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Call for Papers for a Special Issue in the *Journal of Business Research*

*Corruptive Practices, Digitalization, and International Business*

*Submission: *Between May 1 and July 31, 2020

*Guest Editor**s**:*

Pervez N. Ghauri  (University of Birmingham, UK, [log in to unmask])

Vikas Kumar (The University of Sydney, Australia, [log in to unmask])

Jeoung Yul Lee (Hongik University, South Korea/Chongqing Technology &
Business University, China/University of Leeds, UK, [log in to unmask])

Byung Il Park (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea,
[log in to unmask])

*Purpose and Research Questions:*

Although the corruptive behaviors have been explained in several ways
(Farrales, 2005; Kouznetsov, Kim, & Wright, 2019), the widely-accepted
definition of such behavior is the abuse of power for private benefits
(Gorsira et al., 2018). Interestingly, without exception, corruption and
bribery are rampant in many less developed and emerging economies (Petrou &
Thanos, 2014; Wang et al., 2018) as well as in some developed markets.  The
major oil companies in Brazil have bribed politicians through their secret
subsidiaries, in addition to both Indian and Russian organizations who have
used slush funds in Mauritius and Cyprus for the same purpose. For
reference, Brazil was 105th, India was 78th, and Russia was 138th out of
180 countries in the list of the world’s corruption rankings in 2018.

Some scholars are questioning whether bribery (i.e., one aspect of
corruption) paid by multinational corporations (MNCs) in several economies
is entirely unethical behavior or simply unavoidable ‘grease’, which is
necessary to promote subsidiary performance and elongate survival in
foreign markets. Although greasing the wheels of business is inevitable in
some economies, MNCs’ corruptive behaviors impact the host countries’
socio-cultural and economic environments, thus hampering them from
reforming institutional frameworks (Shleifer & Vishny, 1993). While
powerful MNCs run operations, unethical practices often occur from
governments, suppliers, business partners, and even civil society and
judiciary functions; thus, sometimes these unethical practices trigger
considerable dilemmas for MNCs as well as for these countries (Doh et al.,
2012). Can MNCs’ strategic responses to such dilemmas be justified as
‘non-market strategy’ (see Brouthers et al., 2008; Uhlenbruck et al.,
2006)? Or do we have to blame both the givers and the receivers as being
equally guilty? In reality, we have witnessed MNCs’ unethical behaviors and
their enormous economic and social consequences in several countries such
as Enron’s Dabhol power plant case in 1990s (*The Economist*, 2001) and
more recently Reckitt Benckiser’s toxic humidifier sterilizer scandal in
South Korea (BBC, 2016).

Indeed, corruption is not a new phenomenon, but it has a long history
(Barkemeyer, Preuss, & Ohana, 2018; Kouznetsov et al., 2019; Steidlmeier,
1999). Very recently, the rapid spread of information and communication
technology (ICT) and its tools has paved the way to support anti-corruption
initiatives by enhancing public scrutiny (Adam and Fazekas, 2018). Six
types of ICT-based anti-corruption interventions (i.e., digital public
services and e-government, crowdsourcing platforms, whistleblowing tools,
transparency portals and big data, distributed ledger technology [DLT] and
blockchain, and artificial intelligence [AI]) “serve the fight against
corruption by enhancing access to public information, monitoring officials’
activities, digitalizing public services and encouraging corruption
reporting” (Adam & Fazekas, 2018, p. 4; Davies & Fumega, 2014; Subhajyoti
2012). For example, Kenya’s and Indonesia’s whistleblowing platforms, which
have facilitated corruption case management and anonymous interactions with
whistleblowers, have received about 2,000 corruption reports annually
(Kossow & Dykes, 2018). According to Indian Prime Minister Modi, the
Digital India initiative[1] <>
helped to reduce corruption in India and made citizens’ lives more
convenient (Prakash, 2016). The digital media can thus play a critical role
to reduce corruption and enhance corporate social responsibility (CSR) in
influencing MNCs’ engagement in a private as well as public sector (e.g.,
Ghoul et al., 2019).

Nevertheless, ICT and its tools can have potential to be used as dark-side
inventories via new corruption opportunities that are linked to the dark
web, cryptocurrencies, or simply through the misuse of well-intended
technologies, e.g., digital public services and centralized databases. For
example, authorities in Iran have confiscated around 1,000 units of bitcoin
mining machines from two defunct factories. Iranians are increasingly
turning to cryptocurrencies as a remedy to volative local currency due to
sanctions (BBC, 2019). Therefore, the success of using ICT to reduce
corruption hinges on its appropriateness “for local contexts and needs
technological skills and experience” (Adam & Fazekas, 2018, p. 27).

