*Special Issue of the Journal of Business Research*


*Special Guest Editors:*

· Jeffrey J. Reuer (University of Colorado Boulder, USA,
[log in to unmask])

· Marjorie Lyles (Florida International University, USA, [log in to unmask])

· Samuel Adomako (University of Birmingham, UK, [log in to unmask])

· Riikka M Sarala (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA,
[log in to unmask])

· Jeoung Yul Lee (Hongik University, Korea / Chongqing Technology &
Business University, China, *[log in to unmask]
<[log in to unmask]>*)

· Consulting Senior Editor: Lucia Naldi (Jönköping University, Sweden,
[log in to unmask])

*Submission window: **February 1st - September 30, 2024*

*Submission deadline: **September 30, 2024*

*Tentative publication date: *Spring 2026

*Related tracks:* International Business; CSR and Business Ethics

*Motivation for the Special Issue*

This Special Issue focuses on the importance of political institutions,
such as democratic and autocratic beliefs, and examines their impact on
international business (IB). The traditional definition of democracy refers
to a political system characterized by “free and fair elections, adult
suffrage, protection of civil liberties, and few non-elected tutelary
authorities (e.g., militaries, monarchies, religious bodies)” (Filippaios,
Annan-Diab, Hermidas, & Theodoraki, 2019: 1104). Under democratic
governance, political governance risks can be reduced, and multinational
corporations (MNCs) can benefit from democracy. In this sense, because “a
true democracy” can strongly protect political rights and civil liberties
(Levitsky & Way, 2010), politically transparent and democratic host
countries can attract MNCs from democratic home countries (Filippaios et
al., 2019).

However, the intersection of the phenomenon of democracy and international
business (IB) remains a conceptual, theoretical, and empirical research gap
in the IB field except for a few papers (e.g., Arregle, Miller, Hitt, &
Beamish, 2013; Filippaios et al., 2019). In leading management and IB
journals, few studies have dealt with democracy in the business/management
context from an IB perspective (c.f., Stratu-Strelet et al., 2023).
Furthermore, among these few studies, only two papers have dealt with
democracy and IB directly (Arregle et al., 2013; Filippaios et al., 2019).
Within the broader fields of political science and economics, the
relationship between democracy, political risk, and international trade has
been examined, but few discussions have pertained to the level of
international firms, such as MNCs or small international firms (e.g.,
global firms), and managerial decision-making. However, democratization
plays a vital role for companies when deciding on the modus operandi for
their foreign investment (As-Saber et al., 2001). In addition,
democratization can leverage prosperity and free trade, which rely on the
institutional determinants of both international and local micro- and
macroeconomic mechanisms and interest group rivalry (Henisz & Mansfield,
2006). This research gap implies interesting avenues for further research,
including examining firms in the context of less-developed, emerging
markets and transition economies where “low intensity” democratic or
autocratic political regimes prevail, which influences MNCs’ operations and
globalization (Youngs, 2004).

To address this gap, this Special Issue aims to contribute to an
interdisciplinary and heterogenous understanding of the role of democracy
in the IB. Democracy is a socially important and relevant topic through
which the IB can offer novel contributions with the broader goal of
progress towards a better and socially more equitable world. For example,
the literature on international political economy has examined the
association between democratic governance and the degree of democracy in
host countries (Asiedu & Lien, 2011; Greider, 1998; Ursprung & Harms,
2001), with conflicting results. Some studies have found that MNCs
undertake FDI more in host countries where democratic governance prevails
(McGuire & Olson, 1996; Ursprung & Harms, 2001). On the other hand,
previous studies have revealed a negative association between MNCs’ FDI and
democracies in host countries (Greider, 1998; Wintrobe, 1998) or even a
non-linear association between them (Adam & Filippaios, 2007; Asiedu &
Lien, 2011). Hence, all these studies are predominantly based on an
international political economy perspective, and there is no clear
conclusion. In addition, there has been limited exchange between the fields
of international political economy and IB in translating the findings to
the level of specific critical decisions for international firm managers.
There is a need to bring interdisciplinary theorizing (from economics,
political science, public administrative science, sociology, and
psychology) to the field of IB in an integrative manner, with a focus on
different types of international firms, their managers, employees, and
stakeholders. Moreover, we encourage research that pursues creative or
innovative ways of operationalizing democracy and democratic governance to
capture its multiple dimensions.

Submissions should offer explicit and new theoretical contributions(s) but
can build on relevant theoretical perspectives. It is crucial to employ a
theoretical framework to link democracy—as a broader, cross-disciplinary
field of interest—and IB to develop novel theoretical insights and
contributions that can benefit decision-making in international firms.

