Fast Facts

  • Conference Dates: June 29 – July 3
  • Theme: Reimagining International Business in a Changed World
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA
  • Program Chair: Gary Knight, Willamette University (2021chair@aib.msu.edu)
  • Submission Deadline: January 15, 2021

Disruption, Megatrends, and Transformation: Reimagining International Business in a Changed World

The 2020s highlight exciting new technologies, shifting economic power, and major demographic and geographic change. Rapidly emerging technologies will revolutionize connectivity, data access, and information processing.  The locus of global economic activity is shifting to China, India, and other emerging markets. The rising elderly population, urbanization, and other demographic trends pose enormous opportunities.  Industrialization, urbanization, and soaring global consumption pose new challenges for resources and sustainability.  The Covid-19 pandemic has brought immense change.

Biscayne BayTop megatrends herald important opportunities and challenges. Firms must leverage the latest technologies, and devise and revise business models, to target new markets and the new global demography. But industrialization and rising affluence will coincide with more pollution of the air, land, and water. Strategy must make sustainability and social responsibility essential components of business practice. Nations will need to expand access to food, water, energy, and other key resources.  Top megatrends hold enormous implications for scholarship and practice in international business. Megatrends include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Great Economic Rebalancing. The rise of China and other emerging economies is shifting the locus of  economic activity. One-quarter of the firms on the Fortune Global 500 list are from emerging markets; most are based in China.
  • Accelerated Technological Change. Disruptive technologies are advancing faster than firms’ ability to manage and harness them. Rapid innovation in analytics, connectivity, digital platforms, and automation are affecting workstyles and lifestyles, and necessitate new business models.
  • Volatility and Uncertainty. Geopolitical volatility and market instability point to economic hardship, nationalism, and extremism, increasing risk and uncertainty. Disruptions spread rapidly in an interconnected world.
  • Demographic Shifts. Just as developed economies are home to aging populations, developing economies host younger ones, especially in Asia and Africa.
  • Rise of the Global Middle Class. More than half the world – 3.8 billion people – is now middle class with significant discretionary income. They demand better housing, healthcare, education, retirement services, vacation and leisurely pursuits.
  • Urbanization. Rather than whole nations, MNEs increasingly target the 600 cities worldwide that generate 60 percent of global GDP.
  • Resource Scarcity and Environmental Harm. Just as industrialization is lifting billions from poverty, rising demand is straining supplies of energy, food, water, and other resources. Unrestricted commerce threatens the land, air, and water, and promotes global warming. In recognition of such trends, the 2021 conference features a new shared interest group and track – Sustainability in International Business.
  • Covid19. The global pandemic is a ‘mega-disruption’, with profound consequences for international business. The virus affects internationalization, value chains, strategy, management, the pattern of international trade and investment, as well as teaching and education.

Vizcaya Museum and GardenThese and other trends and disruptions hold important implications for international business.  Such trends are transforming IB and its environments in various ways. What new resources, capabilities, and strategies are needed to manage such developments? What are the consequences for talent, partnerships, and global value chains?

How can firms manage and leverage emergent technologies to skillfully exploit such trends? How can firms best assess and mitigate risk? What is the role of agility and dynamic capabilities in a rapidly evolving world? How can firms strike the best balance in terms of economic, social, and environmental impacts?  What are the implications of aging populations and the mismatch between old and young for work, consumption, economic progress, and public policy? What opportunities and hazards does the rise of the global middle class hold for strategy, management, trade and investment? What new business models will be needed for emerging markets?  What are the implications of top trends for sustainability and corporate social responsibility?

The AIB 2021 conference theme highlights recent, remarkable phenomena. The conference site, Miami, and the local track, Building Bridges to Emerging Markets and the New Global Middle Class, acknowledge the importance of top international trends.

Disruption, Megatrends, and Transformation: Reimagining International Business in a Changed World

The 2020s highlight exciting new technologies, shifting economic power, and major demographic and geographic change. Rapidly emerging technologies will revolutionize connectivity, data access, and information processing.  The locus of global economic activity is shifting to China, India, and other emerging markets. The rising elderly population, urbanization, and other demographic trends pose enormous opportunities.  Industrialization, urbanization, and soaring global consumption pose new challenges for resources and sustainability.  The Covid-19 pandemic has brought immense change.

Top megatrends herald important opportunities and challenges. Firms must leverage the latest technologies, and devise and revise business models, to target new markets and the new global demography. But industrialization and rising affluence will coincide with more pollution of the air, land, and water. Strategy must make sustainability and social responsibility essential components of business practice. Nations will need to expand access to food, water, energy, and other key resources.  Top megatrends hold enormous implications for scholarship and practice in international business. Megatrends include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The Great Economic Rebalancing. The rise of China and other emerging economies is shifting the locus of  economic activity. One-quarter of the firms on the Fortune Global 500 list are from emerging markets; most are based in China.
  • Accelerated Technological Change. Disruptive technologies are advancing faster than firms’ ability to manage and harness them. Rapid innovation in analytics, connectivity, digital platforms, and automation are affecting workstyles and lifestyles, and necessitate new business models.
  • Volatility and Uncertainty. Geopolitical volatility and market instability point to economic hardship, nationalism, and extremism, increasing risk and uncertainty. Disruptions spread rapidly in an interconnected world.
  • Demographic Shifts. Just as developed economies are home to aging populations, developing economies host younger ones, especially in Asia and Africa.
  • Rise of the Global Middle Class. More than half the world – 3.8 billion people – is now middle class with significant discretionary income. They demand better housing, healthcare, education, retirement services, vacation and leisurely pursuits.
  • Urbanization. Rather than whole nations, MNEs increasingly target the 600 cities worldwide that generate 60 percent of global GDP.
  • Resource Scarcity and Environmental Harm. Just as industrialization is lifting billions from poverty, rising demand is straining supplies of energy, food, water, and other resources. Unrestricted commerce threatens the land, air, and water, and promotes global warming. In recognition of such trends, the 2021 conference features a new shared interest group and track – Sustainability in International Business.
  • Covid19. The global pandemic is a ‘mega-disruption’, with profound consequences for international business. The virus affects internationalization, value chains, strategy, management, the pattern of international trade and investment, as well as teaching and education.

