In June, over 1,400 members of the Academy of International Business came together in Copenhagen, Denmark to take part in AIB’s 2019 Annual Meeting. This year’s theme, “International Business in an Unsettling Political and Economic Environment,” couldn’t have been more timely as researchers gathered to discuss IB’s potential contributions to the Societal Grand Challenges, Sustainable Development Goal implementation, and many more key, contemporary issues.

Known for its unique blend of modern design and classical refinement, Copenhagen was an ideal setting for our largest-ever conference. Despite its scale, members were made to feel quite welcome and hygge thanks to the tireless efforts of our host institution, the Copenhagen Business School. In addition to our usual Community Engagement Visits to local businesses, including Novo Nordisk and A.P. Møller Mærsk, our CBS volunteers arranged a variety of tours which allowed our members to take in a variety of historic sights throughout the city. An elegant Gala Event at the historic Lokomotivværkstedet featured Denmark’s famous “New Nordic” cuisine, completing the rich cultural backdrop for this year’s conference.

Sparking Conversation on Pressing Social Issues

Our 2019 conference program was absolutely packed—the Program Committee, led by Maria Tereza Leme Fleury and her track chairs, had to evaluate a staggering 1,289 submissions in order to develop our final schedule of over 260 panels and paper sessions. The diverse range of session topics included in this final program is a testament to IB’s continued interdisciplinary relevance. Apropos of this year’s conference theme, sessions such as “Global Environmental Regulations: The Way Forward?,” “The Growth of Economic Nationalism,” and “Geopolitical Risk and International Business” show that our members are prepared to tackle some of today’s most pressing social issues in their research.

Celebrating Fifty Years of IB Impact

In recognition of the Journal of International Business Studies’ 50th anniversary, a special awards ceremony was held at this year’s conference to recognize the scholars and editors whose contributions have helped establish JIBS as a top academic journal. Rounding off these awards was JIBS’s annual Decade Award which went to Jan-Erik Vahlne and and Jan Johanson for their highly influential article, “The Uppsala Internationalization Process Model Revisited: From Liability of Foreignness to Liability of Outsidership”.

AIB’s newest journal, the Journal of International Business Policy, also had plenty to celebrate in 2019. After just one year in publication, Editor-in-Chief Sarianna Lundan was able to report that JIBP had accrued over 270 Google Scholar citations and 33,000 paper downloads. In addition to their academic impact, JIBP articles have begun influencing public policy discussions in major, international venues such as Forbes, VoxEU, and the World Economic Forum. Seeing all that’s been accomplished so far, it’s exciting to consider where JIBP will be by the time of our 2020 meeting.

Recognizing Service and Scholarly Excellence

In keeping with tradition, AIB was privileged to host the recipients of three prestigious awards this year, which were presented by our senior Fellows:

  • Executive of the Year was presented at the opening plenary to Jim Hagemann Snabe, chairman at A.P. Møller Mærsk and Siemens AG, whose strategic development helped double the value of SAP.
  • John Fayerweather Eminent Scholar was given to Daniel Levinthal of the University of Pennsylvania for his work on organizational adaptation and industry evolution.
  • International Educator of the Year was awarded to Ingmar Björkman, for his innovative work as dean at the Aalto University School of Business.

Our organization also owes a great deal of gratitude for the support provided by our host school, led by Dana Minbaeva, Larissa Rabbiosi, and Evis Sinani.