Dear colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to the following special issue.

Thirty Years Later: A Fresh Look at the Central and Eastern Europe Transformation and its Implications for Institutions, Organizations and Organizational Actors

Call for Papers for a Special Issue of the Journal of International Management

Special issue guest editors (listed alphabetically)

Dan-Cristian Dabija, Babeş-Bolyai University, Romania

Andrew Inkpen, Thunderbird School of Global Management, USA

Alexei Koveshnikov, Aalto University School of Business, Finland

Elena-Mădălina Vătămănescu, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania

The Objective of the Special Issue

Since the collapse of state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), research on post-socialist transformation has informed and advanced various theoretical debates about the processes of organization and organizational change (Child & Czegledy, 1996; Uhlenbruck, Meyer, & Hitt, 2003; Meyer & Peng, 2005; Soulsby & Clark, 2007; Gelbuda, Meyer, & Delios, 2008; Dixon, Meyer, & Day, 2010; Clark & Geppert, 2011). The context of CEE countries provides an interesting laboratory for developing new theoretical insights and testing existing Western-derived theories (Meyer & Peng, 2005; Schwartz & McCann, 2007).  CEE countries have been characterized as a region “where public and private are mixed, the boundaries of firms are blurred, and legitimating principles are not bound to discrete domains” (Stark & Bruszt, 2001, p. 1136). This stream of research has made valuable contributions in areas such as the role of institutions (Meyer & Peng, 2005) and the state (Suhomlinova, 2007); the role of corruption (Karhunen & Ledyaeva, 2012); the development of organizational capabilities (Dixon et al., 2010); work organization (Schwartz & McCann, 2007); organizational knowledge management (Uhlenbruck et al., 2003); and managerial identity construction (Clark & Geppert, 2011).

The transformation in CEE countries is ongoing and the last decade has been especially eventful. Several influential socio-political and economic changes occurred in the region. First, several CEE countries joined the EU or adopted the euro. Second, the region saw the formation of a new economic union, the so-called Eurasian Economic Union, which included Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Third, the Ukrainian crisis led to the introduction of economic sanctions by several Western countries and Russia against each other. Fourth, several countries in the region witnessed rising support for nationalist sentiments and populist rhetoric. Finally, the region has seen several economic crises since the end of the 2000s. These events have impacted the ongoing transformation processes in CEE countries. The implications of the events for institutions, organizations and individuals are yet to be explored and understood by organization and management scholars.

Continuing the legacy of previous collections on the topic (Organization Studies, 1996; Human Relations, 2007; Journal of International Management, 2008), this special issue seeks to augment our understanding of the current state of transformation in CEE countries and the international management implications for institutions, organizations and organizational actors. We are interested in papers that examine the influence of recent socio-political and economic developments (e.g. the rise of nationalism, economic sanctions, the changing role of the state, the establishment of new institutional bodies) on business activities in the region and also papers that explore the lasting legacy of the socialist past and its manifestations in these countries.

The special issue has a broad focus and solicits submissions dealing with both foreign entrants and incumbents as well as newly established domestic firms in the region. We encourage methodological diversity and invite both theoretical and empirical studies. Both large-sample analyses and case studies are invited as long as they establish a contribution to our understanding of the theoretical mechanisms underpinning the transformation processes in the region and provide theoretical linkages with international management. We welcome studies from diverse disciplines, such as management, economics, sociology, psychology, etc. and topical interests, i.e. corporate strategy, international entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, cultural studies, international management, etc. Geographically, we seek submissions focusing on CEE and post-Soviet countries such as Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Russia. We are open to submissions that examine the transformation and its implications at any level of analysis, be it macro societal, meso/organizational, or micro/individual level.

