Special Issue of the Journal of International Business Studies



Special Issue Editors:

-       Stephanie Lu Wang ([log in to unmask]), Indiana University
-       Rosalie L.Tung ([log in to unmask]), Simon Fraser University
-       Joseph Lampel ([log in to unmask]), University of Manchester
-       Paul Hirsch ([log in to unmask]), Northwestern University
-   Marjorie Lyles ([log in to unmask]), Florida International University

Deadline for submission: January 31, 2023



The notion of cultural industries is attracting growing scholarly attention. From artworks, music, movies, sports, to tourism, cultural industries produce and distribute cultural goods, or "‘non- material goods directed at a public of consumers for whom they generally serve as an aesthetic or expressive, rather than clearly utilitarian function"(Hirsch, 1972: p. 641-642). Scholars have also used the term “creativity industries” to emphasize how these industries leverage culture—values, norms, traditions, lifestyles and symbols shared by a social group— as key resources in spurring creativity. Scholars have long utilized this distinctive context to develop new constructs and theories (see Wang, Gu, Von Glinow, and Hirsch (2020) for a comprehensive summary). Rooted in sociology, scholars have developed the culture production perspective (Bourdieu, 1979; Hirsch, 2000; Peterson & Anand, 2004), the construct of authenticity (Jones, Anand, & Alvarez, 2005; Peterson, 1997), the cultural entrepreneurship literature (Lounsbury, Gehman, & Glynn, 2019; Lounsbury & Glynn, 2001), to name just a few. Scholars have also developed cultural economics, highlighting the distinctive supply, demand, pricing, international trade, and government policies of cultural goods (Throsby, 1994; Towse, 2011).


For international business (IB) scholars, the growing attention to cultural industries reflects a dual global paradigm: (1) building new creativity-based economies, and (2) achieving sustainable and inclusive growth worldwide. On the one hand, cultural industries have become one of the fastest- growing sectors in post-industrialized economies (UNESCO, 2007, 2016). Because of the creative, symbolic, and knowledge-intensive nature, cultural industries serve increasingly as underlying drivers of innovation and competitiveness. Even firms from traditionally non-cultural industries are applying cultural resources, to varying degrees and in varying ways, to improve their creativity (Lampel, Lant, & Shamsie, 2000). Meanwhile, global connectedness has augmented the attractiveness of foreign cultural products and services (Etemad & Motaghi, 2018; Li, Brodbeck, Shenkar, Ponzi, & Fisch, 2017). On the other hand, the international community has increasingly recognized the distinctive role of cultural industries in non-monetized social benefits, particularly in emerging and developing countries. Due to the diversity of history, heritage, culture, values, and resources, there exists sizeable cultural capital in all countries. There are hopes that the people- centered and place-based approach of cultural production could foster inclusive growth, such as empowerment to women and indigenous people (UNCTAD, 2010). Yet, whereas cultural capital is globally sourced, the dominant players are still concentrated in the major global cities. Finally, digital technological advances and the emergence of social media have generated new forms of cultural “travel”, but meanwhile raised new challenges such as the protection of intellectual properties.


The goal of this Special Issue is, therefore, to encourage research that (a) broadens our understanding of the nature and dynamics of cultural industries in today’s new global contexts (e.g., aesthetic, economic, socio-geographic, moral, temporal, technical, legal, social environments), and (b) deepens theoretical insights into how related actors in cultural industries interact and co-evolve with the global transformation in technologies and societies. Given the complex, multi-level, and cross- disciplines nature of the cultural industry context, we welcome different approaches of research, hoping to provide broad theoretical insights and timely practical guidance. We particularly welcome studies that can stimulate a dialogue among different scholarships and disciplines.


Possible Research Topics


Below are some illustrative topics (but not exclusive) that would be suitable for the Special Issue.