We encourage multidisciplinary approaches and multilevel research designs.
Researchers can study democracy in the IB context based on various data
sources. For example, to investigate the impact of the political democracy
of host countries and geographic regions on MNCs’ location selection,
Arregle et al. (2013) used a composite index based on factor analysis on
datasets from multiple data sources, such as Freedom House’s annual survey
of political rights and civil liberties and the Political Constraint Index
(POLCON) dataset (Henisz, 2000). To explore the impact of a host country’s
political governance (democratic vs. autocratic regimes) on its
attractiveness to MNCs, Filippaios et al. (2019) measured political
governance (a composite index on the spectrum of democratic and autocratic
regimes) based on Polity IV and civil liberties suppression based on
Freedom House. In addition, research can utilize content analysis based on
Internet searches, newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and surveys.
Furthermore, qualitative research based on field research and interviews
can offer unique insights into these phenomena.

*Specific Focus of the Special Issue *

Given the understudied research gap on the effects of democracy on IB and
vice versa, as well as the related organizational outcomes and interaction
effects, the themes of this call for papers are purposefully very wide. We
offer the following areas and research questions as illustrative examples
rather than an exhaustive list:

*1. Democratic vs. autocratic political governance and organizations  *

● What are the effects of different dimensions of democracy on
organizational processes across borders (e.g., international corporate
social responsibility, international knowledge flows and spillovers,
internationalization process and entry mode decisions, location selections,
and so on) (Ursprung & Harms, 2001)?

● What are the relationships between institutions, political rights, civil
liberties, and FDI outflows and inflows?

● How does human capital moderate the relationship between civil liberties
and FDI motives?

● What is the relationship between global CSR practices and democracy? What
are their implications on the behaviors of MNCs (Wettstein, Giuliani,
Santangelo, & Stahl, 2019)? How do institutional voids in home countries of
emerging market MNCs allow them to decouple CSR from their implementations
(Tashman, Marano, & Kostova, 2018)?

● What are the repercussions of well-established economic institutions and
protection laws in home and host countries to attract FDI inflows (Wong,

*2. Democracy vs. autocracy and global value chains, digitalization,
environmental disruptions, institutions, and non-market strategy*

● How do democracy and autocracy affect global value chains? What are their
implications for the regionalization and localization of global value
chains currently? What are the implications of this agenda for
globalization/de-globalization and IB?

● How do digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution affect the
relationship between democracy and MNCs’ FDI?

● How does democracy vs. autocracy affect the non-market strategies of
MNCs? How do lobbying, bribery, corruption, and political connections
affect MNCs’ FDI decisions and entry modes, as well as

● How do formal institutions and societal trust relate to democracy and IB
(Gaur, Pattnaik, Singh, & Lee, 2022)?

*3. Research across levels of analysis*

Democracy can be conceptualized at various levels, such as the
supranational, regional, national, corporate, subsidiary, functional area,
team, or individual levels of analysis, as well. The examples are as

● From the push-and-pull forces perspective, how does the home country’s
political democracy influence the internationalization of an MNC in a host
country (Arregle et al., 2013)? How does the host country’s
“region-relative” political democracy influence the internationalization of
an MNC (Arregle et al., 2013)?

● How can organizations maintain democratic rules across their overseas
subsidiaries or operational locations to obtain social outcomes or create
global efficiency and outcomes?

● How do advanced vs. emerging economies-based business groups differ in
their emphasis on human rights or labor rights, and what are the
implications for IB? How do different types of business groups (i.e.,
widely held, state-owned, and family owned) (Cuervo-Cazurra, 2006) affect
MNCs’ human or labor rights orientation?

● How do organizations deal with human rights or labor rights across their
global units (headquarters, regional headquarters, and subsidiaries),
functions, or teams?

● How do entrepreneurs maintain the rule of human rights or labor rights
when they expand their start-ups to the global markets? How do MNC CEOs or
senior managers maintain human rights or labor rights for their employees
in local subsidiaries, especially in the context of weak institutions?

*Paper Development Workshop Conference and Symposium*

To help authors further improve their papers, we will organize a paper
development workshop conference during February of 2025. We invite the
authors of papers that receive the decision to revise and resubmit their
papers, but participation in the workshop is not a condition for the
acceptance of a paper for the Special Issue. This opportunity allows these
authors to receive constructive feedback from well-reputed journal editors,
discussants, and conference participants, and can support these authors in
strengthening and improving their manuscripts.

In addition, we plan to hold a symposium at a major academic conference in
2026 for papers selected for acceptance in our special issue to increase
their visibility and impact.

*Submission Process and Deadlines*

All manuscripts will be reviewed as cohorts in this Special Issue.
 Manuscripts must be submitted *between* *February 1st and September 30,
2024**,* at *
<>*. All submissions will go through
the JBR regular double-blind review process and follow the standard norms
and processes.

For more information on this call for a paper, please contact the Special
Issue Editors.


