Special Issue of the Journal of International Business Studies





Special Issue Editors:


*         G. Tomas M. Hult (Michigan State University, USA, [log in to unmask]
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> ) 

*         Constantine S. Katsikeas (University of Leeds, UK,
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> ) 

*         Saeed Samiee (University of Tulsa, USA, [log in to unmask]
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> ) 


Deadline for submission: July 31, 2019




The focus of this Special Issue is on international marketing (IM) topics
and this call invites manuscripts dealing with a wide range of topics that
fall into and, in fact, shape the IM literature. At its core, international
business (IB) is inherently intertwined with marketing. For centuries,
individuals and firms have sought to expand sales through exporting, which
constitutes the most common foreign market entry and expansion mode; for
many firms export marketing has defined IB. The broader IB’s view of export
development asserts internal and external triggers to exporting (cf.
Cavusgil & Nevin, 1980; Wiedersheim-Paul, Welch, & Olson, 1978), both of
which are export marketing centered. Indeed, many early contributors to the
literature on market entry and export development process were closely
associated with the marketing discipline (e.g., Bilkey & Tesar, 1977;
Czinkota, & Johnston, 1981; and Kaynak & Kothari 1984). Over time, some
firms continue to reap the benefits of increased sales and profits via
export marketing, whereas others, recognizing the broader and longer-term
potential of global markets, have sought to establish different forms of
presence in markets abroad. In short, regardless of entry mode or firms’
structural configuration, market expansion and increased sales via
[in]direct marketing internationally is a critical raison d’être for IB.
Such a view highlights the critical role for IM activities, while
emphasizing the important role of IM contributions within the broader IB


Significant interest in and focus on scholarly research in IM began to
intensify during the 1980s, and heightened research attention has been given
to IM problems and challenges facing firms over the past three decades.
Early scholarly works in IM were limited in scope, addressing, inter alia,
which export market entry triggers as well as motivations and explanations
for internationalization decisions were the most noteworthy (Ford &
Leonidou, 2013). Since then, IM scholars have crafted a growing,
multifaceted, and well-developed body of knowledge.[i] Despite these
advances, the increased importance and relevance of IM has been
underappreciated and understudied (Day, 1996). As a clear demonstration of
this lacuna, IM topics appearing in the top journals remain sparse and a
casual survey of several leading marketing and IB journals signals the
relative paucity of scholarly works addressing IM issues. Given IM’s
critical importance for IB practice, the overarching goal of this Special
Issue is to reinforce IM’s centrality and influence in IB by inviting IM
contributions that address a broad array of topics, particularly areas in
need of greater scholarly attention as well as enduring issues of importance
to managers. 


Today, research in IM has evolved across numerous themes with some areas
receiving disproportionate scholarly attention (Leonidou et al., 2017).
Market entry and export marketing are among the oldest topics of interest
for IM researchers which remain as relevant and important today.
Collectively, origin-related research topics likely constitute the most
popular IM theme among IM researchers and potentially the most-researched
area with hundreds of publications (cf. Papadopoulos et al., 2011; Samiee &
Chabowski 2017).[ii] In general, much intellectual capital has been devoted
to international aspects of buyer behavior topics (Leonidou et al., 2017).
In contrast, some important IM research areas are receiving insufficient
scholarly attention. To this end, over two decades ago Day (1996) asserted
“Studies of cross-cultural differences in buyer behavior or the effect of
country of origin do not suffice when the big issues needing answers are
about global competitive interactions, global new product development and
launch practices, sharing of market insights across borders, or the
coordination and integration of multicountry operations.” Thus, this Special
Issue is intended to inspire and broadly direct researchers’ focus on
developing IM projects that fill key knowledge gaps in IM thought, open new
pathways for examining unexplored aspects of IM, and/or highlight particular
IM topics that warrant closer scholarly scrutiny. Inasmuch as buyer behavior
remains among key marketing topics, novel exporting and international or
cross-cultural contributions dealing with this topic are also welcomed. As
we detail below, we cast a wide net to motivate contributions on a broad
range of IM topics, while recognizing the importance of novel and
ground-breaking themes. 



The Scope of the International Marketing Special Issue

Given the ubiquitous nature of various levels of international involvement
across firms and industries, a host of new and exciting challenges about
customers, suppliers, and relationship management are raised. Today’s global
marketplace is characterized by intense competition from a multitude of
foreign and indigenous companies, and heterogeneous customer behavior due to
differences across cultures. Technological advances are creating novel
business segments (e.g., social media, collaborative consumption/shared
economy), while undermining long established global brands and products
(e.g., Polaroid and instant photography, Kodak and film photography, Sony
and floppy drives, photorefractive keratectomy and prescription glasses, CDs
and MP3/FLAC), and promoting new forms of interaction for businesses and
customers (e.g., social media, SMS, online reviews). 


