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In the current times, regulatory environments surrounding Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) are changing in both developed countries (notably, in the US & the UK) and in emerging economies. The ‘nonmarket’ environment surrounding MNEs comprises of social actors such as communities and non-governmental organisations; and political actors such as regulatory agencies and the government.

MNEs come across a variety of nonmarket stakeholders who often have conflicting expectations. Via nonmarket strategies, MNEs can address the interests of various stakeholders, such as of customers in demanding low-priced products, of employees of having continued jobs, of shareholders of expecting reasonable profits, and of communities in contributing to local development. In doing so, MNEs can participate in the government’s policymaking process by cooperating with nonmarket actors and by identifying win-win solutions.

Research on MNEs’ non-market strategies is scarce and non-market strategies become increasingly important in the current times of uncertainty. At the opening plenary session, we therefore call for greater research in this rather less-researched, yet important aspect of international business, and on the implications of MNEs’ nonmarket strategies.