The following list of topics illustrates the range of submission. Authors are free to contact the guest editors to discuss these and other topics they want to examine:

  *   How have domestic CEE firms and foreign entrants adapted to the evolving institutional contexts of CEE countries?
  *   What capabilities have domestic and foreign firms developed to cope better with the rapidly changing environment?
  *   What are the lingering manifestations of the socialist imprint and what are its implications for international management in CEE countries?
  *   What is the role of top management team (TMT) and leadership in CEE firms’ international expansion?
  *   What types of leadership and human resource management (HRM) foster innovation, learning and capabilities development in business interactions between foreign firms and local actors in CEE countries?
  *   What can foreign firms learn from local champions in the CEE region?
  *   What is the role and implications of CEE firms’ home country institutional embeddedness in their international operations?
  *   Are there country specific assets (CSAs) in CEE countries? How have international firms exploited these CSAs?
  *   How does the socialist legacy of CEE affect international firms’ operations in the region?
  *   How does the internationalization process and strategies of CEE firms differ from those of Chinese and Indian firms?
  *   What are the implications of rising nationalism in the region for business relationships between foreign and local actors?
  *   Are there any “survival capabilities” of post socialist firms that help these firms to operate internationally?
  *   What strategies do CEE firms use to gain legitimacy and overcome “the liabilities of origin” as they internationalize?
  *   What are the strategies of CEE firms and foreign entrants to cope with institutional voids in CEE countries?
  *   What are the processes used by CEE firms to transfer, adapt, recontextualize, and hybridize knowledge from outside the CEE?
  *   How do MNCs from outside CEE adapt their management practices and strategies when working in the CEE region?
  *   How do managers in CEE firms engage in sensemaking / sensegiving / sensehiding / sensebreaking and with what implications for their international business activities?
  *   What are unique knowledge management approaches and outcomes in domestic and foreign firms in CEE countries?
  *   How do firms develop and manage cross-border business networks in the region?
  *   How do firms use and manage cross-border alliances and joint ventures in the region?
  *   How is trust at different levels (individual, firm, institution) perceived, developed, established, and repaired in interactions between foreign firms and local actors in CEE countries?
  *   How do domestic and foreign firms reorganize and enhance their resources in order to become market competitive beyond CEE?
  *   How do informal institutions complement formal institutions to explain foreign investors’ entry strategies in CEE countries?
  *   How have CEE countries developed industry sectors such as IT or healthcare that have made them attractive to foreign investors?
  *   What are the dynamics and key characteristics of HQ-subsidiary relations in the context of CEE firms or foreign MNCs operating in CEE countries?
  *   What are the implications of the economic sanctions on the operations of Russian firms and foreign firms operating in Russia?
  *   How are power relations between CEE and foreign firm managers developed and negotiated and with what organizational and individual implications?
  *   What are the organizational and individual implications of prejudices, cultural stereotypes, and cognitive biases in relations between CEE and foreign firm managers?
  *   How do CEE and foreign managers engage in identity work and construct their (national) identities while operating in the region?
  *   What is the influence of powerful stakeholders, e.g. political and business elites, governmental institutions, etc. on the international operations of CEE firms?
  *   What are the evolving role and strategies of state-owned MNCs in and beyond the region?


Child, J., & Czegledy, A. P. (1996). Managerial learning in the transformation of Eastern Europe: Some key issues. Organization Studies, 17(2), 167-179.

Clark, E., & Geppert, M. (2011). Subsidiary integration as identity construction and institution building: A political sensemaking approach. Journal of Management Studies, 48(2), 395-416.

Dixon, S. E., Meyer, K. E., & Day, M. (2010). Stages of organizational transformation in transition economies: A dynamic capabilities approach. Journal of Management Studies, 47(3), 416-436.

Gelbuda, M., Meyer, K. E., & Delios, A. (2008). International business and institutional development in Central and Eastern Europe. Journal of International Management, 14(1), 1-11.

Karhunen, P., & Ledyaeva, S. (2012). Corruption distance, anti-corruption laws and international ownership strategies in Russia. Journal of International Management, 18(2), 196-208.

Meyer, K. E., & Peng, M. W. (2005). Probing theoretically into Central and Eastern Europe: Transactions, resources, and institutions. Journal of International Business Studies, 36(6), 600-621.

Schwartz, G., & McCann, L. (2007). Overlapping effects: Path dependence and path generation in management and organization in Russia. Human Relations, 60(10), 1525-1549.

Soulsby, A., & Clark, E. (2007). Organization theory and the post-socialist transformation: Contributions to organizational knowledge. Human Relations, 60(10), 1419-1442.

Stark, D., & Bruszt, L. (2001). One way or multiple paths: For a comparative sociology of East European capitalism. American Journal of Sociology, 106(4), 1129-1137.

