Theme: The Locus of Global Innovation
Submission Deadline: Friday, January 15th, 2016
Program Chair: Charles Dhanaraj, IMD ( )
We are at an inflection point, with public and private institutions around the world being disrupted. Global integration, which is driving this disruption, is the new playing field, and innovation is the way to win this game.Samuel J. Palmisano, former Chairman, IBM - Rethink: A Path to the Future, 2014
The multinational enterprise (MNE) is a central unit of analysis for international business (IB) scholars. Despite the persisting imbalances across nations, MNEs continue to increase their global footprint, skillfully integrating their activities across the globe, leveraging their global presence with hybrid organizational forms in many instances. Nowhere is the impact of this global integration felt more strongly than in the arena of innovation-R&D and related activities. The interconnections between MNEs, entrepreneurs and local firms are shaping a new paradigm for global innovation. We invite your ideas, data and insights to explore the changing contours of global innovation.
A conspicuous characteristic of this global innovation paradigm is the tilt towards emerging markets. MNE investments in R&D in emerging markets are dramatically increasing, signaling a radical departure from the MNE structure early IB scholars had envisioned. Frugal innovation approaches and business model innovations are enabling resource-scarce emerging market firms to compete alongside MNEs from developed markets. However, in many of these markets, institutions that support innovation remain weak. It is not clear if, and how fast, emerging markets are moving out of the low-cost focus to innovation. How common is "reverse innovation" in MNEs? We need to study emerging empirical realities to understand the locus of global innovation.
The intersection of global innovation and emerging markets presents great opportunities to address pressing social concerns. More and more MNEs aspire to using "business as a force for good" and creating "shared value". Be it clean water or rural education, social problems are intensely local. However, global non-profit organizations, such as the Gates Foundation, have ably connected local problems to develop global solutions, and apply them in a customized manner to the locale. IB scholars have for decades explored how organizations manage global integration and local responsiveness. How do we extend such models to a systematic study of social innovation?
IB scholarship has a rich tradition of contributing to policy dialogues, with its unique vantage point gained from its comparative studies across geographies. Given the diverse policy environments MNEs have to operate in, how do these shape MNEs' global innovation choices? How can we advance the contours of policy research as it affects global innovation and its value to the local economy?
Come, and let us together explore the future of global innovation and the role of MNEs in creating this future! See you in New Orleans!
All paper and panel submissions for AIB 2016 need to be categorized into one of fourteen topical tracks and two special 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. All single country studies must focus on IB-relevant topics such as MNEs, international institutions, trade, global value chains, etc.
The theories of multinational enterprises (MNEs) are theories of knowledge creation and knowledge transfer across countries. While the volume and direction of knowledge flows have changed significantly over time, the central roles played by innovation, learning and management of creative resources remain the same. In fact, with intense global competition, it is increasingly important for MNEs to capitalize their capabilities in innovating and appropriating value on a global basis. New developments in recent years, notably the rise of emerging market multinationals, the diffusion of mobile technologies, mobility of engineers, scientists and managers, and the entries of new business models, have challenged our traditional view of MNEs while adding rich empirical contexts for us to learn more about the unique challenges and opportunities MNEs face in global innovation. In this track, we analyze new empirical findings in global innovation, focusing on the organization of R&D activities, intra-firm mobility of inventors, coordination and collaboration both within and across firm boundaries, knowledge production in emerging market R&D centers of the MNE, interactions with local institutions and with the local context and how the new empirical findings contribute/challenge our understanding of MNE theories.
Keywords: Organization of R&D within the MNE; Collaborative complexity; Innovation in emerging markets; Emerging market R&D centers; R&D modularity; Reverse innovation; Mobility of inventors; Brain circulation; Intra-firm inventor mobility; Return migration; Contextual intelligence; Local context
Knowledge is for many firms one of the most important sources of competitive advantage. This track addresses how knowledge is created, transferred, assimilated, transformed and used internationally. This can occur through the processes of innovation, learning, research and development (R&D), etc. The track will explore how MNEs and internationalizing firms learn, manage knowledge and innovate, and how MNEs orchestrate local knowledge globally to gain competitive advantage on a global scale. Some examples of topics of interest include: Why do global and local networks of innovation interact? How do firms manage cross-national systems of open innovation for the benefit of all partners in a collaborative innovation initiative? Which governance mechanisms are most conducive to knowledge development? How do MNEs transfer knowledge and organizational practices across borders during a changing global geography of innovation? How do firms manage knowledge acquisition and sharing across emerging economies? We especially welcome studies that address global knowledge management issues in the context of diverse and challenging global and local environments.