Adam, A., & Filippaios, F. (2007). Foreign direct investment and civil
liberties: A new perspective. *European Journal of Political Economy, 234*,

Arregle, J.-L., Miller, T. L., Hitt, M. A., & Beamish, P. W. (2013). Do
regions matter? An integrated institutional and semiglobalization
perspective on the internationalization of MNEs. *Strategic Management
Journal, 34*(8), 910–934.

Asiedu, E., & Lien, D. (2011). Democracy, foreign direct investment, and
natural resources. *Journal of International Economics, 841*, 99–111.

As-Saber, S. N., Dowling, P. J., & Liesch, P. W. (2001). *Geopolitics and
its impacts on international business decisions: A framework for a
geopolitical paradigm of international business.* School of Management,
University of Tasmania.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A. (2006). Business groups and their types. *Asia Pacific
Journal of Management, 23*, 419–437.

Dunning, J. H. (1997). Governments and the macro-organization of economic
activity: A historical and spatial perspective. In J. H. Dunning
(Ed.), *Governments,
globalization, and international business. *New York: Oxford University

Dunning, J. H. (1998). Location and multinational enterprise: A neglected
factor*. Journal of International Business Studies, 29*(1), 45–66.

Filippaios, F., Annan-Diab, F., Hermidas, A., & Theodoraki, C. (2019).
governance, civil liberties, and human capital: Evaluating their effect on
foreign direct investment in emerging and developing economies *Journal of
International Business Studies, 50*, 1103–1129.

Gaur, A., Pattnaik, C., Singh, D., & Lee, J. Y. (2022). Societal trust,
formal institutions, and foreign subsidiary staffing. *Journal of
International Business Studies*, in press.

Greider, W. (1998). *One world, ready or not: The manic logic of global
capitalism.* New York: Simon & Schuster.

Henisz, W. J. (2000). The institutional environment for economic
growth. *Economics
and Politics, 12*, 1–31.

Henisz, W. J., & Mansfield, E. D. (2006). Votes and vetoes: The political
determinants of commercial openness. *International Studies Quarterly, 50*,

Jensen, N. M. (2003). Democratic governance and multinational corporations:
Political regimes and inflows of foreign direct investment. *International
Organization, 57*, 587–616.

Levitsky, S., & Way, L. A. (2010). *Competitive authoritarianism: Hybrid
regimes after the cold war.* Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

McGuire, M. C., & Olson, M., Jr. (1996). The economics of autocracy and
majority rule: The invisible hand and the use of force. *Journal of
Economic Literature, 34*, 72–96.

Polity IV Project: Dataset Users’ Manual 2007 Monty G. Marshall and Keith

Stratu-Strelet, D., Gil-Gómez, H., Oltra-Badenes, R., Oltra-Gutierrez, J.
V. (2023). Developing a theory of full democratic consolidation: Exploring
the links between democracy and digital transformation in developing
eastern European countries. *Journal of Business Research, 157*, 113543

Tashman, P., Marano, V., & Kostova, T. (2018). Walking the walk or talking
the talk? Corporate social responsibility decoupling in emerging market
multinationals. *Journal of International Business Studies, 50*(2), 153–171.

Ursprung, H., & Harms, P. (2001). Do civil and political repression really
boost foreign direct investments? SSRN eLibrary.

Wettstein, F., Giuliani, E., Santangelo, G. D., & Stahl, G. K. (2019).
business and human rights: A research agenda. *Journal of World Business,
541*, 54–65.

Wintrobe, R. (1998). *The political economy of dictatorship.* Cambridge:
Cambridge Books.

Wong, M. Y. H. (2016). Democratic persistence and inequality: The role of
foreign direct investments. *Studies in Comparative International
Development, 51*, 103–123.

Youngs, R. (2004). Democracy and the multinationals. *Democratization, 11*(1),

*About the Guest Editors*

*Professor Jeffrey J. Reuer* has led courses and seminars on business and
corporate strategies, strategic investment decisions, and collaborative
strategies in many graduate degree programs and organizations.  He has also
taught executive education programs at Harvard Business School, Duke
University, INSEAD, the Indian School of Business, the University of
Mannheim, the University of St. Gallen, and Peking University. He served as
an Associate Editor for the *Strategic Management Journal* and as a
Consulting Editor for the *Journal of International Business Studies*. He
recently coedited a special issue of the *Strategic Management Journal* on
the interplay between competition and cooperation. He served on the Board
of Directors of the Strategic Management Society (SMS). He has also served
as the chair of the nomination and selection committee of the Fellows of
the SMS, Chief Grants Officer of the Strategy Research Foundation,
co-founder of the Cooperative Strategies Interest Group, and program chair
of two SMS conferences. He is a Past Chair of the Strategic Management
Division of the Academy of Management and has also served on the
organization's executive and research committees. His recent projects have
focused on the governance and design of alliances, collaborative
strategies, and applications of information economics and real options
theory to various problems in strategy, international business, and
entrepreneurship. He was the first recipient of SMS’s Emerging Scholar
Award. He received the Silver Medal from the *Journal of International
Business Studies* for lifetime scholarly contributions to that journal.

