Special Issue of the Journal of International Business Studies




Special Issue Editors:


*	Victor Cui (University of Manitoba, Canada,
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]) 
*	Dana Minbaeva, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark,
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]) 
*	Rajneesh Narula, University of Reading, UK,
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]) 
*	Ilan Vertinsky (University of British Columbia, Canada,
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> [log in to unmask]) 


Deadline for submission: December 23, 2019



Research Background 

The objective of this special issue is to broaden and deepen our
understanding of how the acquisition and protection of Intellectual Property
Rights (IPRs) affects international business, using multiple levels of
analysis. Intellectual property is a key aspect of firm-specific advantages
(FSAs), and the exploitation and augmentation of such FSAs is often crucial
to a firm’s competitiveness (Narula, 2014; Verbeke, 2013). At the same time,
the attractiveness of countries (or regions and cities within countries) as
destinations for MNEs is shaped by their capacity to provide access to
relevant location-specific advantages associated with intellectual property
(Belderbos, Leten, & Suzuki, 2013; Cantwell, Dunning, & Lundan, 2010). Firms
seek to locate their competence-creating activities in close proximity to
knowledge infrastructure (Castellani, Jimenez, & Zanfei, 2013). A related
key location advantage is country-level institutions associated with
adequate IPR protection (Nandkumar & Srikanth, 2016). Equally important are
micro-level factors such as access to and retention of human capital, which
are key to firm’s knowledge-intensive capabilities (Cascio & Boudreau, 2016;
Tung, 2016). IPRs matter therefore both for firm strategy and evolution, as
well as for policy makers, who are concerned about the optimal level of IPR
protection. Insufficient or poorly enforced IPR protection can affect
locational attractiveness. Excessive IPR protection can have the same
effect, when used as a strategy tool by shelter-seeking firms to raise
artificial entry barriers against rivals and potential entrants.


Prior studies have explored international IPR violation and protection at
both macro (e.g., national) and micro (e.g., firm or unit) levels of
analysis. Macro-level research has paid attention to the drivers of IPR
violations and the mechanisms of circumventing IPR protection (e.g., Ginarte
& Park, 1997, Maskus, 2014; Mertha, 2007; Saggi, 2002). A recent debate
published in JIBS exemplifies this line of research, focusing on
institutional factors that facilitate or hinder IPR protection at the
international level (Brander, Cui, & Vertinsky, 2017; Peng, Ahlstrom,
Carraher, & Shi, 2017). 

At the micro-level, researchers have maintained that knowledge spillovers
and misappropriation are prevalent because of inter-firm competition,
colocation, alliances, as well as employee mobility (Berry, 2014; Hamel,
Doz, & Prahalad, 1989; Inkpen, Minbaeva & Tsang, 2018; Narula & Santangelo,
2009; Shaver & Flyer, 2000). Researchers have studied various mechanisms,
such as governance modes (Freitas, Geuna, & Rossi, 2013), strategic location
(Zhao, 2006), strategic patenting (Hall & Ziedonis, 2001), and litigation
(Lerner, 1995) to protect MNEs’ IPRs. Some researchers have also argued that
knowledge leakage may even be beneficial for MNEs by developing a reputation
for cooperation, which may generate reciprocity (Inkpen, Minbaeva & Tsang,
2018; Sofka, Preto & de Faria, 2014). The structure and organization of MNE
networks also matter in shaping their intellectual property-based FSAs, as
well as the efficacy of individual R&D units. This includes managing
interactions with external partners as well as intra-MNE knowledge flows
(Salter et al 2015, Bogers et al 2018).

A number of studies have considered the extent to which direct IPR
protection mechanisms and associated institutions shape the propensity of
MNE subsidiaries to effectively engage in innovation (Santangelo, Meyer, &
Jindra, 2016), both internally and with external partners (Athreye, Batsaki,
& Singh, 2016, Martínez-Noya & García-Canal, 2018). Policy issues include
determining the optimal level of IPR protection to attract and embed inward
FDI (Wu, Ma, & Zhuo, 2017), although it is still a matter of debate whether
there is a compatibility between the optimal level of IPR protection needed
for development more generally (Fagerberg, Srholec, & Verspagen, 2010; Kim,
Lee, Park, & Choo, 2012; Sweet & Maggio, 2015) and promoting MNE activity
(Criscuolo & Narula, 2008; Narula, 2003).