Keywords: Absorptive capacity; Centers of excellence; Exploration vs. exploitation; Global and local knowledge; Innovation clusters; Knowledge search; Knowledge access; Knowledge acquisition; Knowledge creation; Knowledge orchestration; Knowledge governance mechanisms; Knowledge sourcing; Knowledge sharing; Learning across borders; Learning alliances; Learning in IB networks; Licensing; National and regional innovation systems; Networks for innovation; Open innovation; Organizational learning in MNCs; Reverse knowledge transfer; R&D outsourcing; R&D offshoring; R&D subsidiaries; Technology management; Technology scouting; University-MNC relationships; Qualitative research methods; Quantitative research methods
Why do we have multinational enterprises (MNEs), and what forms can these organizations take? The study of MNEs has always been at the core of international business (IB) research. In 1976, Peter Buckley and Mark Casson developed key propositions for the existence and future of MNEs, and research in economics and IB has since then continued to highlight and build on the contribution of Internalization Theory. Today, to extend the agenda on this research, IB scholars need to pay special attention to the new realities of the international economy and the new types of firms that are being continually observed, because these novelties have a strong influence on the evolution of MNEs. For example, technological advances have diffused innovation and entrepreneurship throughout geographically dispersed firms; managerial and organizational developments have enabled MNEs to operate with increasingly porous boundaries; and global economic events such as financial crises have created a revitalized role for intrapreneurship. New forms and structures of MNEs-such as family-owned MNEs, conglomerates, MNEs from emerging economies, state-owned MNEs, international new ventures, born global firms and bottom-of-the-pyramid MNEs-present further opportunities for theory development as they reveal the diverse strategies, challenges and imperatives of the modern MNE. Flagship Firms and Global Factories underline internalization of core activities, interface competence, coordination of spatially dispersed operations, and the global-local dilemma faced by the MNE. The aim of this track is to foster both empirical and conceptual contributions that enhance our understanding of the MNE, including, but not limited to, the above facets of MNE research.
Keywords: Multinational Enterprise; Internalization Theory; Knowledge Transfer; Dispersed Innovation; International Entrepreneurship; Family-owned MNEs; Emerging Economy MNEs; Born Global Firms; International New Ventures; Bottom-of-the-Pyramid MNEs; Flagship Firms; Global Factory; Interface Competence; Intrapreneurship
International business scholars have become increasingly interested in how MNEs—in consort with governments and NGOs—can leverage innovative resources and capabilities to generate social and economic value. Given their multinational scope and ability to exploit formal and informal networks at the global, regional and local scale, MNEs may be especially well-positioned to generate social value across the national boundaries in which they operate. Beginning as exploration of “base of the pyramid” markets, this research has broadened to include investigations of microfinance, cross-sectoral collaboration, indigenous and frugal innovation and new business models for sustainable development. In this track, we encourage submissions that address how MNEs can develop and implement social innovations alone or in conjunction with other partners, and how these innovations can create value for multiple stakeholders. We especially welcome submissions—both paper and panel proposals—that leverage insights from allied social sciences such as political science, sociology, economics and anthropology, and those that broaden, extend or move beyond existing IB theories to reveal new insights and perspectives on social innovation, its processes and outcomes.
Keywords: Social innovation; Base of the pyramid; Microfinance; Social entrepreneurship; Social enterprise; Sustainability; Shared value; Social initiatives; Corporate social responsibility; Development cooperation; Indigenous innovation; Frugal innovation; Cross-sectoral partnerships; Millennium development goals; Sustainable development; Inclusive growth; Grassroots innovation
This track will explore research questions at the intersection of government policy and law, and innovation and international business. The “Global Innovation” phenomenon brings together a rich ecosystem of MNEs and local firms, small and large. It also deals with a wide spectrum of technological innovations to business model innovations in both mature and emerging markets. The emergence of multisided business models create global platforms that enable independent firms to collaborate across borders forming an alternative to large MNEs. Where does policy and governance of innovations stand? Are they inhibiting innovators or the users of innovation? Given the rapid growth of innovation activities in emerging markets, what can governments do to seed and grow innovation? Are there new frameworks for effective governance of global innovations? To what extent is technological innovation not only a way to create value but also a way to capture it at the global level?
