*Journal of International Management *

*Special Issue: Novel methodological approaches to study socio-political

*Guest Co-Editors:*

Tatiana Vashchilko (University of Calgary, Canada)
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George O. White III (University of Michigan – Flint, USA)
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Andreea Mihalache-OKeef (Roanoke College, USA)
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Crystal Jiang (Bryant University, USA)
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Irem Demirkan (Loyola University Maryland, USA)
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Asda Chintakananda (National Institute of Development Administration,
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*Supervising Editor:*

Tazeeb Rajwani (University of Surrey, UK)

*Deadline for submission:* October 1, 2021

(A special workshop for the SI will be planned in the future)

*Background and rationale for the special issue*

The goal of this special issue is to showcase a wide range of
discipline-specific and interdisciplinary methodologies for studying
socio-political risks (SPRs). This issue will bring together a selection of
papers that can provide a more granular understanding of methodological
issues in complex and fast-changing contexts.

The socio-political environment is a major source of objective and
subjective uncertainties for international business and multinational
enterprise (MNE) operations (John and Lawton, 2008; Kobrin, 1979; Lawton,
Doh, and Rajwani, 2014) resulting in additional transaction costs that tend
to be inherently higher in more complex systems of exchange and greater
competition for scarce resources (e.g., North, 1991). With important
megatrends changing the SPR landscape such as increased complexity of the
international political environment (Teng et al. 2017), growing
efficiencies of supply chains, and the tech revolution transforming these
global phenomenon (Rice and Zegart, 2018), scholars have expanded their
inquiry into different types of SPRs such as corruption (Karhunen and
Ledyaeva, 2012; Sartor and Beamish, 2017), legal uncertainty (White et al.,
2015), socio-political violence (Oh and Oetzel, 2017), military conflict
(Arikan et al., 2019; Li and Vashchilko, 2010), natural disasters (Oetzel
and Oh, 2014), and property rights violations (Jiang et al., 2011), while
also exploring ways to mitigate exposure to SPRs (John and Lawton, 2017)
and turn what would otherwise be disadvantages into advantages (Darendeli
and Hill, 2016; Harvey and Novicevic, 2002) via, for example, developing
political capabilities (Schnyder and Sallai, 2020; White et al., 2018).

To identify and further study the complexities of SPRs require scholars to
more profoundly examine the inherent uncertainty associated with the
business environment (i.e., socio-politico-economic systems or structures),
which commands additional expertise in the corresponding disciplines (e.g.,
law, political science, sociology). Furthermore, to improve our
understanding of the integrated influences of SPR on managerial phenomena,
international managerial research should capitalize on methodological
advances across a wider range of disciplines (e.g., data science, political
science) to optimize cross-disciplinary access and usability of scientific
SPR information. SPR scholars have utilized diverse methodological
approaches in identifying SPRs and analyzing their impact on business

Yet, absent cohesive conceptualization, methodological issues associated
with operationalization and measurement of SPRs (and their types) abound
resulting in the inconclusiveness of empirical results concerning the
impact of SPRs on performance outcomes (Beugelsdijk et al., 2018; Cavusgil
et al., 2020; Magnusson and Tarverdi, 2020). With the understanding that
SPR measures often lack accuracy (Sottilotta 2015), scholars have started
to re-evaluate widely used measures of SPRs, including indicators of
institutional quality such as the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI)
(Magnusson and Tarverdi, 2020). Dissatisfaction with the accuracy of
aggregate SPR indicators, especially in contexts exhibiting high
socio-political uncertainty, has intensified the use of surveys, survey
experiments, and interviews to develop a better understanding of SPRs,
their sources, and implications for international management (Weber et al.,
2020). These mixed methods have proved to be especially valuable for
capturing heterogeneous exposure of MNEs to SPRs across geography,
industry, and other firm attributes as well as variations in corporate
political activities (Dang et al., 2020; Schnyder and Sallai, 2020; White
et al., 2018). However, much more can be done to further illuminate and
advance these methodological approaches.

