Call for Papers for a Special Issue in critical perspectives on international business
“Critical Perspectives in International Business Education: why, what, and how?”
Submission Deadline: 30th June, 2022
Aušrinė Šilenskytė, University of Vaasa, Finland
Brent Burmester, The University of Auckland, New Zealand
Cyntia Vilasboas Calixto Casnici, Fundaçao Getulio Vargas, Brazil & University of Leeds, United Kingdom
Daria Panina, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, USA
Miguel Cordova, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Peru
S. Tamer Cavusgil, Georgia State University, USA
About critical perspectives on international business (cpoib)
The mission of cpoib is to exclusively support critical reflections on the nature and impact of contemporary international business (IB) activities around the globe from inter-, trans- and multidisciplinary perspectives. The journal places a special emphasis on contemporary societal issues and is open for work that seeks to challenge dominant discourses and evaluates the effects of their IB activities on the global economy and national societies.
Scope and Rationale of the Special Issue
Critical thinking is becoming one of the major learning outcomes as universities increasingly engage in international accreditations (Desai, Berger, & Higgs, 2016). However, the term ‘critical’ does not always mean the same. Critical thinking is deeply embedded in academic tradition since the days of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle (Atabaki, Keshtiaray, & Yarmohammadian, 2015). Critical thinking is rational, skeptical and unbiased analysis and evaluation of the facts considering entire set of evidence (Clarke, 2019). On the contrary, critical perspectives are uplifting the importance of subjectivity, inter-personal connections, power use based on interests, and their influence on knowledge, on individual and organizational behaviour in local and in international context. Critical perspectives go beyond analytical investigation and consider context and power-sensitive realities within MNCs and around them (Boussebaa & Morgan, 2014). Thus, critical perspectives concern “critical themes such as corruption or corporate and social responsibility (CSR)”, but also various interdisciplinary perspectives and brings “discussion of the many political, social, economic and environmental problems and concerns cross border economic activity raises” (Roberts & Dörrenbächer, 2012, p. 6). In other words, critical perspectives raise normative considerations in addition to analytical observations of various forms of capitalism, and social trends; also, they question assumptions of exclusively positive impact of MNCs and their operations.
Consequently, questions comprising critical perspectives in IB are familiar to every IB educator. IB educators may consider: Do discussions in IB classroom introduce diverse perspectives and interests from around the world? Are we leading in depth and sometimes-uncomfortable discussions within our IB classrooms, or are we just scratching the surface of IB-related problems, such as hidden costs of MNC operations, (mis)management of global supply chains, identities assigned to international managers, and alike? How well do we educate future international managers to understand complexities of cross-border operations and evaluate potential tradeoffs between the three spheres of sustainability? Do our courses facilitate the development of independent, reflective international managers who are able to make responsible decisions, facilitate inclusion of racially and culturally diverse workforce, and promote diverse economic interests? Despite the significance of critical perspectives in IB education, studies on this topic are scarce, and only few contributions are available (e.g., Beech 2006; Sliwa & Grandy, 2006; Aula & Tienari, 2011; Alcadipani & Caldas, 2012; Joy & Poonamallee, 2013; Fuchs, 2020).
Critical perspectives are not alien to IB scholarship, they are not limited to the research within the realms of the critical theory, and therefore they could be incorporated in research-based IB education. Critical questions were present even in seminal IB theories. For example, Hymer (1976) has raised questions and observations on MNC social impact inspiring further explorations on the topic of power (e.g., Yamin & Forsgren, 2006). Forsgren (2017) in the famous overview of all six classical IB streams of thought has dedicated a separate section to analyze how each view of the MNC addresses (or not) social and political impact of and such issues within the MNC. More recently critical perspectives are also popping up in mainstream IB journals. For instance, Geary and Aguzzoli (2016) demonstrate how incorporating analysis of perspectives from multiple stakeholders can help to understand certain IB phenomenon better. Moeller and Maley (2018) shed light on lesbian, gay and bisexual experiences in their expatriation assignments. Vaara, Tienari, and Koveshnikov (2019) elaborate on the ways MNC engage in national identity politics. Unfortunately, such research has been rarely extensively covered in IB textbooks, cases, or other teaching materials. IB educators are lacking understanding on how to integrate these and similar publications in their courses.
Finally, “learning involves transforming how we understand our experiences of ‘reality’ to free ourselves to think differently” (Huber & Knights, 2021, p. 18). It is necessary to recognize that critical perspectives in IB education require pedagogical approaches that uplift social interaction and consider learning as social rather than an individual experience (Perriton & Reynolds, 2018; Huber & Knights, 2021). However, it remains unexplored, what teaching methods would be suitable to achieve these learning outcomes, or create such learning environments.
Overall, we believe that there is a need to start addressing critical perspectives in IB education more systematically, so that IB education globally would shift from reactive to proactive stance in preparing future managers for their international careers. As there are more questions of diverse nature around the critical perspectives in IB education than well-established or at least potential answers, we are calling for papers that investigate but are not limited to the issues listed below.Potential topics (the list is not exhaustive) that are welcomed to the special issue are:
- Defining critical perspectives in IB education: when can we consider a course, or a lecture comprising critical perspectives? How and in what ways extending the boundaries of the topics that are considered as appropriate in IB education may benefit students embarking on an IB career?
- How to teach classical IB theories with critical perspectives?
- Myths and realities about critical perspectives in IB education
- Why critical perspectives in IB education are important? What critique and skepticism they may face and from whom?
- What powers and organizations and in what ways influence IB education forms and its content?