These and other trends and disruptions hold important implications for international business.  Such trends are transforming IB and its environments in various ways. What new resources, capabilities, and strategies are needed to manage such developments? What are the consequences for talent, partnerships, and global value chains?

How can firms manage and leverage emergent technologies to skillfully exploit such trends? How can firms best assess and mitigate risk? What is the role of agility and dynamic capabilities in a rapidly evolving world? How can firms strike the best balance in terms of economic, social, and environmental impacts?  What are the implications of aging populations and the mismatch between old and young for work, consumption, economic progress, and public policy? What opportunities and hazards does the rise of the global middle class hold for strategy, management, trade and investment? What new business models will be needed for emerging markets?  What are the implications of top trends for sustainability and corporate social responsibility?

The AIB 2021 conference theme highlights recent, remarkable phenomena. The conference site, Miami, and the local track, Building Bridges to Emerging Markets and the New Global Middle Class, acknowledge the importance of top international trends.

Conference Tracks

1. Internationalization processes and international entrepreneurship

Co-Chairs:
Stephanie Fernhaber, Butler University, sfernhab@butler.edu
Christian Schwens, University of Cologne, schwens@wiso.uni-koeln.de

Rapidly internationalizing SMEs compete and cooperate with large MNEs in the global market. This track seeks contributions that examine the internationalization process for different kinds of firms, whether small and entrepreneurial firms, established multinationals, or latecomer MNEs from emerging markets. It covers contributions that focus on the characteristics of the process, whether gradual, rapid or leapfrogging, increasing or decreasing, as well as the various kinds of human, financial and political resources firms draw on in their internationalization. It can also cover contributions that examine diversity in entrepreneurship, including different kind of entrepreneurs based on gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, location, etc.

Keywords: Internationalization process; Entry modes; Exporting; Gradual internationalization; Rapid internationalization; Early internationalization; Internationalization and performance; De-internationalization; Re-internationalization; International entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial networks; SME exporters; International new ventures; Born-global firms

2. International marketing strategy and consumer behavior

Co-Chairs:
Ahmet Kirca, Michigan State University, kirca@broad.msu.edu
Kelly Hewett, University of Tennessee, khewett@utk.edu

International marketing field is transforming rapidly under the influences of digitalization, technological advances, sustainability pressures, regulatory restrictions, an expanded geographic scope. How do international marketing managers cope with, or even thrive under such challenges? How do consumers respond to these challenges and changes? Succeeding in ever more complex, interconnected and at the same time fragmented consumer markets requires an in-depth understanding of cross-national and cross-cultural similarities/differences, as well as how these similarities/differences affect firms and their customers. This track seeks contributions from both international marketing strategy and consumer behavior sub-field within international marketing.

Keywords: Cross-cultural marketing; Advertising; Pricing; Marketing channels; Distribution channels; Products/services; Standardization/Adaptation; Brand management; Consumer behavior; Customer relationships; Cross-cultural consumer behavior; Country-of-origin effects; Consumer animosity; Consumer well-being; Country-of-origin effects; Digital marketing; Social media marketing; Global retailing; Professional services marketing; B2B marketing; Relationship marketing; Marketing to governments; Market targeting; Segmentation

3. International finance, accounting, and corporate governance

Co-Chairs:
Omrane Guedhami, University of South Carolina, omrane.guedhami@moore.sc.edu 
April Knill, Florida State University, aknill@business.fsu.edu

The track emphasizes investment and financing choices, financial and corporate reporting, and risk management in multinational firms. Firms utilize various governance approaches and allocate decision-making to maximize organizational value while following financial reporting requirements of various nations. Corporate governance encompasses varying levels of internal and external oversight – board structures, compensation practices, ownership patterns, shareholder activism efforts, and disclosure choices across firms and national markets. We invite contributions on international finance and accounting, MNE management, and corporate governance practices in an international context. We welcome novel research on the determinants of governance practices such as legal, financial, and political institutions, and their influences on performance outcomes, accounting standards, financial reporting quality, tax planning practices, financial risk management practices, CSR practices, bank lending, capital market development, venture capital development, and mergers and acquisitions.

