While the use of techniques and tools such as fieldwork, subscription databases, and statistical software packages have helped many IB scholars produce vital, innovative work, these methodologies are often inaccessible to those without adequate university funding support. This barrier can be especially high for our colleagues working in developing economies.

To help address this lack of access, AIB launched its inaugural Research Funding Grants Program in 2024. The goal was simple: Use our organizational resources to give more AIB members the tools and materials they need to conduct high-quality research.

The response to our initial call for proposals was truly impressive with nearly 100 applications submitted. If you missed the opportunity to apply this time, please watch our website for future Research Funding Grants Program CFPs.

Now, in a spirit of celebration and collegial support, we are proud to introduce the first cohort of research initiatives to be selected for funding.

Redefining Initial Trust in International Alliances from a Developing Country Partner perspective. Through the lens of the signaling theory and Communication-in-Use

Principal Investigator: Salman Yahya, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus

Co-Investigator(s): Muhammad Usman Kokab, COMSATS University Islamabad, Attock Campus

This project is designed to facilitate a better understand how trust is formed between international partners in a variety of ways. First, we intend to investigate how signals from wider sources influence that initial trust. Second, we wish to make an important theoretical contribution by investigating trust formation from a signaling theory and communication-in-use perspective. While these theoretical lenses have been applied broadly in other academic disciplines, they have largely been ignored in an IB context. Finally, this study introduces “partner dominant logic”, a new theoretical perspective which argues for a better understanding of local partner needs while forming alliances.

Exogenous Shocks, Time, and Resilience of Multinational Companies

Principal Investigator: Glaucia Grellmann, UNIVALI

Co-Investigator(s): Mohamed Amal, UNIVALI

This study intends to analyze the relationships between exogenous shocks, time, and resilience of multinational companies. Specifically, we analyze the effects of exogenous shocks on the MNE international expansion. We expect to provide a broader understanding of the phenomenon of exogenous shocks, time, and organizational resilience leading to an integrated theoretical knowledge between these topics. The association between these themes contributes to formulating new research questions and applications for this emerging area. In addition, this study guides the company’s strategic actions in the face of rare events.

The Integration of Market and Nonmarket Strategies: MNEs Response to Violent Conflict

Principal Investigator: Zi Xuan Chan, University of Macau

Co-Investigator(s): Yuan Lin, University of Macau

This research addresses the relevance of escalating political risks and conflicts in today’s global business environment. It highlights implications from the Russia-Ukraine conflict, particularly regarding one-sided violence involving state forces, often overlooked in recent studies. By exploring MNEs’ responses and roles in such crises, it proposes strategies for sustainable business development, emphasizing effective communication and a balanced approach. Advocating for responsible engagement, it aligns market and nonmarket strategies to support long-term value creation and balance the interests of multiple stakeholders amidst turbulent global landscapes.

Innovation and Corporate Catching-Up in China

Principal Investigator: Steffen Wolfer, TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences

The project aims to further the learning-based understanding of innovation and corporate catching-up in China from a configurational, set-theoretic perspective. The focus is on unraveling the kinetics underlying the relationship between firms’ multi-modal learning orientations and their techno-economic catch-up performance.

Leaders’ Dynamic Capabilities, Tolerance of Ambiguity, and Innovation: A Longitudinal Study on the Implications for International Non-Governmental Organisations

Principal Investigator: Albert Yu, University of Queensland

Co-Investigator(s): Andre Pekerti, University of Queensland; Alexandra Kriz, University of Queensland

The research seeks to contribute to academic research by examining how leaders of international humanitarian organisations (INGO) are equipped to navigate ambiguity through building dynamic capabilities that lead to increased tolerance of ambiguity and innovative work behaviour; and to conduct an evaluation of an INGO’s executive leadership training programme. The aim of both objectives is to explore how INGO leaders can effectively lead organisations and adapt to dynamic conditions through innovation while remaining well-resourced and impactful in their effort to tackle grand challenges. This research is being conducted as a quasi-experimental longitudinal mixed-methods single case study of a major INGO.

Exit of Chinese Enterprises From Foreign Markets Under the Background of Anti-Globalization

Principal Investigator: Juan Zhao, Beijing Institute of Technology, Zhuhai

Co-Investigator(s): Shujuan Xiao, Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College; Zijian Huang, Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen

Amidst the waves of deglobalization and the influence of international geopolitics, Chinese enterprises face a more diverse and complex investment environment in host countries. In such an international context, the more pressing issue for the companies is whether to exit the host country with deteriorating business environment. This study aims to investigate the impact of deglobalization on Chinese enterprises exiting from host countries. We hope to provide useful suggestions for firm internationalization decisions and offer policy suggestions to relevant policymakers.

Governance of Natural Resources Under the High Risk of the Opportunism and Expropriation

Principal Investigator: Ilgaz Arikan, Kent State University

Co-Investigator(s): Asli Arikan, Kent State University; Shuo Yang, Penn State University, Brandywine; Minyoung Kim, University of Kansas; Evans Osabuohien, Covenant University, Nigeria; Joep Konings, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan

This research studies the fate of co-specialized assets after FDI exits. We theorize that when MNEs choose not to fully integrate into an operation despite high risk of opportunism, alternative governance mechanisms are implemented to continue value appropriation in case of divestment. We use MNEs’ FDI in high-stake transaction-specific investments that are location-specific and immobile in developing countries’ extractive industries to empirically demonstrate that value creation and appropriation are endogenous to governance choice. Our study uncovers new forms of governance mechanisms through which MNEs continue to appropriate economic value of they create in the extractive industries after their “exit.”

Populism and EMNEs FDI Location Choice

Principal Investigator: Alvar Castello Esquerdo, St. Petersburg State University

Populist governments entail an increase in uncertainties for MNEs that cause hesitation in their internationalization activities and foreign investments. These uncertainties come from a change in formal and informal institutions driven by populist parties, by undermining the institutional framework by not adhering to informal institutions like norms/traditions and challenging the formal institutions directly, weakening its checks and balances to remain in and build up power. Based on the concept of evolutionary versus revolutionary institutional change this research elaborates on the phenomenon of populism as a catalyst for institutional change contributing to a better understanding of the theoretical frameworks behind it.

Vulnerability of the Professional Workforce in the Gig Economy

Principal Investigator: Julian Diaz-Avendaño, CENTRUM Católica Graduate Business School, Lima / Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima

Co-Investigator(s): Juan Velez-Ocampo, Universidad de Antioquia

We seek to broaden our understanding of the vulnerabilities of the gig workforce focusing on professionals who decide to change their formal work for a platform-mediated work. Our empirical study may inform us about the migration of professional workers from standard work to non-standard work, why professional gig workers can or cannot establish a successful and sustainable career. But also, we expect to contribute to the understanding of how gig MNCs deal with this workforce around the globe to strengthen their position in the market.