- Power of IB scholarship tradition and its influence on IB education ability to remain rigorous and relevant
- Contrasts and similarities of critical perspectives in IB education in developed and emerging countries
- Suitable teaching materials and methods to pedagogically utilize these materials when teaching critical perspectives in IB; tools for teaching critical perspectives in IB courses. How does e-internationalization trend impact teaching critical perspectives on IB?
- Regenerative systems and sustainability (economical, ecological, and social), and their role in IB education
- To what extent and in what ways integration of critical perspectives in IB education would support achievement of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals?
- Topics beyond sustainability that could and should be addressed in the IB courses (e.g., ethics, non-market issues, political and corporate scandals, corruption, and others), which aim to foster, or address critical perspectives
- Critical perspectives and critical thinking in IB: how the two could support each other in IB education? What is lost when only critical thinking is utilized when teaching IB?
- Student reactions to critical perspectives in IB courses. How to address diverse reactions appropriately? How to support students in handling ambiguity which critical perspectives in IB education are likely to bring? How to handle potential tensions when teaching critical perspectives in culturally and racially diverse classroom?
- Uplifting students from the disadvantaged groups, or regions, with diverse abilities, or unconventional thinking via the IB education: methods and best practices
- Critical perspectives in IB education in undergraduate, master’s, PhD, and executive programs: similarities and differences in the needs and scope
- Motives, incentives, and potential challenges for an IB educator to integrate critical perspectives in their courses. How to overcome internal and external resistance when integrating critical perspectives in IB programs and classes?
- The role of IB scholars in designing education programs and courses that develop international managers who are able to internalize takeaways from global crises (CoVid, Global Financial crisis, etc.) and take initiatives to improve organizational and institutional loopholes that lead to those crises.
- How IB educators could utilize global pandemics and its aftermath to initiate wider inclusion of critical perspectives in IB education?
This special issue welcomes conceptual work with insights on teaching philosophies and approaches that would suit integration of critical perspectives in IB education within the existing normative and other institutional constrains. In addition, both qualitative and quantitative studies are welcomed. Ideally, this special issue will create foundations on how IB educators who are interested in taking proactive stance in sustainable and responsible education of future international managers could approach this process, how they could cope with potential internal and external resistance to their initiatives. Moreover, we hope that the special issue will suggest the principles for how to design IB programs and courses that incorporate critical perspectives while still acknowledging value and insights from the classical IB theories.
Alcadipani, R., & Caldas, M. P. (2012). Americanizing Brazilian management. Critical perspectives on international business.
Atabaki, A. M. S., Keshtiaray, N., & Yarmohammadian, M. H. (2015). Scrutiny of Critical Thinking Concept. International Education Studies, 8(3), 93-102.
Aula, H. M., & Tienari, J. (2011). Becoming “world‐class”? Reputation‐building in a university merger. Critical perspectives on international business.
Beech, N. (2006). Intense, vigorous, soft and fun: Identity work and the international MBA. Critical Perspectives on International Business.
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Boussebaa, M., & Morgan, G. (2014). Pushing the frontiers of critical international business studies. Critical Perspectives on International Business.
Clarke, J. (2019). Critical Dialogues: Thinking Together in Turbulent Times. Bristol: Policy Press. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-4473-5097-2.
Desai, M. S., Berger, B. D., & Higgs, R. (2016). Critical thinking skills for business school graduates as demanded by employers: a strategic perspective and recommendations. Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, 20(1), 10-31.
Forsgren, M. (2017). Theories of the multinational firm: A multidimensional creature in the global economy. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Fuchs, M. (2020). MNCs’ open international strategy–local dynamics: transfer of German “vocational education and training” to emerging economies. critical perspectives on international business.
Geary, J., & Aguzzoli, R. (2016). Miners, politics and institutional caryatids: Accounting for the transfer of HRM practices in the Brazilian multinational enterprise. Journal of International Business Studies, 47(8), 968-996.
Geppert, M., & Dörrenbächer, C. (2014). Politics and power within multinational corporations: Mainstream studies, emerging critical approaches and suggestions for future research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 16(2), 226-244.
Huber, G., & Knights, D. (2021). Identity Work and Pedagogy: Revisiting George Herbert Mead as a Vehicle for Critical Management Education and Learning. Academy of Management Learning & Education, (ja).
Hymer, S. H. (1976). International operations of national firms. MIT press.
Joy, S., & Poonamallee, L. (2013). Cross-cultural teaching in globalized management classrooms: Time to move from functionalist to postcolonial approaches?. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 12(3), 396-413.
Moeller, M., & Maley, J. F. (2018). MNC Considerations in identifying and managing LGexpatriate stigmatization. International Journal of Management Reviews, 20(2): 325-342.
Perriton, L., & Reynolds, M. (2018). Critical management education in challenging times. Management Learning, 49(5), 521-536.
Roberts, J., & Dörrenbächer, C. (2012). The futures of critical perspectives on international business. critical perspectives on international business.
Sliwa, M., & Grandy, G. (2006). Real or hyper‐real? Cultural experiences of overseas business students. Critical perspectives on international business.
Vaara, E., Tienari, J., & Koveshnikov, A. (2019). From cultural differences to identity politics: A critical discursive approach to national identity in multinational corporations. Journal of Management Studies.
Yamin, M., & Forsgren, M. (2006). Hymer's analysis of the multinational organization: Power retention and the demise of the federative MNE. International Business Review, 15(2), 166-179.
Miguel Córdova Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Management at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP)
Internationalization Leader for the Management School and Department at PUCP
T&E SIG Resources Chair, Academy of International Business (AIB)
Country Director, AIB-LAC Peru