change global business and how firms might respond to such changes in different institutional contexts. The rules of business are changing, and the future seems uncertain for companies that have operated successfully for decades. How might they best prepare for this uncertain world? How should they design their strategies when consumer behavior is constantly changing and industry boundaries are increasingly blurred? We welcome papers addressing these topics whose research settings and findings relate to the impacts and implications of digital technologies for global business.
AIB 2018 Submission Information
Papers submitted to the AIB 2018 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. 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.
See https://aib.msu.edu/events/2018/ for more information