1.     Conceptualizing and theorizing the “new” cultural industries. The scope and essence of cultural industries have evolved. Cultural production has been increasingly computerized, fueled by the power of algorithmic engineering and artificial intelligence technologies; cultural consumption has been increasingly virtual and socialized, powered by the influence of the new social media (Cochoy, Licoppe, McIntyre, & Sörum, 2020). With the pervasive self-content generation and mature of social algorithms, we are witnessing heightened engagement and interaction between cultural production and consumption. This change is further augmented by digital and social platforms such as Spotify, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and so on. This new space of cultural production and consumption pushes us to revisit the formulas generated by traditional cultural industries. Thus, we welcome studies that conceptualize and theorize the “new” cultural industries in 2020s and beyond. For instance, what are the “new” cultural industries? What is the nature of new cultural practices and business models? How can digitally mediated access to cultural resources and experiences affect traditionally venue-based cultural sectors (such as museums, performing arts, cinema, etc.)? What locations are more suited to sponsor the “new” cultural industries? Shall we be worried about being trapped in a new “silicon cage”? What are the corresponding economic, social, and policy implications?


2.     Opportunities and tensions during the internationalization of cultural industries. We welcome studies on opportunities and tensions during the internationalization of cultural industries by integrating classic theories of multinationals enterprises (MNEs) and IB. National variations in cultural, historical, legal, economic, social, and political characteristics significantly influence international variations in aesthetic standards in cultural production and consumption. Although scholars have debated whether foreignness is an asset, instead of a liability, for cultural products (Brannen, 2004; Li et al., 2017; Vendrell-Herrero, Gomes, Collinson, Parry, & Bustinza, 2018), many questions remain unanswered. For instance, as the authenticity of cultural production is a driver of place-based competitive advantages, what are the implications of authenticity in cross-border or multiple country contexts? How can MNEs leverage cultural and symbolic strategies to mitigate the risks of international expansion (Seong & Godart, 2018)? How can MNEs leverage place-based cultural capital or exoticism as a firm-specific asset (FSA)? With the evolution of values and culture across countries (Tung & Verbeke, 2010), do we see an erosion of place-based authenticity? What are the implications for MNE theories, particularly for non-location bound and location-bound FSAs (Etemad & Motaghi, 2018; Narula & Verbeke, 2015; Rugman & Verbeke, 2003)? What are the concerns associated with cultural appropriation—the use and misuse of cultural stories and styles by outsiders (Matthes, 2016; Schneider, 2003), and how do they interact with the country of origin and ethnicism-related stereotypes (Javalgi, Khare, Gross, & Scherer, 2005)? Shall we worry about cultural homogenization due to globalization (Speck & Roy, 2008; Venkatraman & Nelson, 2008)?


3.     Paradoxes of creativity and innovation in the digital era. Human creativity, at both the individual and organizational levels, is the key driver of cultural industries. In the age of digital platforms, the volume of cultural goods circulating on the internet is growing exponentially, and revenues are mounting. The creativity ecosystems have become more complex because they are now built on more internationalized, digital, and open knowledge markets (Aoyama & Izushi, 2003). For instance, artificial intelligence-generated content may challenge traditional rules for authorship. Meanwhile, as digital technologies have undoubtedly made peer-to-peer information sharing easier (Bhattacharjee, Gopal, Lertwachara, & Marsden, 2007), problems of copyright infringement are also more serious. Thus, we welcome studies that analyze paradoxes of creativity for cultural industries in the new era. For instance, how do digital artists, self- distributing creators, digital distribution platforms transfer the formats of creativity? What are the tensions between crafts-incentive and technology-intensive cultural production? How do MNEs face and cope with such paradoxes differently in different host countries? How do we protect intellectual property rights in digital cultural industry markets? Should we worry that the use of artificial technologies to generate content harm cultural and linguistic diversity, and thus creativity in the long run? How can international alliances and collaborations affect knowledge acquisition and learning (Lyles & Salk, 2007) in this context?