Keywords: Technological change; Government policy; Innovation incentives; University-Industry collaborations; Business Models; Multisided business models; Platforms; Ecosystems; Innovation incubators; Scaling up innovations; Innovation governance; National innovation policies; Digital economy and privacy; Resource governance; Resource allocation
Innovation is for many firms the most important source of competitive advantage. Institutions and strategies adopted by different governments can have significant effects on the international strategies of firms. This track will explore how institutions in different geographies aid or constrain innovation. Some examples of topics of interest include: How does the presence of strong institutions aid the development of innovation systems, and multinational firms’ innovation strategies? How do different strategies adopted by governments of different countries influence factor prices and multinational firms’ innovation strategies? How do certain types of government actions impact innovation performance of multinationals? How do the intellectual property laws at home or a host country influence the internal division of innovative labor within multinational firms? We especially welcome studies that show both how global innovation networks and institutions impact local innovation strategies of multinationals and government strategies and how multinational actions related to innovation impacts the institutional environment in a country.
Keywords: Intellectual property laws; Local factor markets and innovation; Political risk; Government intervention; Political institutions; Global and local knowledge; Innovation clusters; Innovation in emerging economies; Innovation in MNEs; Knowledge sourcing; Knowledge sharing; Licensing; MNCs and global innovation; National and regional innovation systems; Networks for innovation; R&D outsourcing; R&D offshoring; R&D subsidiaries; Technology management
This track invites manuscripts that examine how businesses (MNEs in particular) interact with governments and engage in non-market strategies to advance their business interests in the global context. Business operations take place within the institutional framework shaped by political and social forces. This is particularly significant in international business as MNEs operate in multiple institutional environments across which distinct social and political actors differ in their influence on business profits. Therefore, MNEs and domestic firms need to go outside the boundary of the traditional business context to engage in non-market strategies. Specifically, we encourage research that examines (but need not be limited to) the following topics: antecedents and consequences of various forms of non-market strategies that assist firms in engaging socio political actors in the global context; variation of MNEs' non-market strategies and interaction with governments across different institutional environments; integration of non-market strategies with firms' international business operations, and the impact on the firms' performance and various stakeholders; internationalization of fully or partially state-owned enterprises; comparative studies of non-market strategies across different institutional contexts.
Keywords: Non-market strategies; Non-market management; Stakeholders; Stakeholder engagement; Corporate social performance; Corporate political performance; Integration of non-market strategy and market strategy; Business-government interactions; MNE-host government relations; MNE-home government relations; Political risk; Political ties; Political strategies; Political systems; Corporate social responsibility; Corporate social strategies; State ownership; Regulation of MNEs; Regional integration; Sub-national institutions; Comparative analysis of institutions; Comparative economic systems; Comparative accounting systems and practice; Corporate governance codes; Institutions in emerging economies; Law; Legal systems; Legitimacy of business practices; Multi-lateral institutions; Varieties of capitalism
In this constantly transforming environment, competitiveness at the business level depends crucially on the speed of innovation. International small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are at the forefront of innovation, with their ever-growing ability to exploit new opportunities and respond quickly to changing market requirements. These firms, in their various manifestations as international new ventures, born globals or rapidly internationalizing SMEs, have become forceful actors in the international trade. They compete on equal terms against the giants of the global market (MNEs) and contribute significantly to the global economic growth, but they also face unique challenges in their endeavors. In this track, we are interested in exploring the drivers, challenges and barriers that international SMEs face in their constant struggle to stay novel. Indicative questions are: How is innovation manifested in new ventures and established SMEs globally? What cultural traits foster or impede innovation among international new ventures and established SMEs? Which are the enablers affecting innovation in international SMEs? What is the role of social networks in international entrepreneurship? How do SMEs choose partners and engage in networks? What is the role of open innovation in international entrepreneurship? What is the role of public policy and laws in stimulating international entrepreneurship? What explains international differences in entrepreneurship?
Keywords: Born global firms; Early internationalization; Entrepreneurial networks; Global business models; Global start-ups; Globalization and SMEs; High tech start-ups; Exporting/importing by SMEs; International new ventures; International entrepreneurship; International strategy for SMEs; International entrepreneurial orientation; International entrepreneurial ventures; Internationalization process model; Open-innovation; Rapid internationalization; Returnee entrepreneurs; Women entrepreneurs; Qualitative research methods; Quantitative research methods
This track welcomes theoretical and empirical papers that explore novel and relevant issues of doing business in emerging markets, such as research on city clusters, new business models, government-private sector cooperation, varieties of capitalism or firms' transitions from a culture of incremental innovation to a culture of breakthrough innovation. We are also interested in papers that aim to clarify the debate on the uniqueness of emerging market multinationals and work on foreign direct investment trends and strategies in emerging markets. Empirical papers exploring under-researched emerging markets beyond the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) such as the CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, and South Africa), or other African, Eastern European and Latin American economies are particularly encouraged. We also look forward to receiving well-articulated theoretical papers that can advance our thinking in these areas.