Keywords: International finance and taxation; Transfer pricing; Corporate malfeasance; Accounting standards and conventions; Non-financial accounting standards; Non-financial reporting standards; International financial reporting; Financial performance; Capital structure; Financial risk management; Macroeconomic risk management; Global risks; Exchange rate exposure; International financial integration; International cross-listing; Ownership structure; Institutional investors; State ownership; Family ownership; Shareholder activism; Business groups; Board diversity; Board processes, and effectiveness; Directorship interlocks; CEO dismissal; CEO-board dynamics; Firm-stakeholder relationships; Stakeholder activism; Shareholder rights protections; Management compensation

4. Global strategy, organization, and value chains  

Co-Chairs:
Jane Lu, City University of Hong Kong, jane.lu@cityu.edu.hk
Ajai Gaur, Rutgers University, ajai@business.rutgers.edu

Over the last decades MNEs have profoundly changed their strategies and configurations to leverage the opportunities of globalization, and address the complexity of their dynamic international environments. As firms internationalize, they encounter new situations that present both opportunities and constraints for learning and value creation. Managing and harnessing the complexity of diverse settings across countries is crucial to the success of the global firm. Relevant topics for the track include, but are not limited to, international expansion, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, location strategy, entry mode decisions, outsourcing and offshoring decisions (and their reversal), the management, coordination, and governance of global value chains, as well as the development of MNEs’ organizational capabilities and performance.

Keywords: Global value chains; Global production networks; Global operations; Global sourcing; Outsourcing; Offshoring; Geography of IB activities; Relocation of production; Reshoring; Backshoring; Globalization of services; Global strategy; Growth strategies; Competitive strategy; Mergers and acquisitions; Joint ventures and alliances; Location strategy; Parent-subsidiary relationships; Foreign subsidiary management; MNE performance; Organizational learning; Organizational culture; Boundary spanning; Organizational change and development; Organizational structure; Organization of international operations; Organizational capabilities

5. International HRM, global leadership and cross-cultural management

Co-Chairs:
Carol Reade, San Jose State University, carol.reade@sjsu.edu
Hyun-Jung Lee, London School of Economics and Political Science, H.Lee@lse.ac.uk

This track encompasses papers dealing with global leadership, effective multicultural teams, cross-cultural management, global talent management and cultural diversity which are all vital to the management of human resources within the multinational firm. This track also includes papers dealing with a range of HR activities from recruitment and selection to training, performance management, compensation, retention as well as leadership development, and managing multicultural teams. It also covers various international organizational behavior topics and such as the positive and negative effects of diversity for individuals, teams, and organizations, and issues related to cross-cultural management. In addition, the track includes papers that address grand societal challenges (e.g., global migration and refugees) and the people-related and cultural implications for the multinational firm.

Keywords: Cross-cultural management; International human resource management; Global leadership; Cross-cultural leadership; Cosmopolitans; Global mindset; Expatriate management; Talent management; Training and development; Retention; Selection; Performance appraisal; Compensation; Leadership development; Global staffing; International mobility; Education and international careers; Cultural diversity; Cross-cultural communication; Cross-cultural adjustment; Multicultural teams; Virtual teams; Intercultural competence; Cultural intelligence; Bicultural and multicultural identity; International migration; Returnees; Diasporans; Work-family issues; Cross-cultural values and practices; Local compliance; Cultural synergy

6. Gender and diversity 

Co-Chairs:
Tanvi Kothari, San Jose State University, tanvi.kothari@sjsu.edu
Stacey Fitzsimmons, University of Victoria, sfitzsim@uvic.ca

Diversity significantly impacts how firms conduct business across borders and manage multinationals. For example, different societies and organizations vary in terms of expected gender roles, their acceptance of homosexuality and non-traditional gender roles. These issues are often compounded by other aspects of diversity, such as race, ethnicity, physical abilities, or religion. The track invites papers that advance our understanding of the role of diversity and gender across all aspects of IB, including leadership, ethics, finance, marketing, risk management, firm performance, corporate governance, firm internationalization, and strategic management.

Keywords: Diversity; Ethnicity; Gender; Sexual orientation; Gender roles; Gender and Culture; Masculinity and femininity; Gender egalitarianism; Gender-based leadership differences; Gender and internationalization; Women in the multinational organization; Gender and international trade; Sex trafficking; LGBTQ and transgender issues; Gender-based diversity

7. Teaching and education

Co-Chairs:
Marleen Dieleman, National University of Singapore, marleen@nus.edu.sg
Cyntia Vilasboas Calixto, Fundaçao Getulio Vargas, cyntia.calixto@fgv.br

The main objectives of this track are facilitating development and sharing of best teaching practices, providing a forum for teaching-related knowledge sharing, and promoting research on teaching and education that showcases the importance of IB courses in business school curricula. This track addresses IB teaching at every level: undergraduate, graduate, MBA, and executive and covers all aspects of teaching IB, including student engagement, motivation, learning outcomes, and classroom diversity. Specifically, it focuses on the use of different tools and pedagogies such as experiential learning, cases, simulations, role-play, and various forms of multimedia to enhance IB teaching. To this end, this track invites submissions of scholarly papers, interactive session proposals and panels that stimulate teaching innovation and promote best practices in IB teaching.