4.     Catch-up of cultural industries in emerging markets. The classic theory of the cultural industries was originally formulated from observations of organizations from developed countries. English language-based cultural products have dominated exports worldwide (Marvasti, 1994). Yet, we witness rising visibility and influence of cultural industries from emerging markets. The rise of cultural industries in emerging markets is in part facilitated by the growing popularity of leisure and entertainment activities there. Yet, it is unclear in terms of the mechanisms behind the catch-up. For instance, what has accounted for the popularity of Korean culture (be that K-pop or soap operas) and Bollywood movies? What types of cultural goods are more exportable from emerging markets? What is the role of government support (e.g., subsidy, promotion or other official support, national planning frameworks)? Meanwhile, we welcome analyses on the overall ecosystem of cultural production (Lorenzen & Mudambi, 2013; Sunley, Pinch, Reimer, & Macmillen, 2008). Emerging markets offer the opportunity to observe the new competitive strategies of cultural industries, going beyond traditional producer-centric research. For instance, Chinese companies Tencent, Alibaba, Wanda have been funding Hollywood movies. While the themes of these movies are not necessarily pro-China, at least they tend to put Chinese characters in a more favorable light (e.g., Skull, Kong Island). Thus, we encourage scholars to expand theories of emerging market firms (Luo & Tung, 2018) from the lens of cultural industries.


5.     Addressing global sustainability challenges. Cultural industries are uniquely positioned to reduce and enlarge global sustainability challenges simultaneously. On the one hand, there are distinctive opportunities to improve diversity and inclusion in cultural industries. The global value chain of cultural industries is more inclusive in informal sectors where local marginalized groups locate. The development of certain cultural industries is closely linked to the preservation of humanities and historical assets. On the other hand, there are unique obstacles associated with global sustainability. For instance, there is a distinctive disparity (e.g., skewed income distribution) in the artistic labor market (Menger, 1999). Industries such as tourism encounter environmental conservation and poverty alleviation challenges (Medina-Muñoz, Medina-Muñoz, & Gutiérrez-Pérez, 2016). Thus, we welcome a broad inquiry into social and environmental sustainability in the context of cultural industries. For instance, what are the enablers and barriers for inclusive value chains? What are the implications for the actionability of sustainability goals for MNEs (Van Zanten & Van Tulder, 2018)? What are the new sustainability tensions due to demographic shifts, migration, international trade, and economic volatility?


6.     New dynamics of international intermediaries. We welcome studies analyzing the evolving roles of international intermediaries. The uncertainty of cultural products is exacerbated in foreign markets due to unfamiliarity between producers and consumers (Kim & Jensen, 2014; Knight, Holdsworth, & Mather, 2007; Sasaki, Nummela, & Ravasi, 2020). Thus, international intermediaries play a vital role as gatekeepers in shaping standards for authenticity. We encourage scholars to analyze new dynamics of traditional international gatekeepers such as experts and critics (Hirsch, 1972; Peterson & Anand, 2004) as well as the role of new digital intermediaries. It is enlightening to investigate the mechanisms by which evaluation standards evolve and how firms can collaborate with new digital intermediaries. Scholars are also welcomed to examine the role of nongovernmental organizations. For instance, it is fruitful to explore the role of UNESCO who has been protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions, and yet the results are uncertain. Scholars are encouraged to study how international NGOs and MNEs affect each other, thus revisit core assumptions about what determines the success of private firms. We also welcome studies that examine interactions and coevolution among intermediaries in home and host countries. It is rewarding to conduct analyses at various levels, such as communities, cities, countries, and regions.