In sum, international business (IB) scholars have long tried to explore the
foreign direct investment (FDI) phenomenon from the perspective of MNCs,
and thus they have often turned their focus away from unethical attitudes
in less developed and emerging markets. In other words, IB discussions have
focused on solving queries, such as why MNCs conduct FDI, under which
circumstances MNCs choose certain entry modes and what are the critical
conditions for MNCs for profit maximization, and how they tackle the
liability of foreignness by overlooking their business ethics and CSR, as
well as the implications of digitalization (Rodriguez et al., 2005). Due to
this, we do not yet know enough about the cause and effect relationship
between MNC corruption and digitalization abroad. In this regard, the aim
of this special issue is to bring together theoretical and empirical
advancements examining corruptive practices and to highlight what role
digitalization is playing in that in both domestic and foreign markets. We
seek both theoretical and empirical papers, as well as literature reviews
and meta analyses, including interdisciplinary and intersectoral
researches, that may address, but are not limited to, the following list of
potential research questions:

       ·        How do we extend leading theories of the firm by utilizing
corruption and digitalization as laboratories challenging the assumptions
of our theories, etc. (Cuervo-Cazurra, 2016)?

   - Do corruptive environments in host economies impact MNCs’ unethical
   behaviors or vice versa? Does digitalization and ICT prevent and/or
   facilitate these MNCs’ unethical behaviors?
   - How do MNCs strategically respond to corruptive environments in less
   developed and emerging economies; or what is the effect of MNC corruption
   on business environments and economic development in local economies? What
   roles of digitalization and ICT tools may play in this context?
   - Is there a particular relationship between MNCs’ entry mode choice and
   the level of corruption and CSR, as well as the level of digitalization, in
   host economies?
   - How do MNCs behave differently when they operate in home and host
   markets in terms of ethical aspects? How do e-government, crowdsourcing,
   whistleblowing tools, big data, blockchain, and AI influence these ethical
   - Are ethical behaviors and standards different between developed
   country MNCs and emerging economy MNCs? Do digitalization and ICT
   interventions affect these different ethical behaviors and standards?
   - How can host country governments effectively regulate corrupted firms,
   including developed economy MNCs? Any corporate governance solution? Or do
   digitalization and ICT interventions by host country governments have a
   positive impact on this?
   - What is the impact of corrupt MNCs on the intensification/alleviation
   of poverty and inequality in local economies? Do e-government and digital
   media improve or aggravate this phenomenon?
   - Which local stakeholders do function as vehicles regarding MNC
   corruption in emerging economies? Can ICT preventions against corruption be
   effective in this case?
   - What are the areas where corruption poses a particular problem for
   MNCs’ non-market strategy for dealing with issues such as political
   lobbying, extortion by public officials, bribery by its agents and other
   intermediaries? How do digitalization and ICT preventions affect in this

*Special Issue Workshop:*

In order to facilitate revisions of selected papers, the authors of
selected submitted papers to this special issue will be invited to a
special issue paper development workshop (PDW), which will be held in
*December* *2020*. One author per each paper, which will be under R&R, will
be particularly invited to make a presentation of his/her paper at PDW, and
a hosting university will cover two-nights hotel accommodations and all
other local expenses (e.g., meals) during PDW. Guest editors and *Journal
of Business Research* (JBR) editorial board members will give the
presenters constructive comments on developing their papers under R&R.
However, the participation in PDW is not obligatory, and the presentation
cannot guarantee the acceptance of presenters’ papers.

*Submission Instructions:*

*Between* *May 1** and July 31, 2020*, authors should submit their
manuscripts online via Submissions
should be prepared in accordance with the JBR style guidelines, so before a
submission, please visit the website at:
All submissions will be subject to the regular blind peer review process at
the JBR*.*

*More Information:*

To obtain additional information, please contact the guest editors:

Pervez N. Ghauri  (University of Birmingham, UK, [log in to unmask])

Vikas Kumar (The University of Sydney, Australia, [log in to unmask])

Jeoung Yul Lee (Hongik University, South Korea/Chongqing Technology &
Business University, China/University of Leeds, UK, [log in to unmask])

Byung Il Park (Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, South Korea,
[log in to unmask])


Adam, I., & Fazekas, M. (2018). Are emerging technologies helping win the
fight against corruption in developing countries? Pathways for Prosperity
Commission Background Paper Series, no. 21, Oxford: University of Oxford.