Suhomlinova, O. (2007). Property rules: State fragmentation, industry heterogeneity and property rights in the Russian oil industry, 1992—2006. Human Relations, 60(10), 1443-1466.

Uhlenbruck, K., Meyer, K. E., & Hitt, M. A. (2003). Organizational transformation in transition economies: Resource‐based and organizational learning perspectives. Journal of Management Studies, 40(2), 257-282.

Submission process

Between September 1 and 30, 2020, authors should submit their manuscripts online via To ensure that all manuscripts are correctly identified for consideration for this special issue, it is important that authors mark the button CEE transformation.

Manuscripts should be prepared following the guide for authors available at All submitted manuscripts will be subject to a double-blind review process.

Please, direct questions about the special issue to the guest editors:

Dan-Cristian Dabija ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>);

Andrew Inkpen ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>);

Alexei Koveshnikov ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>);

Elena-Mădălina Vătămănescu ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>).

Biographies of the Guest Editors for the Proposed Special Issue

Dan-Cristian Dabija, Babeş-Bolyai University, Romania:

Dan-Cristian Dabija, PhD, is Professor at the Department of Marketing, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Babeș-Bolyai University, Romania. His teaching and research fields are retailing, international marketing, consumer behaviour and tourism marketing. Dr. Dabija completed his PhD Studies at the Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania, and has been awarded several doctoral and postdoctoral research scholarships at Romanian, German, Finish, Austrian, Hungarian, British and Polish universities. Dr. Dabija leaded a research project on sustainability in retailing financed by the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation. His research has appeared in International Marketing Review, Amfiteatru Economic, Transformations in Business & Economics, Moravian Geographical Reports, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, etc. He serves on the editorial boards of Amfiteatru Economic, E&M Economics and Management, Marketing Education Review.

Andrew Inkpen, Thunderbird School of Global Management, USA:

Andrew Inkpen holds the Seward Chair of Global Strategy at the Thunderbird School of Global Management.  His research has involved areas such as the management of joint ventures and strategic alliances, cross border and inter-firm knowledge management and transfer, and organizational learning.  He has written more than 50 refereed research articles, more than 40 teaching cases, and numerous book chapters.  He is the co-author of several textbooks and co-author of Global Strategy (Oxford: 2006) and the Global Oil and Gas Industry: Management, Strategy and Finance (Pennwell: 2011).  His research has been published in journals such as Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Long Range Planning, Organization Science, Decision Sciences, and Organization Studies. He was a co-editor of a Journal of International Business Studies Special Issue on Governments as Owners: Globalizing State Owned Enterprises and Sovereign Wealth Funds.  He serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Management Studies, Organization Studies, Journal of International Management, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, and Management and Organization Review.

Alexei Koveshnikov, Aalto University School of Business, Finland:

Alexei Koveshnikov is a tenure track Assistant Professor at the Aalto University School of Business in Finland. His research interests circle around issues related to managing people in multinational contexts and emerging economies such as Russia in particular. Alexei has published on various topics related to leadership, HRM, employee behavior, expatriation, cross-cultural interactions, identity work, and politics and power. His research has appeared in International Business Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of World Business, Management International Review, Management and Organization Review, Organization Studies, and Strategic Management Journal. He currently serves on the review board of Management and Organization Review and Critical Perspectives on International Business.

Elena-Mădălina Vătămănescu, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania:

Elena-Mădălina Vătămănescu is a Professor of International Business and Knowledge Management at the Faculty of Management, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, Romania. She is Head of the Center for Research in Management and Director for Romania of the international association Business Systems Laboratory (BSLab). She serves as Associate Editor of Kybernetes. The International Journal of Cybernetics, Systems and Management Sciences (published by Emerald) and as reviewer for over 20 top-ranked journals, such as Journal of Knowledge Management, Knowledge Management Research and Practice, International Business Review, Journal of Small Business Management, Technological Forecasting and Social Change Transfer, Management Decision, etc. In 2018, Dr. Vătămănescu won the national competition for research grants financed by the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research and Innovation, her project focusing on the influence of intellectual capital on the European SMEs internationalization process. Over the last 10 years, she published more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings indexed in well-known international databases, most of them revolving around the dynamics of international business, managerial strategies and knowledge capitalization.

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