7.     The role of informal institutions. Careful attention to informal institutions (i.e., shared values, norms, and unwritten practices and conventions) is critical to understanding enablers and constraints to the growth of cultural industries (Chua, Roth, & Lemoine, 2015; Fauchart & von Hippel, 2008). A country’s informal institutions create expectations and a shared understanding of taste and aesthetic standards of cultural goods. Informal institutions are also important to foster relational networks among artists, firms, and intermediaries, thus triggering learning and innovation in cultural industries. Thus, we welcome theoretical development and empirical verification of how a country’s informal institutions influence the competitiveness of cultural industries both within and outside their own country. It is fruitful to investigate how informal institutions are associated with the geographic cluster of cultural industries. During the inquiries, it is worthwhile to distinguish among different dimensions of informal institutions, such as behaviorally-oriented, demand-oriented, and technology-oriented ones (Sartor & Beamish, 2014). We also welcome studies to explore interactions and possibly misalignment between informal institutions and formal institutions.


8.     Solving methodological challenges in analyzing global cultural industries. There are numerous methodological challenges in analyzing cultural industries on a global scale. Countries do not follow international standards in providing statistical data on cultural industries (UNESCO-UIS, 2009; UNESCO, 2007). The lack and inaccuracy of comparable cultural statistics is a significant barrier for scholars to quantify the economic and social impact of cultural industries. We see the prevalence of qualitative studies, and the concentration of quantitative studies on certain cultural industries such as film and music industries due to data availability (Wang et al., 2020). We welcome studies to discuss innovations in research design and solutions of methodological challenges the broaden the scope of empirical analyses.


Submission Process and Deadlines

Manuscripts must be submitted through between January 17, 2023, and January 31, 2023. All submissions will go through the JIBS regular double-blind review process and follow standard norms and processes. For more information about this call for papers, please contact the Special Issue Editors or the JIBS Managing Editor ([log in to unmask]).


Workshop and Symposium

To help authors who receive an R&R further develop their papers, we intend to organize a paper development workshop in late 2023 or early 2024. In addition, we plan to have a symposium at a major conference in 2024 for the final set of papers accepted for publication to increase their visibility and impact. We encourage multi-disciplinary co-author teams.



Aoyama, Y., & Izushi, H. 2003. Hardware Gimmick or Cultural innovation? Technologial, Cultural, and Social Foundations of Japanese Video Game Industry. Research Policy, 32(3): 423–444.

Bhattacharjee, S., Gopal, R. D., Lertwachara, K., & Marsden, J. R. 2007. The Effect of Digital Sharing Technologies on Music Markets : A Survival Analysis of Albums on Ranking Charts. Management Science, (November 2018).

Bourdieu, P. 1979. Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste. Routledge.

Brannen, M. Y. 2004. When Mickey Loses Face: Recontextualization, Semantic Fit, and the Semiotics of Foreignness. Academy of Management Review, 29(4): 593–616.

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Cochoy, F., Licoppe, C., McIntyre, M. P., & Sörum, N. 2020, January 2. Digitalizing consumer society: equipment and devices of digital consumption. Journal of Cultural Economy. Routledge.

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Hirsch, P. M. 1972. Processing Fads and Fashions: An Organization-Set Analysis of Cultural Industry Systems. American Journal of Sociology, 77(4): 639–659.

Hirsch, P. M. 2000. Cultural Industries Revisited. Organization Science, 11(3): 356–361.

Javalgi, R. G., Khare, V. P., Gross, A. C., & Scherer, R. F. 2005. An application of the consumer ethnocentrism model to French consumers. International Business Review, 14(3): 325–344.

Jones, C., Anand, N., & Alvarez, J. L. 2005. Manufactured Authenticity and Creative Voice in Cultural Industries. Journal of Management Studies, 42(5): 893–899.

Kim, H., & Jensen, M. 2014. Audience heterogeneity and the effectiveness of market signals: How to overcome liabilities of foreignness in film exports? Academy of Management Journal, 57(5): 1360– 1384.

Knight, J. G., Holdsworth, D. K., & Mather, D. W. 2007. Country-of-origin and choice of food imports: An in-depth study of European distribution channel gatekeepers. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(1): 107–125.