Keywords: Experiential learning; Developing an IB curriculum; Internationalizing the business school; Internationalizing the curriculum; Cross-cultural classrooms; Case teaching; Executive education; Role of international experience; Simulations and role-playing; Blended learning; Hybrid teaching; Multimedia in IB teaching; IB teaching tools; Management of IB education; Management of educational markets; Competences for teaching IB; Future of IB education

8. Research methods

Co-Chairs:
Aggie Chidlow, University of Birmingham, A.Chidlow@bham.ac.uk
Roberta Aguzzoli, Durham University, roberta.aguzzoli@durham.ac.uk

High-quality and innovative research methods are at the heart of academic scholarship. Thus, developing, challenging, and improving methodological best practice is crucial to our relevance, credibility and growth as a discipline. This track aims not only to recognise and highlight outstanding use of innovative and non-traditional methodological approaches to investigate pertinent international business phenomena but also seeks to showcase rigorous, replicable and transparent use of methods while seeking cutting-edge developments in mixed-methods, qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches.  Areas that papers might cover include: What methods can we develop to address new challenges in IB? How can we adapt more traditional methods for today’s research challenges? How can we achieve a balance between description and generalisibility? How does earlier research stand up to analysis with more recent methods? How can we ensure transparency and replicability of our data and research process?

Keywords: Research methodology; Mixed methods; Qualitative research; Quantitative research; Ethnography; Interviews; Surveys; Experiments, Triangulation, Analytical rigour, Methodological rigour; Meta-analysis; Interdisciplinary research; Methodological innovation; Equivalence; Reliability; Transparency; Replicability

9. Emerging markets and emerging market MNEs

Co-Chairs:
Surender Munjal, University of Leeds, S.Munjal@lubs.leeds.ac.uk
Nila Wiese, University of Puget Sound, nwiese@pugetsound.edu

This track welcomes papers that explore novel issues of doing business in emerging markets (EMs), such as research on non-market strategies, new business models, government-private sector cooperation, and firms’ transitions from a culture of incremental innovation to a culture of breakthrough innovation. We encourage papers that clarify the uniqueness and evolution of EM multinationals (e.g., are they still emerging); and that explore foreign direct investment trends, internationalization and other strategies, and competitive dynamics in EM firms. We strongly welcome papers that explore under-researched emerging markets – e.g., in Africa, Asia, or Latin America. We also invite well-articulated theoretical papers that can advance thinking in these areas, or that enhance understanding of the impact of, and EM firms’ responses to, important global trends.

Keywords: Emerging markets; Emerging market opportunities; Transition economies; Socialism; Capitalism; Colonialism; Economic development; Comparative and competitive advantages; Emerging market institutional environment; Foreign versus indigenous MNEs; State-owned enterprises in emerging markets; Family conglomerates; Privatization; Emerging market firm; Theory of EMNE

10. MNE state relations and international business policy

Co-Chairs:
David Ahlstrom, Chinese University of Hong Kong, ahlstrom@baf.cuhk.edu.hk
Pei Sun, University of Manchester, pei.sun@manchester.ac.uk

What is the role of business in politics, government, and society? How does global and domestic political uncertainty affect MNEs? With political systems and ideologies in flux, populism on the rise, and trade deals being altered or discarded, the current situation has given rise to complex political, social, and business challenges, making these questions ever more salient. What strategies and tactics can MNEs adopt to manage social and political challenges and achieve competitive advantage? How can nonmarket strategies enable MNEs to better manage complex nonmarket and geopolitical risks? What are innovative business approaches to environmental and social challenges? In some cases, MNEs are engaged in social and political issues such as navigating climate change agreements or addressing global migration. In other cases, businesses can help to find solutions to social tensions.

Keywords: Institutions; Institutional environment; Institutional voids; Government; Political environment; Legal environment; International business policy; Nonmarket strategy; Political strategies; Social sustainability; Supranational governance; Regional integration; Trade agreements; Trade disputes; Uncertainty; Volatility; Social license; Country risk; Political risk; Disaster risk; Societal impact; Social movements; Rule of law; Law; Regulation; Government intervention; Protectionism; Trade barriers; Foreign trade zone; Subsidies and incentives; Public policy; Global governance; Instability; Migration; Poverty; Protectionism; Stakeholders

11. Sustainability in international business

Co-Chairs:
Shasha Zhao, University of Surrey, shasha.zhao@surrey.ac.uk
John Dilyard, St. Francis College, jdilyard@gmail.com

Sustainability is integral to global economic development and to firms’ international business engagement (i.e., operations, behavior and interaction with stakeholders). International firms are key societal actors and called on to consider and contribute to the sustainable development challenge in their decisions and actions. Multinational enterprises in particular have taken up the challenge, though progress has been slow. This may be partly due to the managerial difficulties of balancing shareholder needs and stakeholder interests, and limited resources to address the promise-performance gap. The track welcomes papers that explore firms’ engagement in sustainability through: reducing carbon footprints; better use of resources throughout the value chains; adopting circular economy techniques; implementing latest digital technologies; achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals; or working with national and international policies. This track invites empirical, conceptual, and theoretical research that addresses these issues and increases understanding on how international business shapes and is shaped by sustainability. Contributions that guide scholars to navigate sustainability research to gain actionable knowledge for managers are also welcome.

Keywords: Environmental sustainability; Sustainability development goals (SDGs); Sustainable global value chains (GVCs); Green development; Natural environment; Pollution; Environmental harm; Energy; Economic inequality; Social welfare; Business ethics; Circular economy; Digital sustainability; Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

12. Knowledge, innovation, and technology 

Co-Chairs:
Daekwan Kim, Florida State University, dkim@business.fsu.edu
Ruey-Jer “Bryan” Jean, National Chengchi University, bryan@nccu.edu.tw

This track deals with the creation, transfer and exploitation of knowledge, issues central both to the theory of the MNE and to MNE management, organization, and strategy. It examines the structure, location and governance of both internal R&D and R&D undertaken in cooperation with external parties. The theme comprises how MNEs through imitation, licensing, joint ventures, acquisitions and collaborations with other firms can access and absorb novel technical and scientific advances, and the challenges associated with the protection of proprietary technology, especially in weak appropriability regimes. Relevant is the study of all these aspects of MNE behavior both in their own right, and in terms of their relationships to the changing geography of innovation, and the evolution of national and regional innovation systems.

