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Asia Pacific Business Review

Special Issue Call for Papers


Towards a new corporate responsibility and governance? Identity characteristics of Asia Pacific MNCs



Guest Editors:

Yama Temouri, University of Wollongong, Dubai and Aston University, UK

Vijay Pereira, Khalifa University, Abu Dubai

Chris Jones, Aston University, UK

Ashish Malik, University of Newcastle, Australia

Chris Rowley, University of London, UK


The global shift towards manufacturing and services offshoring has led to the emergence and an increasingly vital role for the Asia Pacific region. Moreover, this economic shift in power has not only led to an increase in national GDP in this region, but has also witnessed the per capita income of people in this region go up aided mostly by the setting up large MNCs’ head offices in the APAC region or major regional subsidiary operations. In the backdrop of these large global changes, there has been a major outcry in public forums regarding the relatively low rates of corporate tax paid by global MNCs such as Apple, Google and Starbucks to name a few. The proliferation of this trend is also reflected in the geographic location choice and tax strategies of large Asian firms as well as firms with operations in Asia. Within the APAC region itself, a number of tax havens in small island nations have emerged such as in the Pacific (Vanuatu, Cook Islands) and Indian Oceans (Mauritius, Seychelles) and larger centres such as in Hong Kong and Singapore. It is estimated that 10% of the total offshore wealth of US$2.3 trillion of funds in Switzerland is owned by Asians (Zucman 2015), but Asians also have wealth in other tax havens around the world.


The last few decades, in particular, has also seen an exponential increase in firms from this region that are involved in international business activity and expansion. The mature economies of Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand, to name a few, are now being overshadowed by the newer economic giants such as the People’s Republic of China, South Korea and Thailand (see latest research in APBR by Andrews et al. 2018) in terms of trade and the regional and global proliferation of their MNCs (UNCTAD 2016; Hughes 2017). Therefore, as a context, the Asia Pacific has become an interesting area for research in business and management alike (Rowley et al. 2017).


The implications of tax havens nationally, regionally and globally are quite profuse. One estimate suggests that 8% of the global wealth is offshore resulting in a loss of US$200 billion in tax revenues (Zucman 2015). Of this, Asian countries stand to lose an expected 4% or US$35 billion in tax revenues (Zucman 2015). In addition to loss of direct tax revenues and economic inequality there are several adverse impacts of tax havens on employment related issues such as reduced ability to expend investment by the government in a number of infrastructure and social security projects. A related policy issue that is historically grounded is that of the existing tax regimes for income earned overseas, which currently in most countries is quite high and acts as a disincentive to repatriate profits back into the MNC’s parent thus influencing their behaviour and choices regarding their use of tax-havens, corporate responsibility and governance practices – which collectively have shaped the MNCs’ perceived identity (see for example recent work on MNC identities by Munjal et al. 2017; Patnaik et al. 2017; Pereira and Malik 2017; Sharma et al. 2017).


With talks underway to change the US and advance nation’s tax system. If successful, this may well see tsunamic inflows of accumulated profits from overseas, back into the parent country. The changing policy climate in the US regarding repatriation of earnings and the mood to reduce or waive tax for large global MNCs to repatriate their global earnings may well spur similar decisions by the EU, UK, and the Asia Pacific nations. To this end, this call for papers is an attempt to try and unbundle how MNCs create their identity. More specifically, the call is open to explore the process and its influences, for example, based also on its ownership, industry affiliation, customer base, cultural values, government backing, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and internationalisation strategies.


Based on our above rationale for this special issue then, pertinent research questions that need to be addressed could be: Are MNCs open to considering a global code of ethics and conduct that displays strong corporate social responsibility over tax evasion and profit maximisation (Drucker 1984; Carroll 1999; Lorenzo-Molo 2009)? In such scenarios, how would MNC stakeholders perceive an MNC’s identity? More specifically, how do MNCs’ manage their negative and unethical image perceived by the wider public and state to whom they are responsible and also use the direct tax payer’s services, such as in education, healthcare and social services? How would key stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, employees, and communities respond to such activity? This raises the issue of development of moral intensity among leadership and managerial staff in MNCs using tax havens as part of their tax strategy. And hence, do MNCs provide training and programs for building ethical capacity of their leaders? Or perhaps a more relevant and burning question would be: Do MNCs reinforce the tax-avoidance and profit maximisation mindset in the future leaders that they hire? In terms of demographic and generational aspects, would the millennials be a challenge to this elite group of leaders? Further, do MNCs that employ such strategies invest in more empowerment-based people development approaches rather than control-oriented people management work designs? Also, would there be cultural differences in how MNCs shift their profits into jurisdictions of corporate tax and legislation that allows significant levels of secrecy for both individuals and firms (see for e.g. Eden 2009)? Further, are MNCs from the Asia Pacific any different? For example, Jones and Temouri (2016) show that for developed economy firms, the variety of capitalism matters (Hall and Soskice 2001; Meyer and Peng 2016; Rowley and Oh 2017). Hence, do firms from the Asia Pacific region, who have links with the liberal market economics of the UK and US, show increasing tax aggressiveness compared to those firms who have links with the coordinated market economies such as Germany, Austria and the Nordics? Furthermore, does corporate governance matter or is there greater regulatory and tax arbitrage opportunities for firms who are part of business groups? Last, but not the least, do institutional factors across countries drive tax and regulatory arbitrage? These are some of the probing questions we are most interested in, though not exhaustive


We, thus, seek theoretical and/or empirical contributions, and encourage cross-disciplinary and impactful contributions (Rowley 2016; Pereira 2017), that focus on the methods that Asia Pacific firms may use to escape market imperfections caused by government policy in the areas of tax and regulation.