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Li, C., Brodbeck, F. C., Shenkar, O., Ponzi, L. J., & Fisch, J. H. 2017. Embracing the foreign: Cultural attractiveness and international strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 38(4): 950–971.

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Sasaki, I., Nummela, N., & Ravasi, D. 2020. Managing cultural specificity and cultural embeddedness when internationalizing: Cultural strategies of Japanese craft firms. Journal of International Business Studies, 52(2): 245–281.

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About the Guest Editors


Stephanie Lu Wang is an Associate Professor of International Business at the Kelley Business School, Indiana University. Stephanie's primary research interests lie at the intersection of internationalization and social and environmental sustainability topics. She is particularly interested in the rise of emerging market multinationals and cultural industries as the research contexts. Stephanie has won numerous awards, such as the Alan Rugman Fellow in 2021, International Management Division Emerging Scholar Award at the Academy of Management (AOM) in 2019, Academy of International Business (AIB) Best Paper Award in 2018, the Woman AIB Emerging Scholar Award in 2017. Stephanie is a consulting editor for the Journal of International Management and an editorial board member for the Journal of International Business Studies and Global Strategy Journal.


Rosalie L. Tung is the Ming & Stella Wong Professor of International Business, Simon Fraser University (Canada). She is a past President of the AIB (2015-2016) as well as a past President of the AOM (2003-2004). She also served as Dean of the Fellows, Academy of International Business (2017-2020). She was formerly a Wisconsin Distinguished Professor, University of Wisconsin System. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the AOM, the AIB, and the British Academy of Management. She has published many books and articles on international human resource management, international business negotiations and comparative management. She serves on the editorial board of many academic journals.


Joseph Lampel is Eddie Davies Professor of Enterprise and Innovation Management at Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester. He is the author of more than fifty articles in scholarly and practitioner journals. He has edited eleven (11) journal special issues, including an Organization Science special issue on ‘Cultural Industries: A Laboratory of Ideas for New Organizational Forms’ (2000), and Journal of Business Research on ‘Creative Industries: A Think Tank for Innovative Practices in Management, Strategy and Organization? (2016). Joseph Lampel is co-author of the ‘Business of Culture’ with Jamal Shamsie and Theresa Lant (2005), and ‘Handbook of Organizational and Entrepreneurial Ingenuity’ with Benson Honig and Israel Drori (2014). He is also co-author with Henry Mintzberg and Bruce Ahlstrand of the following books: ‘Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour Through the Wilds of Strategic Management’ (1998/2009), Strategy Bites Back’ (2005), and Management? Think Again!’ (2010).


Paul Hirsch is the James Allen Professor of Strategy & Organization at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He has written extensively about culture and communication and received the "Distinguished Scholar" award of the Academy of Management’s Organization and Management Theory Division. He was among the first scholars to publish papers on cultural industries in management journals. In particular, two papers, one titled “Processing fads and fashions: An organization-set analysis of cultural industry systems” published at American journal of sociology and one “Cultural industries revisited” published at Organization Science, are recognized as the most influential to management research on this context. Hirsch teaches in Kellogg’s MBA and Executive programs in Chicago, Prague, and China.


Marjorie Lyles is the International Business Distinguished Research Fellow at Florida International University College of Business Department of International Business. She is Past President of the Strategic Management Society and was incoming president of AIB. She is a Chancellor’s Emeritus Professor of Global Strategic Management at Indiana University Kelley School of Business and was an Adjunct Professor at Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She is a Fellow of the Strategy Management Society, Academy of Management, and the Academy of International Business. Her research focused on emerging economies since the mid-1980s. She worked on projects in China since 1985 when she was a consultant with the U.S. Department of Commerce Dalian programs. Her mixed method and longitudinal research required her to seek research grants which included two National Science Foundation grants that developed organizational learning and the knowledge-based perspectives by studying alliances in emerging economies. Lyles has worked with governmental,

non-profit, and corporate entities across the globe. She has consulted with the USIS, World Bank, and UNDP.

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