Keywords: Knowledge governance; Knowledge sharing; International R&D; R&D strategy and management; Management of innovation; Reverse innovation; Open innovation; Innovation networks; National innovation systems; Innovation clusters; Information technology; Digital technology; Digital platform; International technology strategy; Reverse technology transfer; Technology transfer; Replication and imitation; Appropriability regimes; Inventor mobility; Patenting strategy; Local embeddedness; Cross-border connectivity; Internet; Big data; Analytics

13. Conference track: Disruption, megatrends, and transformation: reimagining international business in a changed world  

Co-Chairs:
Paul Ryan, Trinity College Dublin, Paul.Ryan@tcd.ie
Giulio Buciuni, Trinity College Dublin, buciunig@tcd.ie

The 2020s herald exciting new technologies, shifting economic power, and major demographic and geographic changes. The world is changing faster than ever before. Emergent technologies are revolutionizing connectivity, data access, and production. But evolution seldom comes cost free. Crises such as the Covid pandemic transcend borders with impunity causing generational disruptions to international business. Collaborative global innovation is one positive approach to urgently needed solutions.  This track welcomes papers that address the nature or the impact of disruptions and megatrends in international business, including: technology, rising global interconnectedness, economic power shift, evolving demographics, urbanization, environmental deterioration, Covid-19, de-globalization and other such trends.  Where and how do key trends intersect, and how can firms tackle resultant opportunities and threats?

Keywords: Technological breakthroughs; Disruptive technology; Connected ecosystems; Industry 4.0; Fourth industrial revolution; Artificial intelligence and robotics; Automation; Transportation revolution; Digital money; Black swans; Demographic changes; Rising senior population; Talent shortage; Geographic changes; Shifting economic power; Industrialization; Urbanization; Megacities; Debt crisis; War and conflict; Terrorism; Resource scarcity; Energy crisis; Climate change; Globalization; De-globalization; Rising global competition; New global challengers; Covid-19 pandemic

14. Local track: Building bridges to emerging markets and the new global middle class

Co-Chairs:
Sumit Kundu, Florida International University, kundus@fiu.edu
Orhun Guldiken, Florida International University, oguldike@fiu.edu

Exponential growth of the middle class is a defining feature of emerging markets. Given the state of current research, this track welcomes papers that seek to conceptualize and operationalize the new global ‘middle class’. For instance, how does the concept of middle class challenge, extend, or hinder the applicability of existing theories and perspectives presently employed in international business research?  In addition to MNEs, what types of firms (e.g., SMEs, SOEs, international new ventures & born globals, digital platform firms) target the new global middle class? What tactics and strategies do such firms use and how stable are they over time? Theory and practice can also benefit from a closer examination of intra-emerging market activity and inter-emerging market activity. The track welcomes theoretical and empirical studies that use various methodologies on these and related topics in emerging markets.

Keywords: Middle class; middle class market segments; Rising disposable income; Household income; Aspirational consumers; Middle class lifestyle; Economic and social mobility; Entrepreneurial dynamism; Rising market potential; New business opportunities

Submitting Your Work

All submissions must be made through AIB’s online submission system, which opens November 15, 2020.

Please refer to our Submission Guide for additional information on how to prepare and submit your work. All submissions must be made by January 15, 2021.

1. Internationalization processes and international entrepreneurship

Co-Chairs:
Stephanie Fernhaber, Butler University, sfernhab@butler.edu
Christian Schwens, University of Cologne, schwens@wiso.uni-koeln.de

Rapidly internationalizing SMEs compete and cooperate with large MNEs in the global market. This track seeks contributions that examine the internationalization process for different kinds of firms, whether small and entrepreneurial firms, established multinationals, or latecomer MNEs from emerging markets. It covers contributions that focus on the characteristics of the process, whether gradual, rapid or leapfrogging, increasing or decreasing, as well as the various kinds of human, financial and political resources firms draw on in their internationalization. It can also cover contributions that examine diversity in entrepreneurship, including different kind of entrepreneurs based on gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, location, etc.

Keywords: Internationalization process; Entry modes; Exporting; Gradual internationalization; Rapid internationalization; Early internationalization; Internationalization and performance; De-internationalization; Re-internationalization; International entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial networks; SME exporters; International new ventures; Born-global firms

2. International marketing strategy and consumer behavior

Co-Chairs:
Ahmet Kirca, Michigan State University, kirca@broad.msu.edu
Kelly Hewett, University of Tennessee, khewett@utk.edu

International marketing field is transforming rapidly under the influences of digitalization, technological advances, sustainability pressures, regulatory restrictions, an expanded geographic scope. How do international marketing managers cope with, or even thrive under such challenges? How do consumers respond to these challenges and changes? Succeeding in ever more complex, interconnected and at the same time fragmented consumer markets requires an in-depth understanding of cross-national and cross-cultural similarities/differences, as well as how these similarities/differences affect firms and their customers. This track seeks contributions from both international marketing strategy and consumer behavior sub-field within international marketing.