Barkemeyer, R., Preuss, L., & Ohana, M. (2018). Developing country firms
and the challenge of corruption: Do company commitments mirror the quality
of national-level institutions? *Journal of Business Research, 90*, 26-39.

BBC. (2016). Reckitt Benckiser sold deadly sterilisers in South Korea.
Available at: [accessed
September 1, 2016].

BBC. (2019). Iran seizes 1,000 Bitcoin mining machines after power spike.
Available at: [accessed
September 21, 2019]

Brouthers, L. E., Yan, G., & McNicol J. P. (2008). Corruption and market
attractiveness influences on different types of FDI. *Strategic Management
Journal, 29*(6), 673-680.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A. (2016). Corruption in international business. *Journal
of World Business, 51*(1), 35–49.

Davies, T., & Fumega, S. (2014). Mixed incentives: Adopting ICT innovations
for transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption. Available at:
file/5172-mixed-incentives.pdf. [accessed January 7, 2019]

Doh, J. P., Lawton, T. C., & Rajwani, T. (2012). Advancing nonmarket
strategy research: Institutional perspectives in a changing world. *Academy
of Management Perspectives, 26*(3), 22-39.

Farrales, M. J. (2005). *What is corruption. A history of corruption
studies and the great definitions debate.* San Diego: University of

Ghoul, S. E., Guedhami, O., Nash, R., & Patel, A. (2019). New evidence on
the role of the media in corporate social responsibility. *Journal of
Business Ethics, 154*(4),1051–1079

Gorsira, M., Denkers, A., & Huisman, W. (2018). Both sides of the coin:
Motives for corruption among public officials and business employees. *Journal
of Business Ethics, 151*(1), 179-194.

Kossow, N., & Dykes, V. (2018). Embracing digitalisation: How to use ICT to
strengthen anti-corruption. *GIZ.* Available at:
[accessed January 15, 2019]

Kouznetsov, A., Kim, S., & Wright, C. (2019). An audit of received
international business corruption literature for logic, consistency,
completeness of coverage. *Journal of International Management, *in-press.

Mauro, P. (1995). Corruption and growth. *Quarterly Journal of Economics,
110*(3), 681-712.

Petrou, A. P., & Thanos, I. C. (2014). The “grabbing hand” or the “helping
hand” view of corruption: Evidence from bank foreign market entries. *Journal
of World Business, 49*, 444-454.

Prakash, A. (2016). Digital India needs to go local. *The Hindu*. Available
[accessed September 21, 2019].

Rodriguez, P., Uhlenbruck, K., & Eden, L. (2005). Government corruption and
the entry strategies of multinationals. *Academy of Management Review, 30*(2),

Shleifer, A., & Vishny, R. W. (1993). Corruption. *Quarterly Journal of
Economics, 108*(3), 599-617.

Steidlmeier, P. (1999). Gift giving, bribery and corruption: Ethical
management of business relationships in China. *Journal of Business Ethics,
20*(2), 121–132.

Subhajyoti, R. (2012). Reinforcing accountability in public services: An
ICT enabled framework. *Transforming Government: People, Process and
Policy, 6*(2), 135–148.

The Economist. (2001). Enron in India. Available at: [accessed 1 September, 2016].

Transparence International. (2019). *Corruption perception index* [online].
Berlin: Transparence International. Available at: [accessed September 21, 2019].

Uhlenbruck, K., Rodriguez, P., Doh, J., & Eden, L. (2006). The impact of
corruption on entry strategy: Evidence from telecommunication projects in
emerging economies. *Organization science, 17*(3), 402-414.

Wang, F., Xu, L., Zhang, J., & Shu, W. (2018). Political connections,
internal control and firm value: Evidence from China's anti-corruption
campaign*. Journal of Business Research, 86*, 53-67.

*Special Issue Editors:*

*Prof. Pervez Ghauri, PhD*, is Professor in International Business at
Birmingham Business School, The University of Birmingham (UK). He is Editor
in Chief for *International Business Review* and Consulting Editor for *Journal
of International Business Studies*. He has been conducting research on
international marketing and international business topics, with focus on
the internationalization process and entry strategies. In the last seven
years his research focus has shifted towards the externalities of
international business, specifically the activities of multinational
enterprises (MNEs) in emerging markets. His latest projects include social
entrepreneurship, the role of multinational enterprises in poverty
alleviation, developing a digital business model for the benefit of the
poor and female segments, and exploring how MNEs can create a competitive
position through ethical behavior in emerging markets. The majority of the
projects above have been funded by organizations such as the European
Commission, Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) UK,
Handelsbanken, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and Soderbergs foundation in
Sweden. He has published 30+ books and 100+ journal articles in top level
journals. Some of his books have been translated in several languages and
are used globally, including the USA, across Europe, and China.