In such a dynamic global environment, how can companies design and implement
IM strategies that maintain or improve their market positions? Which IM
strategies help firms engage customers on an international scale such that
they can achieve their IM strategy goals? Moreover, a trend that is evident
from reviews of the IM literature is the lopsided research attention to the
traditional components of IM strategy. Global product (e.g., international
branding policies and global brand development and management), and pricing
policies (for example, with respect to managing or curtailing parallel
markets), global product/service innovation and management (including
international collaborative projects), brand- and design-related
intellectual property protection (e.g., aimed at reducing or eliminating
counterfeiting and imitation possibilities), and international distribution
and retailing strategies are among the issues of growing importance in IM


Additionally, relationship development and customer engagement pertain to,
not only firm-based plans and strategies across markets, but also customer
attitude, behavior, and connectedness among customers and with the company.
They involve behavioral outcomes that go beyond a customer’s purchases to
include referrals, influence, and knowledge. Although research in marketing
has advanced domestically (e.g., Kumar & Pansari, 2016a), it has yet to be
extended and validated internationally and embedded within IM/IB strategy
frameworks. Cross-national studies can reveal whether the firm is valuing
its customers as specified in its IM plan, and afford the company the
opportunity to compare customer lifetime value against goals and benchmarks,
and globally allocate marketing resources accordingly (Kumar & Pansari,
2016b). What drives overseas customers to provide referrals and help the
company to attract new, valuable customers (cf. Wangenheim & Bayón, 2007)?
Furthermore, the ramifications of the international context (e.g., existing
differences across developed and emerging markets), the impact on the
development of IM strategies that help firms create, raise, and maintain
customer relationships and its corresponding influence on performance
deserve research attention. 


Even though the Internet and information technology (IT) is continuing to
have a significant influence on customers and businesses, a citations-based
review of the IM literature reveals that IT-related topics do not constitute
a knowledge base in IM (Samiee and Chabowski 2012). This finding is
corroborated by Leonidou et al. (2017). These scholars noted that less than
four percent of the academic articles reviewed, included facets of Internet
connectivity. Also, a literature review of 29 academic journals addressing
the Internet’s impact on relational approaches to foreign market entry,
identified only 94 published articles, representing about three percent of
all articles reviewed by Watson et al. (2018). These reviews demonstrate the
acute need to incorporate IT (e.g., EDI, e-commerce) in projects addressing
various aspects of the IM process, including initial online exporting
research, market entry and development, export customer acquisition by both
manufacturers and channel intermediaries. Furthermore, a research focus on
cross-border e-commerce, especially as means of internationalizing the scope
of smaller firms’ marketing is encouraged. Firms invest significant sums to
adopt promising technologies to improve their marketing performance, yet
little research has been devoted to assessing the performance impact of
digital tools (e.g., CRM software) in terms of maintaining or growing
relationships internationally.


Social media have been influencing both the demand and the supply side of
exchange. On the demand side, firms are engaging people by allowing them to
participate in the co-creation and product development processes.
Enterprises are increasingly engaging the public in idea generation via
social media (e.g., Dell Ideastorm, LEGO ideas) and new product development
and starting capital (e.g., Quirky, The extent to which
firms engage social media audiences internationally (including both global
and local social media sites) for one or more aspects of co-creation and the
influence of such activity on the MNCs’ offerings and competitiveness across
markets are yet to be explored. The exploration of the extent to which
customers from around the world participate in knowledge development
processes and help firms improve their existing products and/or create
innovative ones, also remains a fertile research area (Prahalad & Ramaswamy,
2004). Equally important research issues on the demand side also warrant
research attention. For example, customers located in distant parts of the
world use social media, but the impact of such engagement and the positive
or negative ripple effect they create in or across social networks with
respect to local and global brands has received insufficient research
attention and deserves closer scholarly scrutiny (McAlexander et al., 2002).
Relatedly, the global ubiquity of the Internet and social networks has made
these media a major target for cybercriminals. Regular revelations of firm
and customer data breaches are bound to have a consequential impact on, not
only firm image and customer engagement process, scope, and depth, but also
on demands for greater privacy and protection by customers and governments.
Thus, research efforts should be expended to uncover the impact of, for
example, cross-national privacy regulations on the efficacy of relationship
development and management as well as online marketing processes. 