While prior studies indicate that IPR protection involves factors at both
macro- and micro-levels, most have investigated the phenomenon at a single
level. The complexity of interactions across levels calls for more
comprehensive frameworks that allow the development of theoretical arguments
specifying the underlying mechanisms that act at and connect multiple
levels. For example, knowledge protection and acquisition strategies of MNEs
may adapt in different ways to differences and changes in IPR policies in
various host countries. Similarly, the increased active involvement of some
governments, not just as protectors of IPRs of companies and individuals,
but as strategic participants in the “knowledge protection and acquisition
game” may also affect the IPR strategies of MNEs, as well as undermine
international IPR protection institutions. Moreover, MNEs can influence the
“knowledge game” through the employment of various “non-market strategies”
targeted at different host-country governments and reshape the dynamics of
the system. To understand such complex relationships, research is needed to
unpack the interactions of factors across levels. Making balanced policy
proposals for countries in an era of complex knowledge sharing strategies
among networks of different actors also requires a more holistic approach.
Multi-level research logic also permits more nuanced refinements to
international business theory (Narula & Verbeke, 2015). This special issue
aims to encourage a more holistic view. Micro-level studies on IPR
explicitly need to take on board the macro-level, beyond cursory
observations in the discussion and conclusion section, and vice versa for
the more meso- and macro-oriented studies. The objective is to greatly
improve precision in the analysis of dynamic contexts in which IPR
protection matters and is beneficial for the actors (country, industry,
firm, etc.).


This special issue is open to IPR-related IB papers conducted at any level,
but where explicit linkages are developed and explored to other levels. We
are interested in papers that conceptually develop multi-level explanations
and intentionally avoid the use of explanatory shorthand by correlating
mono-level variables. We encourage submissions that theoretically
accommodate a nested, complex and adaptive system view on MNEs. We welcome
empirical papers across a variety of methodologies, including process
research, qualitative studies, etc. We welcome papers utilizing formal
multi-level modeling which are appropriate to analyze the impact of
high-level variables (e.g., various national IPR protection regimes) on
low-level variables (e.g., knowledge acquisition and protection strategies
of MNEs in these policy environments) (Peterson, Arregle, & Martin, 2012).  



Aims and Scope 

We are interested in research that examines the joint impact of macro IPR
protection regimes and MNEs’ knowledge acquisition and protection approaches
on key international business decisions and outcomes of MNEs. We
particularly welcome multidisciplinary research that expands current themes
by incorporating insights from a broader range of disciplines, e.g.,
political science, sociology, economics, innovation, HRM, and business
strategy. Below we offer eight possible themes as examples of the types of
topics we would like to include in this special issue. They are by no means

1)      Location choices in international expansion for knowledge exploiting
and knowledge augmenting FDI. 

Topics may include choices of locations among nations, clusters of nations,
or within-nation regions (Zhao, 2006), for FDIs made by emerging market
multinationals (EMNEs) or developed country multinationals (DMNEs). 


2)      Entry mode choices of large MNEs and international new ventures

Example topics may include choices of entry modes, and comparison of entry
modes between EMNEs and DMNEs, between different types of INVs, or between
established and new firms (Oxley, 1999; Phene & Tallman, 2012).  


3)      Non-market strategies in home and host environments.

Topics may include different forms of non-market strategies, e.g., CSR,
political activities (Liu, Luo, & Cui, 2018; Mellahi, Frynas, Sun, & Siegel,
2016) that MNEs undertake, both in home and host countries. 


4)      Strategy adaptation to low IPR protection environments.

Topics may include, for example, alternative strategies to protect and
acquire IPRs, and to obtain data, by EMNEs and DMNEs, as they enter low IPR
regimes (Baldwin & Henkel, 2015).  


5)      Autonomy, roles and corporate governance of MNE subunits.

