Multinational Business Review

Special Issue Call for Papers


Submission Deadline: 20 October 2017


Guest Editors:

            Steve Globerman, Western Washington University,
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            Walid Hejazi, University of Toronto,
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MBR Special Issues: Is the Global Company in Retreat? - Overview

The January 28, 2017 Issue of the Economist featured two articles focusing
on the question of whether multinational firms (MNEs) were declining in
importance ("The retreat of the global company"). The stories made several
empirical points, each of which has been a familiar theme in the IB

1.	MNEs (defined as firms with more that 30% of sales outside their
home region) are performing less well than they did in the past relative to
more localized competitors. 

a.	Share prices of MNEs are falling relative to non-MNEs
b.	Profits of the largest MNEs in the world have declined over the past
5 years, with foreign profits declining most 
c.	Returns-on-equity (ROE) of the largest MNEs are falling, and are
lower than non-MNEs 
d.	Competition in foreign markets is increasing as local firms become
more efficient, particularly in emerging markets, and this lowers
profitability in those countries
e.	MNEs are divesting assets abroad, and are thereby becoming less
f.	There are differences across industries and countries, but the
overall conclusion is that "multinationals are no longer achieving superior

These issues have been at the heart of the IB literature over the years.
There is a significant literature on whether firm performance increases with
multinationality; whether MNEs outperform non-MNEs on a variety of measures;
whether subsidiaries of MNEs outperform local competitors; whether MNEs are
global or regional; and whether emerging market multinationals (EMNEs) are
different from developed country multinationals. 

The Economist article challenges us to revisit these issues, and ask whether
it is true as an empirical matter that MNEs no longer achieve superior
performance. We are therefore announcing a special issue of MBR to address
these empirical questions. 

Some of the following specific questions are meant to be illustrative guides
for paper topics. Variations on these questions are certainly welcome:

1.	Has the value of multinationality changed over time, and is it
2.	Do MNEs outperform non-MNEs, or do the largest MNEs outperform firms
in general? Has the relationship changed in recent years?
3.	Do the subsidiaries of MNEs outperform local competitors in specific
markets, and, if so, is the advantage being eroded?
4.	Is there a recent tendency for MNEs to reduce and/or consolidate
their foreign operations, and if so, does this phenomenon decrease their
global presence?
5.	Does the recent performance of MNEs from developed countries differ
from the performance of those from developing countries, and in particular
from China?  
6.	Have MNEs enjoyed more success in some geographical regions than in
others and, if so, why?
7.	Have the regional strategies of MNEs highlighted by Alan Rugman's
work become less successful or less prominent in recent years?

We are seeking empirical contributions that address these questions to be
published in a special issue of MBR. Consistent with our commitment to
publishing papers that explore current concerns in a timely manner, and
consistent with our commitment to publish replication and exploratory
studies, we are soliciting papers that are purely empirical in nature, and
that build on the existing literature to answer the questions above. 

There is an extensive empirical literature from which to draw background on
these questions. See, for example, 

1.	T. Agmon and D. Lessard (1977), "Investor Recognition of Corporate
International Diversification", Journal of Finance, 32 (4): 1049-1055
2.	H. Berry (2006), "Shareholder Valuation of Foreign Investment and
Expansion", Strategic Management Journal, 27: 1123-1140.
3.	S. Douglas and C. Craig (1983), "Examining Performance of U.S.
Multinationals in Foreign Markets", Journal of International Business
Studies, 14 (3): 51-62
4.	L. Games and K. Ramaswamy (1999), "An Empirical Examination of the
Form of the Relationship between Multinationality and Performance", Journal
of International Business Studies, 30 (1): 173-188
5.	L. Li (2007), "Multinationality and Performance: A Synthetic Review
and Research Agenda", International Journal of Management Reviews, 9 (2):
6.	A. Michel and I. Shaked (1986), "Multinational Corporations versus
Domestic Corporations: Financial Performance and Characteristics", Journal
of International Business Studies, 17 (3): 89-100
7.	T. Osegowitsch and A. Sammartino (2008), "Reassessing (Home-)
Regionalisation", Journal of International Business Studies 39 (2): 184-196

Submission Details

            We are encouraging the submission of relatively short (6000
words) papers that are both concise and rigorous. We are not looking for new
theory development but, rather, new evidence that bears upon the issues
raised by the Economist. 

            Submissions should be prepared using the MBR Manuscript
Preparation Guidelines.

            Manuscripts should be submitted by 20 October 2017 using the MBR
website ( 

            Manuscripts will be reviewed according to the MBR double-blind
review process.

            For informal inquiries related to the Special Issue, proposed
topics and potential fit with the Special Issue objectives, please contact
the guest editors. 


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