The above questions are only indicative and are not exhaustive in any manner. We invite both empirical and conceptual papers on this topic that utilise relevant methods and with a precondition being that contributions should develop or challenge existing literature or theories, so that it adds to new knowledge on this topic and fall in line with the journal’s focus on countries from the Asia Pacific region and aims and scope. This includes the need to have explicit sections on implications – for theory/theory development as well a business and management practices (see


Please contact Dr Yama Temouri and Dr Vijay Pereira at [log in to unmask] and [log in to unmask] for enquiries.



Please submit extended abstract directly to Dr Yama Temouri [log in to unmask] and Dr Vijay Pereira [log in to unmask] with “APBR SI Abstract” in the subject line

Decision on Extended abstracts due 31st July 2019

Full papers due 31st January 2020

Decisions due 31st March 2020

Final revised papers due 15th June 2020

Publication due by Mid–Late 2020



Acharya, A. 1997. “Ideas, Identity, and Institution-Building: From the ‘ASEAN Way’ to the ‘Asia-Pacific Way’?” The Pacific Review 10 (3): 319–346.

Andrews, T. G., C. Rowley, K. Nimanandh, and R. Banomyong. 2018. “Age Negotiation at the Asian Corporate Subsidiary: Challenges of Managerial ‘Youth’ in Thai-Based Subsidiaries of Western Multinationals.” Asia Pacific Business Review. doi:10.1080/13602381.2018.1433792.

Dirlik, A. 1992. “The Asia-Pacific Idea: Reality and Representation in the Invention of a Regional Structure.” Journal of World History, 55–79.

Eden, L. 2009. Taxes, Transfer Pricing and the Multinational Enterprise In The Oxford Handbook of International Business, edited by A. M. Rugman, 2nd ed., 557–590. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hughes, C. W. 2017. “Japan’s Rise and Fall (and Rise Again).” The Pacific Review, 1–10.

Meyer, K. E., and M. W. Peng. 2016. “Theoretical Foundations of Emerging Economy Business Research.” Journal of International Business Studies 47 (1): 3–22.

Oxelheim, L., T. Randøy, and A. Stonehill. 2001. “On the Treatment of Finance-Specific Factors within the OLI Paradigm.” International Business Review 10 (4): 381–398.

Pereira, V. 2017. “Journal Editors as Philosopher Kings: Duties and Responsibilities of Academics in a Changing World.” South Asian History and Culture 8 (3): 360–364. doi:10.1080/19472498.2017.1350405.

Pereira, V., and A. Malik. 2017. “Identities in Transition: The Case of EMMNCs. Social Identities.” Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture. forthcoming. Rowley, C. 2016. “The past, the Future and Rankings.” Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management 7 (1): 2–4.

Rowley, C., and I. Oh. 2017. Business Ethics in East Asia: Examples in Historical Context. Abingdon: Routledge.

Rowley, C., J. Bae, S. Horak, and S. Bacouel-Jentjens. 2017. “Distinctiveness of Human Resource Management in the Asia Pacific Region: Typologies and Levels.” The International Journal of Human Resource Management 28 (10): 1393–1408.

Serrano, L. O. 2017. The Pacific Alliance and the Construction of a New Economic Regime? In Post Hegemonic Regionalism in the Americas: Toward a Pacific-Atlantic Divide?, edited by J. Briceño-Ruíz and I. Morales, 141. London: Routledge.

Sharma, N., S. Gray, B. Boyle, R. Mitchell, A. Malik, and B. O’Mahony. 2017. Leveraging the Common and Outsourcing the Distinct: Institutional Difference and Multinational Company (MNC) Identity in Emerging Economies. Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture. forthcoming.

UNCTAD. 2016. Investor Nationality: Policy Challenges, World Investment Report. Geneva:

UNCTAD. UN ESCAPE. 2017. Population Dynamics – Challenges and Opportunities. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Accessed June 17, 2017.

Zucman, G. 2015. The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.



Best wishes,



Dr Yama Temouri

Associate Professor, Faculty of Business, University of Wollongong in Dubai

Block 15, Rm128,  Knowledge Park

PO Box 20183, Dubai, UAE
P +971 4 278 1958 (Direct)  |  +971 4 278 1800/ 800-UOWD

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