Topics could include the intentional and unintentional knowledge leakage
from knowledge transfer between MNE units, teams, and individuals (Inkpen,
Minbaeva & Tsang, 2018; Minbaeva, Pedersen, Bjorkman, & Fey, 2014), as well
as governance mechanisms relevant for IPR-related processes such as
subunits’ structure and design, composition of board of directors, top
management team, executive compensation, etc.  


6)      Alliances, M&A and external network management.

Possible topics could include MNEs’ and subsidiaries’ alliance formation and
portfolio management, coopetition (Cui, Yang, & Vertinsky, 2018, Wang, Wang,
Yang, Jiang, & Cui, 2016), M&A strategies, as well as subunits’ and
individuals’ embeddedness (Meyer, Mudambi, & Narula, 2011) in the alliance
and competition networks in host-countries.   


7)      Participation in clusters.

Example topics could include the strategies of international agglomeration
(Martin, Salomon, & Wu, 2010), inter-firm interactions in clusters in host
countries, and their effects on firm IPR acquisition and protection. 


8)      Organization of the R&D function.

Topics include R&D team composition, compensation (Yanadori & Cui, 2013),
talent acquisition, development, and retention (Kehoe & Tzabbar, 2015), as
well as global and semi-global R&D configurations (Criscuolo & Narula,


Workshop and Symposium

To help authors develop their papers, we will organize a paper development
workshop in the summer of 2020. Furthermore, we plan to have a symposium at
a major academic conference in 2021 for the final selected papers for
publication, aiming to increase their visibility and impact.



Submission Process and Deadlines

All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this Special Issue.
Manuscripts must be submitted between November 15 and December 23, 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 Special Issue Editors or the JIBS
Managing Editor ( <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
[log in to unmask]).




Athreye, S., Batsakis, G., & Singh, S. 2016. Local, global, and internal
knowledge sourcing: The trilemma of foreign-based R&D subsidiaries. Journal
of Business Research, 69: 5694-5702.

Baldwin, C. Y., & Henkel, J. 2015. Modularity and intellectual property
protection. Strategic Management Journal, 36: 1637-1655.

Belderbos, R., Leten, B., & Suzuki, S. 2013. How global is R&D? Firm-level
determinants of home-country bias in R&D. Journal of International Business
Studies, 44: 765-786.

Berry, H. 2014. Global integration and innovation: Multicountry knowledge
generation within MNCs. Strategic Management Journal, 35: 869–890.

Bogers, M., Foss, N. J., & Lyngsie, J. (2018). The “human side” of open
innovation: The role of employee diversity in firm-level openness. Research
Policy, 47(1), 218-231.

Brander, J. A., Cui, V., & Vertinsky, I. 2017. China and intellectual
property rights: A challenge to the rule of law. Journal of International
Business Studies, 44: 765-786

Cantwell, J., Dunning, J. H., & Lundan, S. M. 2010. An evolutionary approach
to understanding international business activity: The co-evolution of MNEs
and the institutional environment. Journal of International Business
Studies, 41: 567-586.

Cascio, W., & Boudreau, J. 2016. The search for global competence: From
international HR to talent management. Journal of World Business, 51(1):

Castellani, D., Jimenez, A., & Zanfei, A. 2013. How remote are R&D labs?
Distance factors and international innovative activities. Journal of
International Business Studies, 44: 649-675.

Criscuolo, P., & Narula, R. 2007. Using multi-hub structures for
international R&D: Organisational inertia and the challenges of
implementation. Management International Review, 47: 639-660.

Criscuolo, P., & Narula, R. 2008. A novel approach to national technological
accumulation and absorptive capacity: aggregating Cohen and Levinthal. The
European Journal of Development Research, 20: 56-73.

Cui, V., Yang, H., & Vertinsky, I. 2018. Attacking your partners: Strategic
alliances and competition between partners in product markets. Strategic
Management Journal. Forthcoming.

Fagerberg, J., Srholec, M., & Verspagen, B. 2010. Innovation and economic
development. In Handbook of the Economics of Innovation (Vol. 2, 833-872).

Freitas, I. M. B., Geuna, A., & Rossi, F. 2013. Finding the right partners:
Institutional and personal modes of governance of university–industry
interactions. Research Policy, 42: 50-62.

