Special Issue on:  

Strategic ambidexterity and performance consequences for the Emerging Economies Multinationals (EMNEs)

Special Issue Guest Co-Editors:

Background of the proposed special issue

Ambidexterity is an important factor for influencing the performance at different levels in organizations (He & Wong, 2004; O'Reilly & Tushman, 2013; Junni et al., 2013; Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008). Ambidexterity at the organizational level can be defined as the capability to reconcile two opposite strategies (for example, simultaneously pursuing both exploration and exploitation) within the same firm (O’Reilly & Tushman, 2004; Simsek, 2009). Thus, the challenge of ambidexterity lies in matching the organization’s strategy with its resources and competences (e.g. Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008).

Strategic ambidexterity have received limited attention from global perspectives, and especially there are not enough comparative studies conducted on emerging markets' firms and developed markets firms to understand the antecedents and consequences of strategic ambidexterity for enhancing  performance of these firms (Lavie et al., 2011; Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008). From strategic management perspective, MNEs should choose their corporate strategies ‘where to compete’ for competitive advantage, by (1) diversifying products/services, (2) functional value chain activities and (3) geographical locations. Traditional management and international business literature has relatively focused on the geographical diversification of MNEs theoretically drawing on expanding MNEs oligopolistic behavior and internalization (Buckly & Casson, 1976), and knowledge-based view (Kogut & Zander, 1992).

In the globalization and digitalization era, however, contemporary MNEs strategically diversify the first two pillars (i.e., products/services and business functions) through innovative product development and outsourcing through strategic ambidexterity. In the economically integrated and technologically connected world, both EMNEs and DMNEs need to be strategic ambidextrous to implement their corporate/business strategies to cope with new environmental challenges and opportunities also coming from various conflicting forces and risks in international business, including cultural differences (Roth & Morrison, 1990; Shenkar, 2001)

Yet we have relatively limited understanding about the role of strategic ambidexterity in performance and global strategy pursued by EMNEs vis-a-vis DMNEs. Organizational ambidexterity studies have been conducted in a wide variety of industries and methodological settings, and the empirical results so far have been mixed (e.g. Junni et al., 2013). Above all, strategic ambidexterity has received limited research attention in the international business and management literature. The purpose of this special issue is to identify synergies between strategic ambidexterity and global strategy pursued by EMNEs vis-a-vis DMNEs for developing competitive advantage. We encourage authors to submit research articles ranging from theoretical/conceptual work to case studies. In addition, we welcome empirical research articles testing theories in the global business and management context.   

The special issue offers novel insights in terms of the performance implications of strategic ambidexterity, the relative importance of strategic ambidexterity antecedents and their interaction effects, and the influence of different contexts (intra-firm, inter-firm, network) and different levels of analysis (firm level, business-unit level, top management team, individual), in terms of promoting theoretical synthesis, and suggests new venues for future research in the context of EMNEs.

These are some of the potential topics that we seek papers on:

(1) Strategic ambidexterity, business models, and global strategy implementation for developing competitive advantage by EMNEs vis-a-vis DMNEs

(2) Strategic ambidexterity and value creation vs. value capture by EMNEs vis-a-vis DMNEs

(3) Strategic ambidexterity, social networks, and competitiveness of EMNEs

(4) Human resource management practices, strategic ambidexterity and strategy implementation in EMNEs

 (5) Strategic ambidexterity, overseas expansion and post acquisition strategies

(6) Strategic ambidexterity and reverse innovations

(7) Methodological challenges in measuring the impact of strategic ambidexterity on competitive advantage and performance of EMNEs and DMNEs

(8) Strategic ambidexterity and global supply chains of EMNEs vis-a-vis DMNEs

(9) Strategic ambidexterity and standardization vs. localization strategies of EMNEs vis-a-vis DMNEs

(10) Strategic ambidexterity, global networks and innovation in the context of EMNEs

(11) Strategic ambidexterity and corporate social responsibility and non-market strategies and performance of EMNEs and DMNEs

(12) Strategic ambidexterity and resilience

(13) Comparative institutional characteristics and strategic ambidexterity and performance

(14) Strategic ambidexterity and emerging economy international new ventures survival

Submission Process

The deadline for submitting papers is July 30, 2018.

Submissions to the special issue should be sent electronically through the Journal web platform https://www.evise.com/profile/#/IBR/login. When submitting their manuscript, it is important that authors select the ‘SI: Ambidexterity option in the “Article Type” step of the submission process.

Submissions should be prepared in accordance with International Business Review’s author guidelines available at: https://www.elsevier.com/journals/international-business-review/0969-5931/guide-for-authors.  All manuscripts must be original, unpublished works that are not concurrently under review for publication elsewhere. All papers will receive a double-blind review following International Business Review’s normal review process.

Research data

Research data forms the backbone of research articles and provides the foundation on which knowledge is built.  Researchers are increasingly encouraged, or even mandated, to make research data available, accessible, discoverable and usable.  Although not mandatory, the journal encourages authors to submit their data at the same time as their drafts of the full manuscript. Further information can be found at: https://www.elsevier.com/authors/author-services/research-data


Buckley, P.J., & Casson, M. (1976). The future of the multinational enterprise, London: Macmillan.

He Z-L, Wong P-K (2004) Exploration vs. exploitation: An empirical test of the ambidexterity hypothesis. Organization Science15(4), 481–494

Junni, P., Sarala, R.M., Taras, V., & Tarba, S.Y. (2013). Organizational ambidexterity and performance: A meta-analysis. The Academy of Management Perspectives27(4), 299-312.

Kogut, B., &  Zander, U. (1992). Knowledge of the firm, combinative capabilities, and the replication of technology. Organization Science, 3(3), 383-397.

Lavie, D., Kang, J., & Rosenkopf, L. (2011).  Balance within and across domains: The performance implications of exploration and exploitation in alliances. Organization Science, 22(6), 1517-1538.

O Reilly, C.A., & Tushman, M.L. (2004). The ambidextrous organization. Harvard Business Review, 82(4), pp.74-83.

O'Reilly, C.A., & Tushman, M.L. (2013). Organizational ambidexterity: past, present and future. Academy of Management Perspectives 27(4), 324–338.

Raisch, S., & Birkinshaw, J. (2008). Organizational Ambidexterity: Antecedents, Outcomes, and Moderators. Journal of Management, 34(3), 375-409.

Roth, K., & Morrison, A.J. (1990). An Empirical Analysis of the Integration-Responsiveness Framework in Global Industries. Journal of International Business Studies, 21(4), 541-564.

Shenkar, O. (2001). Cultural Distance Revisited: Towards a More Rigorous Conceptualization and Measurement of Cultural Differences. Journal of International Business Studies, 32(3), 519-535.

Simsek, Z. (2009). Organizational ambidexterity: towards a multilevel understanding. Journal of Management Studies, 46(4), 597–624.

AIB-L is brought to you by the Academy of International Business.
For information: http://aib.msu.edu/community/aib-l.asp
To post message: [log in to unmask]
For assistance: [log in to unmask]
AIB-L is a moderated list.