The Selection Committee for the JIBS Decade Award is pleased to announce that the 2008 JIBS article “Comparing capitalisms: Understanding institutional diversity and its implications for international business” by Gregory Jackson and Richard Deeg, has been selected as the winner of the 2018 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 Keith D. Brouthers (Chair, King’s Business School, London), the current AIB Program Chair J.T. Li (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology), and immediate past AIB Program Chair Sarianna Lundan (University of Bremen, Germany). JIBS Editor-in-Chief Alain Verbeke was an ex officio, non-voting committee member.


In recommending the award-winning article, the committee noted that, “Jackson and Deeg (2008) examine the construct of institutions from the comparative capitalism (CC) and international business (IB) perspectives. They are thoughtful and go much beyond a synthetic review. They provide insights and directions for research on institutional changes and institutional entrepreneurship. While it was not the most widely cited paper in the year, it was among the top five and provides new theoretical insights into an area of research (institutional theory) that is central to the international business area.


“Jackson and Deeg offer a very thoughtful and comprehensive review of the different institutional perspectives that are of relevance to IB.  It presents a balanced and well-considered view of institutional theory from the sociological and political science perspectives, and contrasts that with the view on institutions from the IB literature, which owes more to economic approaches. It is sensitive to the limits of institutional analysis, and it is pointing the way to the future in the discussion on institutional change and the role of MNEs as institutional entrepreneurs.


“Overall, this paper offers an interesting comparison of two distinct approaches to institutions and how they impact the strategies of firms. It contrasts and compares the IB approach with a CC approach offering insights from both that can help us improve our understanding of how institutions change and how MNEs deal with them. Notably, two concepts can aid IB scholars as we try to understand the impact of national institutions on firm behavior. First, the concept of institutional dynamics explores how governments and firms impact and deal with changes in national institutions. This should be of primary importance to the large number of scholars looking at activities into and out of emerging markets, as these markets have very dynamic institutional settings. Second, the of concept of institutional configurations suggests that instead of thinking of the institutional environment being composed of regulative, normative and cognitive components we need to look for how the configurations of these components work together within each nation/state. By conceptualizing and testing institutions as a bundle of factors (instead of different components) we can gain greater insights about how MNEs can use the variety of institutions offered in different countries to support an overall strategy.

For all these reasons, the selection committee recommends the Jackson and Deeg (2008) paper, which has become a widely cited and highly impactful article, for the 2018 JIBS Decade Award.


A session will be held at the upcoming 2018 AIB Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, in which the authors and invited discussants, namely JT Li  (HKUST) and Sarianna Lundan (University of Bremen), and Ruth Aguilera (Northeastern University) and Birgitte Grøgaard (BI Norwegian Business School),  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 2019 volume of the Journal of International Business Studies.



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