*Professor Marjorie Lyles* is the International Business Distinguished
Research Fellow at the Florida International University College of Business
International. She is the Past President of the Strategic Management
Society and is a Chancellor’s Emeritus Professor of Global Strategic
Management at Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and an Adjunct
Professor at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She is a Fellow of
the Strategy Management Society and the Association of International
Business. Her research has focused on emerging economies since the
mid-1980s. Her mixed methods and longitudinal research required her to seek
research grants, including two National Science Foundation grants that
developed organizational learning and knowledge-based perspectives by
studying alliances in emerging economies. Lyles has worked with
governmental, non-profit, and corporate entities worldwide. She has served
on the editorial boards of the *Strategic Management Journal*, *Academy of
Management Review*, *Journal of International Business Studies* (Area
Editor), and *Global Strategy Journal*.

*Dr Samuel Adomako *is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation at
the University of Birmingham. His research examined the nexus between
strategy and innovation. His research has appeared in leading journals,
including the Journal of Product Innovation Management, *British Journal of
Management,* *International Small Business Journal, International Business
Review, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research,
Business Strategy and the Environment, Management International Review,
Journal of Institutional Economics, Journal of Business Research, Journal
of International Management*, and many others. Dr. Adomako sits on the
editorial boards of Business Strategy and the Environment, and Corporate
Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. He has co-edited
special issues in *Journal of Business Research*, *Industrial Marketing
Management*, *Technological Forecasting, and Social Change*. He is
currently co-editing two special issues of *Journal of International
Management* and *Management International Review *respectively. He received
his PhD from the University of Warwick. He is a fellow of the Higher
Education Academy of the UK.

*Professor Riikka M Sarala* is a Professor of International Business at the
University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her work focuses on corporate
strategies and innovation in cross-cultural contexts. She has published her
research in the leading international business and management journals,
including *Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World
Business, Strategic Management Journal*, *Journal of Management, and
Journal of Management Studies. *She holds/has held the position of
Co-Editor-in-Chief in *British Journal of Management* and the Consulting
Editor of *Journal of Management Studies* and has co-edited special issues
in *Group & Organization Management, Human Resource Management
Review*, and *Journal
of World Business.* She strives to promote a pluralistic,
interdisciplinary, inclusive, and socially relevant IB research. She has
been a visiting scholar at Columbia University in NYC and EM Lyon in
France, and a visiting professor at Aalto University in Finland.

*Professor Jeoung Yul Lee *is a Professor of International Business at
Hongik University School of Business Management (South Korea) and a
Chongqing Bayu Chair Professor selected by Chongqing Municipality Education
Commission (China) as an only Korean scholar. Currently, he serves as an
Associate Editor of the *Journal of Business Research* and *The
International Journal of Human Resource Management*, Deputy Editor of *Asian
Business & Management*, editorial advisory board member of the*
International Business Review*, and editorial review board member of
the *Journal
of Management Studies*, *Management International Review*, *Management and
Organization Review*, *Cross Cultural & Strategic Management*, *International
Journal of Consumer Studies*, and *European Journal of International
Management*. He has served as a leading/managing guest editor of 12 SSCI
and one SCIE journal special issues of the *Management International Review*,
*Journal of Business Research*, *Management and Organization Review*,
Decision*, etc. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Wharton School (USA) and a
Visiting Associate Professor at Leeds University Business School (UK). His
work focuses on advanced and emerging market MNCs’ strategic management,
human rights and global supply chains, human resource management, and CSR.
He has also published 63 papers in SSCI journals, such as the *Journal of
International Business Studies* (2015, 2019, 2022, 2023) and* Human
Resource Management *(2019, 2022).

*Professor Lucia Naldi* is a Professor in Business Administration and Vice
President for Research. She received her doctoral degree from the JIBS and held
an M.Sc. at the University of Florence. Her main research and teaching focus
on entrepreneurship, international business, and strategy. Her research
focuses on the growth and internationalization of small and young firms.
She is also interested in entrepreneurship in various contexts, including
family, media, and rural firms. Lucia’s research has been published in
several journal articles and book chapters. Lucia is affiliated with the
Centre for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO) and the Centre for
Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics (CEnSE).

Jeoung Yul Lee, PhD
Dean and Full Professor, School of Business Management, Hongik U., Sejong
Campus, South Korea

Deputy Editor, *Asian Business & Management* (ABS2/2020 Impact Factor 4.800)

Associate Editor,* The International Journal of Human Resource Management*
 (ABS3/2022 5-Year Impact Factor 6.2)

Associate Editor, *Journal of Business Research* (ABS3/2022 Impact Factor

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