*Prof. Vikas Kumar, PhD*, is Head of Discipline and Professor in the
Discipline of International Business at the University of Sydney Business
School. He is the new Editor-in-Chief of the *Journal of International
Management*, and he has served as a senior editor at the *Asia Pacific
Journal of Management* until 2019, and was reviewing editor for the journal
in 2016. Vikas was representative-at-large for the Global Strategy Interest
Group in the Strategic Management Society (SMS) and was co-chair for the
Sydney SMS Special Conference in December, 2014. He is on the Editorial
Review Board of *Journal of Management Studies, Journal of World Business,
Management International Review* and *Global Strategy Journal*. He is
interested in studying the internationalization strategies employed by
firms from emerging markets such as India. His research involves
understanding the unique aspects of the institutional and cultural context
of emerging markets and the influence context has on firm strategies. His
research has been published in *Journal of World Business, Global Strategy
Journal, Management International Review, Journal of Management Studies,
Journal of International Management* and *Long Range Planning* among other
journals in the field of international business and management. Vikas
received the inaugural Excellence in Research Award by the University of
Sydney Business School in 2013. His co-authored research article on ‘Indian
business groups’ in Corporate Governace: An International Review received
the 2nd best paper award in 2009. In 2007, Vikas received the best reviewer
award by the International Management Division at the Academy of
Management. In a recent study by Yadong Luo and Huan Zhang published in the
Journal of International Management, Vikas was ranked among the top 15
authors based on impact in the field of ‘emerging market firm

*Prof. Jeoung Yul Lee, PhD*, is Associate Professor at Hongik University
School of Business Management (South Korea), Distinguished Professor at
Chongqing Technology and Business University (China), and Visiting
Associate Professor at Leeds University Business School (UK). At present,
he serves as Associate Editor of *Asian Business & Management*, on the
editorial advisory board of the* International Business Review*, and on the
editorial review boards of the *Management International Review*, *Asia
Pacific Journal of Management*, and *Management and Organization Review*,
as well as on the editorial advisory board of Cambridge Scholars Publishing
(England, UK). He has served as a guest editor of special issue on
International Networking and Success- vs. Failure-Based Learning of SMEs at
the *Management International Review*, as well as the lead guest editor of
special issue on MNCs’ Evolution versus Decline at the *Management Decision*.
He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Management Department of the Wharton
School, and he has published 28 papers in SSCI journals, such as the *Journal
of International Business Studies* (2015, 2019)*, Human Resource
Management, Long Range Planning, Journal of Business Research*,* Management
International Review, International Business Review, Journal of
International Management*, and *International Journal of Human Resource
Management*. Among them a majority of papers are on the ABS 3* or 4* list.
His main research interests are focused on Asian emerging-market
multinationals, international business strategy, business groups,
innovation, corporate social responsibility of multinationals, and
digitalization and Industry 4.0.

*Prof. Byung Il Park, PhD*, is currently a Professor in International
Business at the College of Business, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
(South Korea). His research focuses on Asian emerging-market MNCs, MNC
strategy, and corporate social responsibility of MNCs and MNC corruptions.
He has published in such journals as the *Journal of World Business,
Journal of International Management, Management International Review,
International Business Review, International Marketing Review, Corporate
Governance: An International Review, International Small Business Journal*,
and *Asia Pacific Journal of Management*. In addition, he is
Editor-in-Chief of ‘*International Journal of Multinational Corporation
Strategy*’ and has also handled special issues for *Journal of World
Business, International Marketing Review, Thunderbird International
Business Review, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences*, and *European
Journal of International Management*.


[1] <> The Digital India
initiative refers to the Indian Government’s services are made Indian
citizens be benefited electronically by improved online infrastructure or
by allowing India digitally empowered in the field of digitalization
(Prakash, 2016).


Dr. Byung Il Park

Professor of International Business
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
College of Business
Tel: +82-2-2173-3193
Mobile: +82-10-4157-3532
Personal Homepage:

Editor, International Journal of Multinational Corporation Strategy

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