Ginarte, J. C., & Park, W. G. 1997. Determinants of patent rights: A
cross-national study. Research Policy, 26: 283–301.

Hall, B. H., & Ziedonis, R. H. 2001. The patent paradox revisited: An
empirical study of patenting in the US semiconductor industry, 1979-1995.
RAND Journal of Economics, 32: 101-128. 

Hamel, G., Doz, Y. L., & Prahalad, C. K. 1989. Collaborate with your
competitors and win. Harvard Business Review, 67: 133–139. 

Inkpen, A., Minbaeva, D. & Tsang, E. 2018 Point-Counterpoint on Knowledge
Leakage. Forthcoming in Journal of International Business Studies

Kehoe, R. R., & Tzabbar, D. 2015. Lighting the way or stealing the shine? An
examination of the duality in star scientists’ effects on firm innovative
performance. Strategic Management Journal, 36, 709–727.

Kim, Y. K., Lee, K., Park, W. G., & Choo, K. 2012. Appropriate intellectual
property protection and economic growth in countries at different levels of
development. Research policy, 41: 358-375.

Lerner, J. 1995. Patenting in the shadow of competitors. Journal of Law and
Economics, 38: 463-495. 

Liu, H., Luo, J., Cui, V. 2018. The impact of internationalization on home
country charitable donation: Evidence from Chinese firms. Management
International Review, 58: 313-335.

Martin, X., Salomon, R. M., & Wu, Z. 2010. The institutional determinants of
agglomeration: A study in the global semiconductor industry. Industrial and
Corporate Change, 19: 1769-1800.

Martínez-Noya, A., & García-Canal, E. 2018. Location, shared suppliers and
the innovation performance of R&D outsourcing agreements. Industry and
Innovation, 25: 308-332.

Maskus, K. 2014. The new globalization of intellectual property rights:
What’s new this time? Australian Economic History Review, 54: 262-284.

Mellahi, K., Frynas, J. G., Sun, P., & Siegel, D. 2016. A review of the
nonmarket strategy literature: Toward a multi-theoretical integration.
Journal of Management, 42: 143-173.

Mertha, A. 2007. The politics of piracy: Intellectual property in
contemporary China. New York: Cornell University Press. 

Meyer, K. E., Mudambi, R., & Narula, R. 2011. Multinational enterprises and
local contexts: The opportunities and challenges of multiple embeddedness.
Journal of Management Studies, 48: 235-252.

Minbaeva, D. B., Pedersen, T., Björkman, I., & Fey, C. F. 2014. A
retrospective on: MNC knowledge transfer, subsidiary absorptive capacity,
and HRM. Journal of International Business Studies, 45: 52-62. 

Nandkumar, A., & Srikanth, K. 2016. Right person in the right place: How the
host country IPR influences the distribution of inventors in offshore R&D
projects of multinational enterprises. Strategic Management Journal, 37:

Narula, R. 2003. Globalization and technology: Interdependence, innovation
systems and industrial policy. Polity Press, Cambridge.

Narula, R. 2014. Exploring the paradox of competence-creating subsidiaries:
balancing bandwidth and dispersion in MNEs. Long Range Planning, 47: 4-15.

Narula, R., & Verbeke, A. 2015. Making internalization theory good for
practice: The essence of Alan Rugman's contributions to international
business. Journal of World Business, 50: 612-622.

Oxley, J. E. 1999. Institutional environment and the mechanisms of
governance: the impact of intellectual property protection on the structure
of inter-firm alliances. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 38:

Peng, M. W., Ahlstrom, D., Carraher, S. M, & Shi, W. 2017. An
institution-based view of global IPR history. Journal of International
Business Studies, 48: 893-907. 

Peterson, M. F., Arregle, J., & Martin, X. 2012. Multilevel models in
international business research. Journal of International Business Studies,
43: 451-457.

Phene, A., & Tallman, S. 2012. Complexity, context and governance in
biotechnology alliances. Journal of International Business Studies, 43:

Saggi, K. 2002. Trade, foreign direct investment, and international
technology transfer: A survey. The World Bank Research Observer, 17:

Salter, A., Ter Wal, A. L., Criscuolo, P., & Alexy, O. (2015). Open for
ideation: Individual-level openness and idea generation in R&D. Journal of
Product Innovation Management, 32(4), 488-504.

