Academy of International Business - Michigan State University
Eppley Center - 667 N. Shaw Ln - East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1121 - USA - Tel: +1-517-432-1452

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AIB 2007 Annual Meeting | June 25-28

Call for Papers

Theme: Bringing the Country Back In: The Importance of Local Knowledge in a Global Economy

Submission Deadline: January 15, 2007

Program Chair: Oded Shenkar, Ohio State University

The international business literature characterizes the challenge faced by the multinational enterprise as one of mastering the vagaries of multiple markets while leveraging resources and capabilities on a global scale. The same holds true for international business scholarship which has traditionally covered both globalization and localization, but seems to have now tilted towards the global side of the matrix. Today, international business research often treats a country in terms of its membership in larger groupings such as "emerging economies", or judges foreign markets in terms of their cultural or institutional "distance" from a focal country, most often the United States. This bias towards global issues has limited the scope of international business research and curtailed development of its unique capabilities in deciphering and interpreting local knowledge, making it less distinguishable from strategy and related areas. Thus, the theme of the Indianapolis conference is to bring the country back in, that is, to discuss the importance of indigenous variables, from culture through politics to social structure, in the context of a rapidly globalizing environment.

We seek submissions from all areas of international business that consider the value of utilizing local and comparative knowledge as a focus of research in international business, propose theories and methodologies that are compatible with this aim, or constitute empirical studies looking at localization issues. Some general guiding questions are listed below, but submissions are by no means limited to answering those.

  1. What does "uniqueness" really mean in defining a country and is country the proper unit of analysis given internal variations?
  2. What elements of the local environment beyond such "usual suspects" as culture and political risk should multinational companies and international business scholars consider?
  3. Do current theories provide a sufficient base from which to appreciate and study local level phenomena? If not, should international business take the lead in developing new theoretical approaches?
  4. What should be the theoretical positioning of international "differences"; for instance, should cultural differences be treated simply as uncertainty?
  5. Are our research methods adequate for assessing local variables and the challenges they pose to firms? Should we give priority to case studies as a way to identify new variables and new relationships?
  6. How should we measure differences between local environments? Can common measures such as "cultural distance" and "institutional distance" capture the key variations? What are the biases embedded in our current measures?
  7. How useful are grouping such as "emerging economies" and do they come at the expense of attention to other key variables in a local environment?
  8. What can we learn from other disciplines, including area studies, about the variables and phenomena we should research?

Paper and Panel Submissions:

Paper and panel submissions for AIB 2007 are categorized into nine tracks. Each paper or panel proposal must be submitted to only one track. Please select the track closest to your proposal from the list below.

1. The Historical Dimension in International Business
Track Chair: Karl Moore, McGill University

History is an essential though often neglected layer of context in international business. Where we are today is a result of where we have come from, time's arrow it might be called. This track seeks submissions that treat the importance of history for all aspects of international operations. This includes, but by no means limited to, the history of the multinational enterprise, the impact of history on foreign direct investment and its host country receptivity (e.g., do firms from countries with a long history of international activities, such as the Netherlands, perform better than their peers?), the relationship between historical factors and the liability of foreignness, and the role of history in "institutional distance". We are especially interested in how history helps form local conditions that affect needs for adaptation versus globalization in international business.

Keywords: Importance of history in IB; Longitudinal IB studies; The evolving role of subsidiaries and headquarters; Globalization in other eras; The process of going international/global; Historical factors in MNE operations; Historical roots of local conditions; Historical adaptation; Industrial revolution; Historic multinationals; Spread of firms within empires; Globalization in the communist era; The evolution of Chinese/Indian and other developing countries' MNEs; The evolution of developing economies;

2. Theory Development and Empirical Modeling Techniques in International Business
Track Chair: Timothy Devinney, Australian Graduate School of Management

This track aims to highlight new theoretical developments in international business along with unique and different methodologies. Papers and Panels that discuss unique theoretical approaches, either built natively around IB phenomenon or adapted from theoretical work in external disciplines and sciences would fit into this track. In addition, bespoke methodological approaches as well as new adaptations of approaches found in other disciplines are welcome. Papers can be either conceptual, theoretical empirics, or a combination of the two. However, papers and panels should not be mere literature reviews or summaries of outside theory.

