International Business Resilience under
Today’s international business is challenged by unprecedented global disruptions. The COVID-19 pandemic, war and geopolitical tensions, Brexit, economic nationalism, surge of populist governments, the US-China tech rivalry, fragile cyber security, terrorism, climate change, and financial crisis are among the most notable examples.
Such global disruptions undoubtedly influence the nature of international business (IB). Global mobility of workforce, knowledge, technology, and financial capitals is constrained. International trade, investment and sales are restricted. Global value chain networks are disrupted. Risk-averse foreign investment and divestment decisions are made by multinational corporations (MNCs) to mitigate such risks and uncertainty.
Resilience, a capability to anticipate and cope with various kinds of disruptions in agile manners, is called for at various levels – government, MNC, and individual – to deal with global crisis. Dimensions and typical agenda of IB resilience include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Resilience to develop or maintain new world order: What are the roles of national governments to build resilience to global disruptions? What are the roles of government, international and regional organizations, and MNC to develop world order?
- Resilience to shrinking international trade, declining sales, and soaring costs: How can MNCs cope with disruption in international trade and sales? How can they manage rising cost in energy and raw materials?
- Resilience to changes in consumer behavior: How do MNCs cope with increased tension and changed consumption patterns due to global disruption? How do they cope with sudden changes in consumer behavior?
- Resilience to divestment and termination of foreign operations: How can MNCs cope with divestment and closure of foreign operations due to disruption? What are new criteria for FDI, location decision, mode of entry, governance, and M&As under global disruption?
- Resilience to regain competitive advantage under disruption: How do MNCs redefine strategic positioning and rebuild capabilities to attain strategic renewal in the wake of global disruption?
- Resilience to global value chain disruption: How can MNCs maintain value chain operations without interruptions by substituting suppliers’ networks? How can they be agile in alternating the sources, without hastily retreating to a reshoring option? What are organizational capabilities of MNCs to mitigate risks of supply chain disruption?
- Resilience to disruption in global innovation and knowledge sourcing: How can MNCs access, mobilize and leverage cross-border tacit knowledge when national borders are restricted? How can MNCs maintain global open innovations in the age of tightened national borders?
- Resilience to disruption in human resource mobility and employment: How do MNCs cope with shortage of commuter employees and immigrant workers? How do MNCs provide support to individual employees under mental stress due to abrupt shock of global disruption? How can individual managers build resilience capability to anticipate and manage turbulence?
- Resilience to financial disruption: How do MNCs cope with financial crisis and liquidity risk under global disruption? How can MNCs secure international capital flows without interruptions?
- Resilience to disruption in cyber security: How do MNCs ensure their data security from cyber-attack and virus under global disruption?
These and other dimensions of international business resilience hold important implications for research and practice on IB. They suggest what new capabilities are necessary for government, MNCs, and individual managers to cope with disruptions; what new roles policy makers, business managers, and employees play in building more resilient global communities; and what new sources of competitive advantage of nations and firms are in the age of global disruption. This conference theme further explores new paradigm of IB, change and continuity in IB, and myths and reality in IB, in the age of global disruption. Warsaw, our host location being exposed to geopolitical, socioeconomic changes, provides an important setting to discuss resilience to global disruption. The AIB 2023 conference theme highlights important contemporary agenda in IB.
To learn more, we invite you to view the following video introduction, presented by our host institution SGH Warsaw School of Economics.