Santangelo, G. D., Meyer, K. E., & Jindra, B. 2016. MNE subsidiaries’
outsourcing and insourcing of R&D: The role of local institutions. Global
Strategy Journal, 6: 247-268.

Shaver, J. M., & Flyer, F. 2000. Agglomeration economies, firm
heterogeneity, and foreign direct investment in the United States. Strategic
Management Journal, 21: 1175-1193. 

Sofka, W., Preto, M., & de Faria, P. 2014. MNC subsidiary closures: What is
the value of employees’ human capital in new jobs? Journal of International
Business Studies, 45: 723-750. 

Sweet, C. M., & Maggio, D. S. E. 2015. Do stronger intellectual property
rights increase innovation? World Development, 66: 665-677.

Tung, R. 2016. New perspectives on human resource management in a global
context. Journal of World Business, 51: 142-152 

Verbeke, A. 2013. International business strategy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge
University Press.

Wang, Y., Wang, N., Yang, Z., Jiang, L., & Cui, V. 2016. Managing
relationships with power advantage buyers: The role of supplier initiated
bonding tactics in long-term buyer-supplier collaborations. Journal of
Business Research, 69: 5587-5596.

Wu, J., Ma, Z., & Zhuo, S. 2017. Enhancing national innovative capacity: The
impact of high-tech international trade and inward foreign direct
investment. International Business Review, 26: 502-514.

Yanadori, Y. & Cui, V. 2013. Creating incentives for innovation? The
relationship between pay dispersion in R&D groups and firm innovation
performance. Strategic Management Journal, 34: 1502–1511.

Zhao, M. Y. 2006. Conducting R&D in countries with weak intellectual
property rights protection. Management Science, 52: 1185-1199.



About the Guest Editors

Victor Cui is Associate Professor at the Asper School of Business of the
University of Manitoba. His research focuses on knowledge creation,
protection, and acquisition within R&D units, in inter-firm collaboration
and competition, and under various national IPR protection regimes. He has
also studied MNEs’ corporate social responsibilities. His research has been
published in Strategic Management Journal and Journal of International
Business Studies. He is serving on the editorial board of JIBS.  


Dana Minbaeva is a Professor of Strategic and Global Human Resource
Management and the Vice-President for International Affairs at Copenhagen
Business School. Her research on strategic international HRM, knowledge
sharing and transfer in multinational corporations has appeared in such top
international journals as Journal of International Business Studies, Journal
of Management Studies, Human Resource Management, and many others. Professor
Minbaeva published more than 50 articles in international peer reviewed
journals, numerous book chapters and reports.  She received several national
and international awards for research achievements and knowledge
dissemination, including the prestigious JIBS Decade Award 2013. Dana
Minbaeva is the founder of the Human Capital Analytics Group:


Rajneesh Narula is the John H. Dunning Chair of International Business
Regulation at the Henley Business School, University of Reading, UK. His
research and consulting have focused on the role of multinational firms in
development, innovation and industrial policy, R&D alliances and
outsourcing. He has published over a 100 articles and chapters in books on
these themes. He is an area Editor of JIBS. He holds honorary appointments
at UNU-MERIT, Norwegian School of Business, Urbino University and Oxford


Ilan Vertinsky is Vinod Sood Professor of International Business Studies,
Strategy and Business Economics in the Sauder School of Business at UBC.  He
is also an associate of the Peter Wall Institute of Advanced Studies and a
former Distinguished Scholar in Residence of the Institute. He has received
his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to his
appointment at UBC he served on the Faculty of Northwestern University. He
has published more than 250 refereed journal articles, book chapters and
books in strategy, international business and management, economics,
marketing and operations research. He currently serves as an area editor of


AIB-L is brought to you by the Academy of International Business.
For information:
To post message: [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
For assistance: [log in to unmask]
<mailto:[log in to unmask]> 
AIB-L is a moderated list.

AIB-L is brought to you by the Academy of International Business.
For information:
To post message: [log in to unmask]
For assistance:  [log in to unmask]
AIB-L is a moderated list.