This SI will therefore offer a platform and forum for scholars to
facilitate this process and elucidate novel methodological approaches to
study SPRs. With specific attention to theory-driven methodological
approaches of SPR analysis, the main focus of the SI is to foster an
interdisciplinary conversation over novel methodologies in examining SPRs
and MNE strategic responses to the complexities of international and
national operating environments. The SI will provide an opportunity for:
(1) the systematic examination of pros and cons of a range of novel
qualitative and quantitative methodologies for advancement of SPR
knowledge; and (2) the identification of state-of-the-art analytical tools
to study different types of SPR in diverse contexts. This SI will therefore
facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue and has the potential to generate new
theoretical explanations of important SPR-related phenomena combined with
appropriate choices of analytical tools and novel applications of existing
methods from other disciplines. Thus, in the long term, the SI should (1)
lead to the improvement in theoretical and empirical research across
multiple methodological dimensions such as efficiency, accuracy, and the
overall quality of SPR research; as well as (2) drive the improvement in
the ability of scholars to assess the danger of existing risks and to
identify emergent ones.

We envision the SI to engage scholars from different disciplines in the
discussion of novel methodological approaches that can connect and
integrate the ever-increasing volumes of discipline specific SPR knowledge
important for international management. These approaches will improve the
efficiency, accuracy, and overall quality of SPR research but also serve
practitioners (through future scholarship) interested in building
socio-political risk assessment and resilience by providing a more
comprehensive basis for managerial decision-making, especially in the
situations characterized by high levels of uncertainty. The relatively
insular insights of discipline-rooted research ought to confront and
complement each other; building bridges across disciplines that will
improve our comprehension of the many manifestations of SPRs, its sources,
and implications for international management practices. Thus,
international management scholars will have a better understanding of
methodologies and analytical tools that can be utilized in SPR research.

*Potential Topics*

This special issue welcomes submissions with an interdisciplinary
perspective. Papers could incorporate one or multiple aspects of novel
methodological approaches for identifying and explaining SPRs, including
but not limited to:

   - Leveraging theory and methodology from several disciplines to gain
   better insight into different types of SPRs and the strategic responses of
   business and society
   - New data sources and analytical approaches in law, political science,
   sociology, international business, and other disciplines to study changes
   in national and international socio-political environments and their impact
   on MNEs at different levels of analysis (manager-, firm-, industry-, or
   - Fine-grained measures of different types of SPR and their management
   by MNEs (e.g., political instability, terrorism, the rule of law,
   international military conflict, indirect expropriation, civil conflict,
   revolution, bureaucracy, corruption, political ties)
   - Leveraging and/or comparing different types of data (primary or
   secondary) suited for identifying and analyzing types of SPRs
   - Systematically evaluating the reliability of sources of information to
   assess risks in foreign markets
   - Data collection and analysis of risk perceptions in various contexts
   - Taxonomy development for SPRs and their management (e.g., corporate
   political activity as a political risk management tool)
   - Mixed-method approaches to identify SPR types in lesser-known contexts
   - Development of new metrics to analyze types of SPR (e.g., intensity of
   political ties) or potential of a country's political environment to
   generate political risks (e.g., dynamic factor analysis)
   - Identification if and how the COVID-19 pandemic may modify SPR types
   and their impact on MNE political behavior and/or international management

*Submission Process*:

The deadline of paper submission to this special issue is *1 October 2021*.
A special workshop for the SI will be planned in the future. All papers
will be subject to double‐blind review process. Papers for this issue
should be prepared as per the Journal's guidelines available at:

Authors should submit an electronic copy of their manuscript via the
journal's online submission system via


Arikan, I., Arikan, A., Shenkar, O. 2019. Nation‐dyadic history and
cross‐border corporate deals: Role of conflict, trade, generational
distance, and professional education. Strateg. Manag. J. 41, 422-466

Beugelsdijk, S., Ambos, B., Nell, P. C. 2018. Conceptualizing and measuring
distance in international business research: Recurring questions and best
practice guidelines. J. Int. Bus. Stud. 49, 1113–1137.

Dang, Q.T., Jasovska, P., Rammal, H.G. 2020. International
business-government relations: The risk management strategies of MNEs in
emerging economies. J. World B. 55, 101042.

Darendeli, I.S., Hill, T.L. 2016. Uncovering the complex relationships
between political risk and MNE firm legitimacy: Insights from Libya. J.
Int. Bus. Stud. 47, 68-92.

Harvey, M., Novicevic, M. 2002. The role of political competence in global
assignments of expatriate managers. J. Int. Manag. 8, 389-406,

Jiang, C.X., Yang, Q., Li, S., Wang, Y. 2011. The moderating effect of
foreign direct investment intensity on local firms' intangible resources
investment and performance implications: A case from China. J. Int. Manag.
17, 291-302.