Keywords: Cross-cultural marketing; Advertising; Pricing; Marketing channels; Distribution channels; Products/services; Standardization/Adaptation; Brand management; Consumer behavior; Customer relationships; Cross-cultural consumer behavior; Country-of-origin effects; Consumer animosity; Consumer well-being; Country-of-origin effects; Digital marketing; Social media marketing; Global retailing; Professional services marketing; B2B marketing; Relationship marketing; Marketing to governments; Market targeting; Segmentation

3. International finance, accounting, and corporate governance

Co-Chairs:
Omrane Guedhami, University of South Carolina, omrane.guedhami@moore.sc.edu 
April Knill, Florida State University, aknill@business.fsu.edu

The track emphasizes investment and financing choices, financial and corporate reporting, and risk management in multinational firms. Firms utilize various governance approaches and allocate decision-making to maximize organizational value while following financial reporting requirements of various nations. Corporate governance encompasses varying levels of internal and external oversight – board structures, compensation practices, ownership patterns, shareholder activism efforts, and disclosure choices across firms and national markets. We invite contributions on international finance and accounting, MNE management, and corporate governance practices in an international context. We welcome novel research on the determinants of governance practices such as legal, financial, and political institutions, and their influences on performance outcomes, accounting standards, financial reporting quality, tax planning practices, financial risk management practices, CSR practices, bank lending, capital market development, venture capital development, and mergers and acquisitions.

Keywords: International finance and taxation; Transfer pricing; Corporate malfeasance; Accounting standards and conventions; Non-financial accounting standards; Non-financial reporting standards; International financial reporting; Financial performance; Capital structure; Financial risk management; Macroeconomic risk management; Global risks; Exchange rate exposure; International financial integration; International cross-listing; Ownership structure; Institutional investors; State ownership; Family ownership; Shareholder activism; Business groups; Board diversity; Board processes, and effectiveness; Directorship interlocks; CEO dismissal; CEO-board dynamics; Firm-stakeholder relationships; Stakeholder activism; Shareholder rights protections; Management compensation

4. Global strategy, organization, and value chains  

Co-Chairs:
Jane Lu, City University of Hong Kong, jane.lu@cityu.edu.hk
Ajai Gaur, Rutgers University, ajai@business.rutgers.edu

Over the last decades MNEs have profoundly changed their strategies and configurations to leverage the opportunities of globalization, and address the complexity of their dynamic international environments. As firms internationalize, they encounter new situations that present both opportunities and constraints for learning and value creation. Managing and harnessing the complexity of diverse settings across countries is crucial to the success of the global firm. Relevant topics for the track include, but are not limited to, international expansion, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, location strategy, entry mode decisions, outsourcing and offshoring decisions (and their reversal), the management, coordination, and governance of global value chains, as well as the development of MNEs’ organizational capabilities and performance.

Keywords: Global value chains; Global production networks; Global operations; Global sourcing; Outsourcing; Offshoring; Geography of IB activities; Relocation of production; Reshoring; Backshoring; Globalization of services; Global strategy; Growth strategies; Competitive strategy; Mergers and acquisitions; Joint ventures and alliances; Location strategy; Parent-subsidiary relationships; Foreign subsidiary management; MNE performance; Organizational learning; Organizational culture; Boundary spanning; Organizational change and development; Organizational structure; Organization of international operations; Organizational capabilities

5. International HRM, global leadership and cross-cultural management

Co-Chairs:
Carol Reade, San Jose State University, carol.reade@sjsu.edu
Hyun-Jung Lee, London School of Economics and Political Science, H.Lee@lse.ac.uk

This track encompasses papers dealing with global leadership, effective multicultural teams, cross-cultural management, global talent management and cultural diversity which are all vital to the management of human resources within the multinational firm. This track also includes papers dealing with a range of HR activities from recruitment and selection to training, performance management, compensation, retention as well as leadership development, and managing multicultural teams. It also covers various international organizational behavior topics and such as the positive and negative effects of diversity for individuals, teams, and organizations, and issues related to cross-cultural management. In addition, the track includes papers that address grand societal challenges (e.g., global migration and refugees) and the people-related and cultural implications for the multinational firm.

Keywords: Cross-cultural management; International human resource management; Global leadership; Cross-cultural leadership; Cosmopolitans; Global mindset; Expatriate management; Talent management; Training and development; Retention; Selection; Performance appraisal; Compensation; Leadership development; Global staffing; International mobility; Education and international careers; Cultural diversity; Cross-cultural communication; Cross-cultural adjustment; Multicultural teams; Virtual teams; Intercultural competence; Cultural intelligence; Bicultural and multicultural identity; International migration; Returnees; Diasporans; Work-family issues; Cross-cultural values and practices; Local compliance; Cultural synergy

6. Gender and diversity 

Co-Chairs:
Tanvi Kothari, San Jose State University, tanvi.kothari@sjsu.edu
Stacey Fitzsimmons, University of Victoria, sfitzsim@uvic.ca

Diversity significantly impacts how firms conduct business across borders and manage multinationals. For example, different societies and organizations vary in terms of expected gender roles, their acceptance of homosexuality and non-traditional gender roles. These issues are often compounded by other aspects of diversity, such as race, ethnicity, physical abilities, or religion. The track invites papers that advance our understanding of the role of diversity and gender across all aspects of IB, including leadership, ethics, finance, marketing, risk management, firm performance, corporate governance, firm internationalization, and strategic management.