Globalization has transformed the way in which business relationships are
initiated, managed, and evaluated, and customer engagement is likely to play
a prominent role in a business-to-business context. Business relationships
are complex, interpersonal, and interdependent and relationship marketing
efforts can make a difference in promoting common goals and facilitating
joint activities that create value for both partners; value that each
company could not achieve outside of the relationship or with other partners
(Palmatier, 2008). In an international context, companies need to manage
their cross-border relationships more skillfully to address geographic
separation, cultural distance, administrative (e.g., currencies, legal
jurisdictions), and economic differences between the local and foreign
markets (Katsikeas, Samiee, & Theodosiou, 2006), and the increased levels of
risk and uncertainty inherent in international operations (Johanson &
Vahlne, 2009). How does the international environment affect the activities,
strategies, structures, and decision-making processes of companies with
respect to their business relationships? How can companies manage their
overseas business relationships as value-bearing assets? Are cross-border
business relationships part of a value-creating network that delivers
superior value to the end customer? What is their role in overcoming the
liability of foreignness? Likewise, the role of overseas business partners
(e.g., distributors, suppliers) in knowledge development, innovation, and
goal achievement are also areas needing research attention.


Furthermore, the fit between IM strategy and international relationships
deserves research attention. How can companies ensure that their many
suppliers and partners abroad are well-aligned with their IM strategy?
Strategy standardization offers significant economies of scale in
value-adding activities (e.g., R&D, production, marketing), facilitates the
development of a consistent corporate/brand image across countries, enhances
coordination and control of international operations, and reduces
operational and managerial complexity, whereas adaptation is based on the
premise that variations between countries necessitate the adjustment of the
marketing strategy to the idiosyncrasies of each local market. The
contingency approach suggests that IM strategy can range between these two
extremes and the appropriateness of the selected IM strategy should be
evaluated on the basis of its performance outcomes (Katsikeas, Samiee, &
Theodosiou, 2006). Despite the long-standing tradition along these lines,
sense-making in some overarching topics is needed. For example, the pursuit
of a market-orientation strategy demands sensitivity to local market
conditions and IM strategy adaptation. Given the importance of market
orientation for many firms, there is a need to better understand how market
orientation influences IM strategy. On the one hand, market and customer
orientation demand the pursuit of more localized or adapted IM strategies.
On the other, a high degree of IM strategy standardization seemingly impedes
a high degree of market orientation. How do firms reconcile their IM
strategies and market orientation drives? Moreover, how do customer
relationships in particular and business relationships in general interact
with the perennial issue of adaptation or standardization of IM strategy? Do
overseas business relationships help the company determine which specific
strategy elements are feasible or desirable to standardize or adapt? If so,
under what conditions, and to what degree? To what extent is co-creation
possible and appropriate under each IM strategy scenario?


The goal of this Special Issue is to center-stage the critical role of IM
within IB by bringing together high quality contemporary research on
international or cross-cultural buyer behavior, global segmentation and
targeting, customer engagement and business relationships, IM strategy.  It
will also be important to assess how these issues affect achieving
competitive advantage and enhanced performance in international market
operations. The overarching purpose of the Special Issue is to add to the
body of existing knowledge in IM in terms of theory development and the
advancement of management practice. We are open to both conceptual and
empirical manuscripts and welcome submissions using different methodological
approaches. We are looking for manuscripts that are characterized by
conceptual and methodological rigor, add substantively to the current IM
literature, and address timely marketing problems and issues that are of
particular relevance to IM/IB practitioners.



Review and Submission Processes

As co-editors, we will take an active role in interacting with authors
throughout the submission period. As such, we welcome substantive inquiries
regarding the Special Issue to provide insights that may be useful in
developing or improving manuscripts. All manuscripts for the Special Issue
will be reviewed as a cohort, and the co-editors will be actively involved
in this process. 


Accordingly, we request that authors submit their manuscripts between July
17, 2019, and July 31, 2019, at All
submissions will go through the JIBS regular double-blind review process and
follow the standard norms and processes. For more information about this
call for papers, please contact the JIBS Managing Editor
([log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> ). 




Bilkey, W.J., & Tesar, G. (1977). The export behavior of smaller-sized
Wisconsin firms. Journal of International Business Studies, 8,
Spring/Summer, 93-98.

Czinkota, M.R., & Johnston, W.J. (1981). Segmenting US firms for export
development. Journal of Business Research, 9(4), 353-365.

Day, G.S. (1996). Using the past as a guide to the future: Reflections on
the history of the Journal of Marketing," Journal of Marketing, 60
(January), 14-16. 

Ford, D., & Leonidou, L.C. (2013). Research developments in international
marketing. New Perspectives on International Marketing, S.J. Paliwoda (ed.),
3-32. New York: Routledge.

Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J.E. (2009). The Uppsala internationalization
process model revisited: From liability of foreignness to liability of
outsidership. Journal of International Business Studies, 40(9), 1411-1431.

Kaplan, A.M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The
challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53(1),

Katsikeas, C.S., Samiee, S., & Theodosiou, M. (2006). Strategy fit and
performance consequences of international marketing standardization.
Strategic Management Journal, 27(9), 867-890.

Kaynak, E., & Kothari, V. (1984). Export behaviour of small and medium-sized
manufacturers: some policy guidelines for international marketers.
Management International Review, 61-69.

Kumar, V., & Pansari, A. (2016a). Competitive advantage through engagement.
Journal of Marketing Research, 53(4), 497-514.

Kumar, V., & Pansari, A. (2016b). National culture, economy, and customer
lifetime value: Assessing the relative impact of the drivers of customer
lifetime value for a global retailer. Journal of International Marketing,
24(1), 1-21.

Leonidou, L.C., Katsikeas, C.S., Samiee, S., & Aykol, B. (2017).
International marketing research: a state-of-the-art review and the way
forward. In Advances in Global Marketing: A Research Anthology, Leonidou et
al. (eds.), Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing AG, 3-33.

Lu, I.R., Heslop, L.A., Thomas, D.R., & Kwan, E. (2016). An examination of
the status and evolution of country image research. International Marketing
Review, 33(6), 825-850.

McAlexander, J.H., Schouten, J.W., & Koenig, H.F. (2002). Building brand
community. Journal of Marketing, 66(1), 38-54.

Palmatier, R.W. (2008). Interfirm relational drivers of customer value.
Journal of Marketing, 72(4), 76-89.

Papadopoulos, N., el Banna, A., Murphy, S.A., & Rojas-Méndez, J.I. (2011).
Place brands and brand-place associations: The role of ‘place’ in
international marketing. In S. C. Jain & D. A. Griffith (Eds.). Handbook of
research in international marketing (pp. 88-113). Northampton, MA: Edward

Prahalad, C.K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2004). The future of competition:
Co-creating unique value with customers. Harvard Business Press.

Samiee, S. & Chabowski, B.R. (2017). An overview of country-of-origin
research: Using knowledge structure to propose future opportunities. Academy
of International Business Annual Conference, Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
July 2-5.

Samiee, S., & Chabowski, B.R. (2012). Knowledge structure in international
marketing: a multi-method bibliometric analysis. Journal of the Academy of
Marketing Science, 40(2), 364-386.

Wangenheim, F.V., & Bayón, T. (2007). The chain from customer satisfaction
via word-of-mouth referrals to new customer acquisition. Journal of the
Academy of Marketing Science, 35(2), 233-249.

Watson, G.F. IV, Weaven, S., Perkins, H., Sardana, D., & Palmatier, R.W.
(2018). International market entry strategies: Relational, digital, and
hybrid approaches. Journal of International Marketing, 26(1), 30-60. 

Wiedersheim-Paul, F., Welch, L. & Olson, H. (1978). Pre-export activity: The
first steps in internationalization. Journal of International Business
Studies, 9(1), 47-58.



About the Guest Editors

G. Tomas M. Hult holds the Byington Endowed Chair and is professor at
Michigan State University’s Eli Broad College of Business. He serves as the
Executive Director of the Academy of International Business and Director of
Michigan State University’s International Business Center, and is the
President and a board member of the Sheth Foundation.


Constantine S. Katsikeas is the Arnold Ziff Research Chair and Professor of
Marketing and International Management at Leeds University Business School
(LUBS), University of Leeds. He is also the Director of Global and Strategic
Marketing Research Centre at LUBS and serves as the Editor-in-Chief for
Journal of International Marketing, Area Editor for JIBS, and Associate
editor for Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. 


Saeed Samiee is the Collins Professor of Marketing and International
Business at the University of Tulsa. He is an Area Editor for JIBS and
Associate Editor for marketing and international business for Decision
Sciences Journal. He is the recipient of the 2017 Significant Contributions
to Global Marketing Award by the Global Marketing SIG of the American
Marketing Association. 




[i]A systematic survey of IM literature published in the top six IB/IM
journals for the 1995-2015 period uncovered 1,722 published works (Leonidou,
Katsikeas, Samiee, and Aykol 2017).

[ii]Estimates vary. For example, Samiee and Chabowski (2017) identified over
300 country-of-origin publications listed in the Web of Science database,
whereas Lu et al. (2016) estimate the number of origin-related publications
to exceed 600.

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