John, A., Lawton, T. 2017. International political risk management:
Perspectives, approaches and emerging agendas. Int. J. Manag. Rev. 20,

Karhunen, K., Ledyaeva, S. 2012. Corruption distance, anti-corruption laws
and international ownership strategies in Russia. J. Int. Manag. 18,

Lawton, T., Doh, J., Rajwani, T. 2014. Aligning for Advantage: competitive
strategies for the political and social arenas. Oxford University Press:
United Kingdom.

Li, Q., Vashchilko, T. 2010. Dyadic military conflict, security alliances,
and bilateral FDI flows. J. Int. Bus. Stud. 41, 765-782.

Magnusson, L.M., Tarverdi, Y. 2020. Measuring governance: Why do errors
matter? World Dev. 136, 105061.

North, D.C. 1991. Institutions, Institutional Change and Economic
Performance. Cambridge University Press.

Oetzel, J., Oh, C. H. 2014. Learning to carry the cat by the tail: Firm
experience, disasters, and multinational subsidiary entry and expansion.
Organ. Sci. 25, 732-756.

Oh, C. H., Oetzel, J. 2017. Once bitten twice shy? Experience managing
violent conflict risk and MNC subsidiary-level investment and expansion.
Strateg. Manag. J. 38, 714-731.

Ratten, V. 2020. Coronavirus and international business: An entrepreneurial
ecosystem perspective.  Thunderbird Int. Bus. Rev. 62, 629-634.

Rice, C., Zegart, A. 2018. Managing 21st-century political risk. Harvard
Bus. Rev. May-June.

Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent. 2007. Discussion of Axel Leijonhufvud's "The
Individual, the Market and the Division of Labor in Society". Capitalism
and Society. 2, Article 4: DOI: 10.2202/1932-0213.1029.

Sartor, M.A., and Beamish, P.W. 2018. Host market government corruption and
the equity-based foreign entry strategies of multinational enterprises. J.
Int. Bus. Stud. 49: 346-370.

Schnyder G, Sallai D. 2020. Between a rock and a hard place: Internal- and
external institutional fit of MNE subsidiary political strategy in contexts
of institutional upheaval. J Int Manag.       26(2):100736.

Sottilotta, C. 2015. Political risk assessment and the Arab spring: What
can we learn? Thunderbird Int. Bus. Rev. 57, 379-390.

Teng, L., Huang, D. Pan, Y. 2017. The performance of MNE subsidiaries in
China: Does it matter to be close to the political or business hub?  J.
Int. Manag. 23, 292-305.

Weber, C.E., Chahabadi, D., Maurer, I. 2020. Antecedents and performance
effect of managerial misperception of institutional differences. J. World
Bus. 55, 101018.

White, G.O., Boddewyn, J. J., Galang. R.M.N. 2015. Legal system
contingencies as determinants of political tie intensity by wholly owned
foreign subsidiaries: Insights from the Philippines. J. World Bus. 50,

White, G., Fainshmidt, S., Rajwani, T. 2018. Antecedents and outcomes of
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Int. Manag. 24, 1-15.
*George O. White III, J.D., LL.M., Ph.D. *
Associate Professor of Strategic Management
School of Management, University of Michigan-Flint
Email: [log in to unmask]
Office Phone: 810-762-3114/Cell Phone: 915-217-4571
Fax: 810-762-3282/Skype: gowhiteiii
School Website <>/Personal Website
<>/Google Scholar

Core Faculty, International & Global Studies Program, University of
Michigan-Flint IGS <>
Faculty Affiliate, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, University of
Michigan (Ann Arbor) CSEAS
Non-Resident Research Fellow, Asian Institute of Management (Philippines)
Visiting Professor, NIDA Business School (Thailand) NIDA

Guest Editor: *Journal of International Management*, Novel methodological
approaches to study socio-political risks SI JIM
Guest Editor: *Multinational Business Review*, Open for Business in a
Closed World: Managing MNE Nonmarket Strategy in Times of Populism and
Geopolitical Uncertainty

Latest Publication: Does context really matter? The influence of deficient
legal services on the intensity of political ties in the regulatory and
legal arenas, *Multinational Business Review*

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