Keywords: Diversity; Ethnicity; Gender; Sexual orientation; Gender roles; Gender and Culture; Masculinity and femininity; Gender egalitarianism; Gender-based leadership differences; Gender and internationalization; Women in the multinational organization; Gender and international trade; Sex trafficking; LGBTQ and transgender issues; Gender-based diversity

7. Teaching and education

Co-Chairs:
Marleen Dieleman, National University of Singapore, marleen@nus.edu.sg
Cyntia Vilasboas Calixto, Fundaçao Getulio Vargas, cyntia.calixto@fgv.br

The main objectives of this track are facilitating development and sharing of best teaching practices, providing a forum for teaching-related knowledge sharing, and promoting research on teaching and education that showcases the importance of IB courses in business school curricula. This track addresses IB teaching at every level: undergraduate, graduate, MBA, and executive and covers all aspects of teaching IB, including student engagement, motivation, learning outcomes, and classroom diversity. Specifically, it focuses on the use of different tools and pedagogies such as experiential learning, cases, simulations, role-play, and various forms of multimedia to enhance IB teaching. To this end, this track invites submissions of scholarly papers, interactive session proposals and panels that stimulate teaching innovation and promote best practices in IB teaching.

Keywords: Experiential learning; Developing an IB curriculum; Internationalizing the business school; Internationalizing the curriculum; Cross-cultural classrooms; Case teaching; Executive education; Role of international experience; Simulations and role-playing; Blended learning; Hybrid teaching; Multimedia in IB teaching; IB teaching tools; Management of IB education; Management of educational markets; Competences for teaching IB; Future of IB education

8. Research methods

Co-Chairs:
Aggie Chidlow, University of Birmingham, A.Chidlow@bham.ac.uk
Roberta Aguzzoli, Durham University, roberta.aguzzoli@durham.ac.uk

High-quality and innovative research methods are at the heart of academic scholarship. Thus, developing, challenging, and improving methodological best practice is crucial to our relevance, credibility and growth as a discipline. This track aims not only to recognise and highlight outstanding use of innovative and non-traditional methodological approaches to investigate pertinent international business phenomena but also seeks to showcase rigorous, replicable and transparent use of methods while seeking cutting-edge developments in mixed-methods, qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches.  Areas that papers might cover include: What methods can we develop to address new challenges in IB? How can we adapt more traditional methods for today’s research challenges? How can we achieve a balance between description and generalisibility? How does earlier research stand up to analysis with more recent methods? How can we ensure transparency and replicability of our data and research process?

Keywords: Research methodology; Mixed methods; Qualitative research; Quantitative research; Ethnography; Interviews; Surveys; Experiments, Triangulation, Analytical rigour, Methodological rigour; Meta-analysis; Interdisciplinary research; Methodological innovation; Equivalence; Reliability; Transparency; Replicability

9. Emerging markets and emerging market MNEs

Co-Chairs:
Surender Munjal, University of Leeds, S.Munjal@lubs.leeds.ac.uk
Nila Wiese, University of Puget Sound, nwiese@pugetsound.edu

This track welcomes papers that explore novel issues of doing business in emerging markets (EMs), such as research on non-market strategies, new business models, government-private sector cooperation, and firms’ transitions from a culture of incremental innovation to a culture of breakthrough innovation. We encourage papers that clarify the uniqueness and evolution of EM multinationals (e.g., are they still emerging); and that explore foreign direct investment trends, internationalization and other strategies, and competitive dynamics in EM firms. We strongly welcome papers that explore under-researched emerging markets – e.g., in Africa, Asia, or Latin America. We also invite well-articulated theoretical papers that can advance thinking in these areas, or that enhance understanding of the impact of, and EM firms’ responses to, important global trends.

Keywords: Emerging markets; Emerging market opportunities; Transition economies; Socialism; Capitalism; Colonialism; Economic development; Comparative and competitive advantages; Emerging market institutional environment; Foreign versus indigenous MNEs; State-owned enterprises in emerging markets; Family conglomerates; Privatization; Emerging market firm; Theory of EMNE

10. MNE state relations and international business policy

Co-Chairs:
David Ahlstrom, Chinese University of Hong Kong, ahlstrom@baf.cuhk.edu.hk
Pei Sun, University of Manchester, pei.sun@manchester.ac.uk

What is the role of business in politics, government, and society? How does global and domestic political uncertainty affect MNEs? With political systems and ideologies in flux, populism on the rise, and trade deals being altered or discarded, the current situation has given rise to complex political, social, and business challenges, making these questions ever more salient. What strategies and tactics can MNEs adopt to manage social and political challenges and achieve competitive advantage? How can nonmarket strategies enable MNEs to better manage complex nonmarket and geopolitical risks? What are innovative business approaches to environmental and social challenges? In some cases, MNEs are engaged in social and political issues such as navigating climate change agreements or addressing global migration. In other cases, businesses can help to find solutions to social tensions.