Keywords: Critical evaluation of current theories; New bespoke theoretical directions; Innovative integration of pre-existing theoretical approaches; Begging, borrowing and stealing theory from core disciplines; Unique theory application; Theory-method intersection; Critical evaluation of current empirical approaches; Construct development and evaluation; Multi-level, multi-modal analysis; Qualitative/quantitative comparisons; The value of case theoretic approaches; Empirical pitfalls unique to IB; Observed/unobserved heterogeneity; The use of experimental approaches in IB; Econometrics; Non-parametric analysis;

3. International Finance and Accounting
Track Chair: Raj Aggarwal, University of Akron

The theme of the AIB 2007 finance and accounting track is to bring the country back in, that is, to assess the importance of indigenous variables, from culture through politics to social structure in the context of a rapidly globalizing environment, examine the ability of current theoretical frameworks and methodological tools to capture and leverage local elements, and suggest ways to produce rigorous knowledge in this area. For example, how do national measures of variables like legal origin, settler mortality, legal enforcement, self dealing index, accounting disclosure, corruption, political risk, social trust, culture, press freedom, financial structure, and industrial structure influence classical financial concerns like capital structure, corporate governance, dividend policy, capital budgeting, working capital management, and financing procedures? However, we also seek submissions from all other areas of international finance and accounting.

Keywords: Leveraging local (country) elements; The impact of indigenous national financial, cultural, and institutional measures; Financial and industrial structure; Financial impact of national levels of Disclosure; Social Trust; Culture; Corruption; Legal Enforcement; Legal Origin; Issues related to international Capital Structure; Corporate Governance; Dividend Policy; Capital Budgeting; Working Capital; Financing Procedures; ADRs; IPOs; Mergers and Acquisitions; Sarbanes-Oxley Act; Earnings Management; Venture Capital; Private Equity and Portfolio Diversification; Foreign Direct Investment; Foreign Portfolio Investment; Exchange Rates; International Financial Integration; Exchange Rate Exposure; Cost of Capital; Equity and Bond Markets; Asian Financial Markets; European Financial Markets; Latin American Financial Markets; Financial Management;

4. Co-evolution of Emerging Markets (EM) and Multinational Enterprises
Track Chair: Hemant Merchant, Simon Fraser University

This track is broadly concerned with uncovering (comparative) reciprocal linkages between home- as well as host-country variables and MNCs operating in Emerging markets worldwide. Manuscripts submitted to this track would expose the singular and collective role of various EM-specific variables vis--vis the competitive development (or retardation) of firms, incumbents as well as potential entrants, operating in these markets. Alternatively, manuscripts could examine the role MNCs and/or domestic EM firms play in shaping the institutional trajectories of EMs as well as the lagged effects of these trajectories on MNCs' home-country variables.

Keywords: What is "emerging" about EMs?; EM institutions; How EM institutions shape MNEs' competitive strategies; How/Can MNEs shape EM institutions?; EMs as a source of new ideas; EMs as a source of new processes; EMs as a source of competitive advantage; How/Can EMs shape MNEs' thinking?; Convergence/Divergence between EMs and non-EMs; Economic and/or cultural risks in EMs; Convergence/Divergence among EMs; What is "foreignness" in EMs?; MNEs and economic growth in EMs; Corporate governance in EMs; EM business groups; EM multinationals; Locational advantage (or disadvantage) of EMs; Economic development in EMs; Competitive strategies of non-EM firms for EMs; Competitive strategies of local EM firms; Comparisons across EMs; Strategic alliances in EMs; Role of EM business-government relationships; Acquiring and/or integrating EM firms; Managing EM operations; The (many) under-known faces of EMs; Entrepreneurship in EMs; Institutional trajectories; Reciprocal linkages; Competitive development; Shaping institutional trajectories; The theoretical usefulness of EM category;

5. Global Strategy
Track Chair: Steve Tallman, University of Richmond

Global strategy is about the multinational firm integrating the unique aspects of multiple places into a package of incomparable value for its equally unique customers. The Global Strategy Track seeks papers that explore the idea that multinational firms must differentiate locations not just for better market access but since each place can provide access to a unique piece in assembling the global jigsaw puzzle of innovative goods and services to inspire and delight their customers. Of course, we remain interested in all aspects of international strategy, but we hope you will take this opportunity to focus on the role of location as the factor that differentiates global strategy.

Keywords: Strategy; Performance; Competitive advantage; Competences; Capabilities; Decision making; Internationalization; Integration and responsiveness; International diversification; Strategic learning; Strategic networks; Strategy processes; Knowledge strategies; Strategic alliances; Differentiating locations; Global location portfolios; Strategic role of locations; Entry strategies; Mergers and acquisitions; Joint ventures; Regional strategies; Regional headquarters; Headquarter-subsidiary relations; Strategies for emerging economies;

