Areas of Life-Time Contribution
In the next 50+ years Boddewyn would continue to make critical contributions in many areas of International Business. Here I summarise the three main areas in which he has made ground-breaking contributions through a substantive body of work: Foreign Divestment, Comparative management and marketing, and political behaviour of the MNE/non-market strategies.
In addition, Boddewyn also made important contributions to various other areas, sometimes even through single articles such as his highly cited 1986 articles in Journal of International Business Studies on the conceptualization of service multinationals and in Business Horizons on the standardization of marketing.
Rather than studying foreign investment, Boddewyn charted a new path by looking at foreign divestment instead. His interest in this field led to multiple articles in all the major IB journals, culminating in a conceptual article in 1985 again featuring Boddewyn’s trademark critical and combative style: “This analysis argues that the current theoretical cacophony can be reduced to a simpler classification more useful in understanding and teaching foreign investment as well as in detecting where current theories are weak.”
Comparative management and marketing
Boddewyn is perhaps best-known for his work in comparative management and marketing. After his early work in the 1950s and 1960s on this topic (see above), he continued to publish a wide range of articles in this field, many of which were conceptual or review articles, such as Comparative marketing: The first twenty five years (1981) The domain of international management (1999), and The meanings of international management (2004).
He was also a passionate advocate for the field through his work as founding editor of International Studies of Management and Organization, which he served for 35 years (1971-2006) as captured in International studies of management and organization: half a century of advancing scholarship (2020).
His contributions in this field also include a very substantive body work in advertising self-regulation, published largely in various Marketing journals in the 1980s. Many of his research projects in this field had clear comparative features, culminating in two books: Advertising self-regulation and outside participation: a multinational comparison (1988) and Global Perspectives on Advertising Self-regulation: Principles and Practices in Thirty-eight Countries (1992).
Political behaviour of the MNE/non-market strategies
Boddewyn’s interest in the role of governments and political behaviour also started very early in his career with his article in (Columbia) Journal of World Business “The Political Game in World Business” (1972) (not available online). His highly cited 1988 article in Journal of International Business Studies “Political Aspects of MNE Theory” was one of the first to call out the limited attention to political behaviour in IB. It expanded Dunning’s eclectic paradigm to integrate political dimensions in the analysis of ownership, internationalization, and location advantages. His major theoretical contribution in this field in the Academy of Management Review International-business political behavior: New theoretical directions (1994) became his most cited work. This is also the area in which most of Boddewyn’s recent work can be situated, starting with an article with Jonathan Doh in the newly established Global Strategy Journal dealing with collaborations among public and private for-profit and not-for-profit actors for the provision of public goods as health, education, transportation in emerging markets.
Co-authoring with George White III, Boddewyn published three articles in core IB journals on the regulatory/legal environment and political ties between 2015 and 2020: “Legal system contingencies as determinants of political tie intensity by wholly owned foreign subsidiaries: Insights from the Philippines”, “Regulator vulnerabilities to political pressures and political tie intensity: The moderating effects of regulatory and political distance”, and “Does context really matter? The influence of deficient legal services on the intensity of political ties in the regulatory and legal arenas”.
Between 2015 and 2017, Boddewyn also published a series of three articles with Peter Buckley on The internalization of societal failures by multinational enterprises (2015) and A manifesto for the widening of internalisation theory (2016), culminating in the 2017 British Journal of Management article on “Integrating Social and Political Strategies as Forms of Reciprocal Exchange into the Analysis of Corporate Governance Modes”. Boddewyn’s curiosity and drive clearly continued to thrive unabated until his late eighties!