Keywords: Institutions; Institutional environment; Institutional voids; Government; Political environment; Legal environment; International business policy; Nonmarket strategy; Political strategies; Social sustainability; Supranational governance; Regional integration; Trade agreements; Trade disputes; Uncertainty; Volatility; Social license; Country risk; Political risk; Disaster risk; Societal impact; Social movements; Rule of law; Law; Regulation; Government intervention; Protectionism; Trade barriers; Foreign trade zone; Subsidies and incentives; Public policy; Global governance; Instability; Migration; Poverty; Protectionism; Stakeholders

11. Sustainability in international business

Co-Chairs:
Shasha Zhao, University of Surrey, shasha.zhao@surrey.ac.uk
John Dilyard, St. Francis College, jdilyard@gmail.com

Sustainability is integral to global economic development and to firms’ international business engagement (i.e., operations, behavior and interaction with stakeholders). International firms are key societal actors and called on to consider and contribute to the sustainable development challenge in their decisions and actions. Multinational enterprises in particular have taken up the challenge, though progress has been slow. This may be partly due to the managerial difficulties of balancing shareholder needs and stakeholder interests, and limited resources to address the promise-performance gap. The track welcomes papers that explore firms’ engagement in sustainability through: reducing carbon footprints; better use of resources throughout the value chains; adopting circular economy techniques; implementing latest digital technologies; achieving United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals; or working with national and international policies. This track invites empirical, conceptual, and theoretical research that addresses these issues and increases understanding on how international business shapes and is shaped by sustainability. Contributions that guide scholars to navigate sustainability research to gain actionable knowledge for managers are also welcome.

Keywords: Environmental sustainability; Sustainability development goals (SDGs); Sustainable global value chains (GVCs); Green development; Natural environment; Pollution; Environmental harm; Energy; Economic inequality; Social welfare; Business ethics; Circular economy; Digital sustainability; Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

12. Knowledge, innovation, and technology 

Co-Chairs:
Daekwan Kim, Florida State University, dkim@business.fsu.edu
Ruey-Jer “Bryan” Jean, National Chengchi University, bryan@nccu.edu.tw

This track deals with the creation, transfer and exploitation of knowledge, issues central both to the theory of the MNE and to MNE management, organization, and strategy. It examines the structure, location and governance of both internal R&D and R&D undertaken in cooperation with external parties. The theme comprises how MNEs through imitation, licensing, joint ventures, acquisitions and collaborations with other firms can access and absorb novel technical and scientific advances, and the challenges associated with the protection of proprietary technology, especially in weak appropriability regimes. Relevant is the study of all these aspects of MNE behavior both in their own right, and in terms of their relationships to the changing geography of innovation, and the evolution of national and regional innovation systems.

Keywords: Knowledge governance; Knowledge sharing; International R&D; R&D strategy and management; Management of innovation; Reverse innovation; Open innovation; Innovation networks; National innovation systems; Innovation clusters; Information technology; Digital technology; Digital platform; International technology strategy; Reverse technology transfer; Technology transfer; Replication and imitation; Appropriability regimes; Inventor mobility; Patenting strategy; Local embeddedness; Cross-border connectivity; Internet; Big data; Analytics

13. Conference track: Disruption, megatrends, and transformation: reimagining international business in a changed world  

Co-Chairs:
Paul Ryan, Trinity College Dublin, Paul.Ryan@tcd.ie
Giulio Buciuni, Trinity College Dublin, buciunig@tcd.ie

The 2020s herald exciting new technologies, shifting economic power, and major demographic and geographic changes. The world is changing faster than ever before. Emergent technologies are revolutionizing connectivity, data access, and production. But evolution seldom comes cost free. Crises such as the Covid pandemic transcend borders with impunity causing generational disruptions to international business. Collaborative global innovation is one positive approach to urgently needed solutions.  This track welcomes papers that address the nature or the impact of disruptions and megatrends in international business, including: technology, rising global interconnectedness, economic power shift, evolving demographics, urbanization, environmental deterioration, Covid-19, de-globalization and other such trends.  Where and how do key trends intersect, and how can firms tackle resultant opportunities and threats?

Keywords: Technological breakthroughs; Disruptive technology; Connected ecosystems; Industry 4.0; Fourth industrial revolution; Artificial intelligence and robotics; Automation; Transportation revolution; Digital money; Black swans; Demographic changes; Rising senior population; Talent shortage; Geographic changes; Shifting economic power; Industrialization; Urbanization; Megacities; Debt crisis; War and conflict; Terrorism; Resource scarcity; Energy crisis; Climate change; Globalization; De-globalization; Rising global competition; New global challengers; Covid-19 pandemic

14. Local track: Building bridges to emerging markets and the new global middle class

Co-Chairs:
Sumit Kundu, Florida International University, kundus@fiu.edu
Orhun Guldiken, Florida International University, oguldike@fiu.edu

Exponential growth of the middle class is a defining feature of emerging markets. Given the state of current research, this track welcomes papers that seek to conceptualize and operationalize the new global ‘middle class’. For instance, how does the concept of middle class challenge, extend, or hinder the applicability of existing theories and perspectives presently employed in international business research?  In addition to MNEs, what types of firms (e.g., SMEs, SOEs, international new ventures & born globals, digital platform firms) target the new global middle class? What tactics and strategies do such firms use and how stable are they over time? Theory and practice can also benefit from a closer examination of intra-emerging market activity and inter-emerging market activity. The track welcomes theoretical and empirical studies that use various methodologies on these and related topics in emerging markets.

Keywords: Middle class; middle class market segments; Rising disposable income; Household income; Aspirational consumers; Middle class lifestyle; Economic and social mobility; Entrepreneurial dynamism; Rising market potential; New business opportunities

Submitting Your Work

All submissions must be made through AIB’s online submission system, which opens November 15, 2020.

Please refer to our Submission Guide for additional information on how to prepare and submit your work. All submissions must be made by January 15, 2021.