6. International Entrepreneurship
Track Chair: Shaker Zahra, University of Minnesota

In today's global marketplace, entrepreneurship plays the dual role of creating and exploiting opportunities grounded in (often local) knowledge. This track welcomes conceptual and empirical papers that: explore the role of entrepreneurship in creating, refining, capturing and exploiting local knowledge; address the strategies entrepreneurial firms use in these activities; show how entrepreneurial activities influence strategies and vice versa; demonstrate the value added of incorporating specific country variables and resources to discussion of international entrepreneurial activities; clarify how country specific variables influence knowledge creation and different types of opportunities, especially among born global firms; and examine how country variables influence born global firms entrepreneurial behavior. Papers can be comparative (e.g., contrasting the entrepreneurial cultures in several countries) or internationally-focused (e.g., entry strategies used by startups from one country to build market position in another). Studies that test the applicability of US models and strategies used to incubate and nurture new firms to other countries are also welcome. Papers may also explore the unique ways entrepreneurial companies exploit local knowledge as they internationalize their operations. Entrepreneurial firms can be well established organizations or new ventures.

Keywords: Local knowledge as entrepreneurial driver; Incorporating country variables; Local entrepreneurial behaviors; Internationally-focused entry strategies; new ventures; Born global; Global start-up; Comparative entrepreneurship; International entrepreneurship; Global entrepreneurship; Learning advantages of newness; Global capability development; New venture formation; Global opportunity recognition; Knowledge creation by global start-ups;

7. Managing People across Cultures
Track Chair: Rabi S. Bhagat, University of Memphis

Consistent with this year's theme, we are interested in submissions that deal with cultural issues in cross border operations of multinational and global organizations. Issues of cultural convergence and divergence in organizational processes and international human resource management practices are important issues to consider. Traditional issues dealing with management of expatriates and reentry issues along with focused investigations of the role of cultural differences in the area of globalization and internet will also be emphasized. A major objective of this track is to create a broad base of submissions in the area of international organizational behavior and international human resources management that are specifically concerned with the role of local cultures.

Keywords: Cross-cultural issues in organizational behavior and human resources management; Crossing locales in international operations; Divergent organizational processes; International HR practices; Management of expatriates; Role of local cultures; Leadership of cross-national work teams; Individualism-collectivism; Team performance; Team personality compositions; Behavioral integration; Gender equality; Work-family issues; Cross-cultural compensation policies; HR diffusion across countries; Organizational transformation; Cross-cultural change management; Organizational citizenship behavior;

8. Marketing across Countries and Cultures
Track Chair: Ahmet H. Kirca, Michigan State University

This track welcomes papers that cover a broad range of international marketing topics. Topics may include, but are not limited to: market assessment and entry decisions; global market segmentation; adaptation/standardization of global marketing programs; export and import marketing issues; comparative marketing systems; global marketing strategy; supply-chain strategies in global operations; global product innovation management; global branding; global alliances in marketing; cross-cultural consumer behavior; and cross-cultural marketing research issues. The track will emphasize the theme of The Importance of Local Knowledge in a Global Economy, and papers exploring the value of utilizing local and comparative knowledge in international marketing research are highly encouraged.

Keywords: International/global marketing, Market entry decisions; Global market segmentation; Export/import marketing; Global supply-chain strategies; Buyer-Seller Relationships in international markets; Cross-cultural consumer behavior; Global marketing strategy; Global marketing management; International marketing of services; Product/Country Image and Country-of-origin effects; Marketing in emerging country markets; Cross-cultural research/measurement issues;

9. Global versus Local Knowledge in International Business
Track Chair: Mona Makhija, Ohio State University

The purpose of this track is to highlight the critical role of both global and local knowledge in international business. In particular, it will explore how differences in knowledge across national contexts can affect the development of capabilities, the nature of competition, and the competitive advantages of domestic and multinational firms. The track includes papers presenting theoretical distinctions between global and local knowledge and methods for empirically measuring these distinctions, and the processes by which firms draw upon or develop both types of knowledge.

Keywords: Organization learning; Knowledge management; Global and local knowledge; Innovation/creativity; Human/knowledge capital; Networks; Inter- and intra-firm transfer; Control and coordination mechanisms; Routines; Adaptation/adoption; Exploration/exploitation; Communities of practice; Knowledge stocks and flows; Absorptive capacity; Intangible assets; Organizational memory/knowledge structures;

Submissions for the conference will take place through AIB's online submission system. The submission system is now open. All manuscripts and proposals must be submitted by January 15, 2007. Please refer to the detailed submission instructions page for additional information on how to prepare your submission.

For up-to-date information about the conference and related events, detailed submission instructions, and important deadlines, please check the conference website at Any questions regarding this call for papers should be submitted to the track chairs or the Program Chair, Oded Shenkar, at .

Dr. Oded Shenkar
Program Chair, AIB 2007 Annual Meeting
The Ohio State University