Keywords: Innovation in emerging markets; Transition economies; Varieties of capitalism; Comparative advantages of emerging & transition economies; Institutional change; Institutional heritage (socialism, colonialism, capitalism, etc.); Foreign vs. indigenous multinational enterprises; State-owned enterprises; Emerging market firms' performance and strategy; Internationalization; Knowledge-creation & diffusion; Economic development; Firm-specific advantages; Theory of MNE
While global operations and supply chain management offer many opportunities for companies to optimize their global footprint, numerous challenges remain in this dynamic context. As such, it is not uncommon to see a company develop a product or service in one country, manufacture or outsource it in a different country and sell it yet in another country, creating unparalleled management complexities. This track invites papers providing insight into and solutions to the complexities generated by global operations and supply chain management, including their coordination and management. Relevant research questions for this track include: How have global operations and supply chain management evolved in creating sustainable competitive advantages for firms? What are the cultural, technological and management issues related to the successful coordination of global supply chains? How do operations and supply chain management issues differ on a global basis? What are the key linkages between managing the global supply chain and other functional areas of the firm? How are changing cost structures and reshoring changing the global footprints of companies? What are models that can enable global operations and supply chain management for bottom–of-the-pyramid markets?
Keywords: Global operations; Supply chain management; Global sourcing; Global logistics; Global value chains; Offshoring; Outsourcing; Nearshoring; Re-shoring; Global factory; Optimization; Manufacturing industry studies; Global coordination; Technology diffusion; Service operations; Globalization of services
In the integrated world economy, MNEs face ever increasing challenges in leveraging global integration while exploiting local differences. This track invites conceptual and empirical papers that deal with firms' global strategies, including mergers and acquisitions, alliances, inter-organizational networks and the impact of these strategies on competitiveness and performance. Globalization is creating numerous business opportunities, including potential to access geographically dispersed knowledge sources and generate innovations, yet to exploit such opportunities, businesses need to design strategies that constructively exploit international diversity while keeping costs and frictions of diversity under control. Knowledge networks and innovation infrastructure that are emerging in different parts of the world create further management and organizational challenges for MNEs. Learning through international operations and managing parent subsidiary relations to maximize learning have become vital to the performance of global corporate strategies such as alliances and acquisitions. In addition, as firms internationalize, they encounter diverse institutional contexts that present both opportunities and constraints for learning and value creation. Managing and harnessing the complexity of these diverse institutional settings across countries is crucial to the success of the global firm. We encourage papers on any of these themes and also those that examine how global strategies relate to institutional and economic changes in home and host countries.
Keywords: Emerging market-MNC alliances; Global alliances; Global diversification strategies; Global networks; Global/multidomestic/international/transnational strategies; Growth strategies; Headquarters; Organizational structure of MNCs; Organization of international operations; Integration-responsiveness framework; International competitiveness; International joint ventures; Knowledge and innovation networks; Learning from global acquisitions; Mergers and acquisitions; National and sub-national Institutions; Parent-subsidiary relationships; Performance; Processes of globalization; Regional headquarters
Increased economic and financial integration under the umbrella of the knowledge-based economy has enlarged competition and the number of influent actors worldwide. More now than ever, a new geography of global innovation is before our eyes. The emergence of dynamic markets, firms and locations cohabits with international financial turbulences as well as with more serious problems of poverty and inequality. The prevalence of cross-border production networks and the global value chain have opened new opportunities for developing economies in both the technological and economic sides, revealing simultaneously the power of internationalization and local capabilities. The current situation of growing new markets, with millions of potential consumers, is running in parallel with divestments from developed countries, underlying at the time important regulatory and institutional issues. Understanding international trends and asymmetries are key insights for IB research. This track invites economics, accounting and finance researchers to write papers on theoretical, empirical and methodological aspects in a broad set of themes to be shared and discussed within the IB domain.
Keywords: International trade; Global value chain; Economic geography; FDI theory and empirics; International crisis research; Banking and International financial architecture; Industrial dynamics; Knowledge and productivity spillovers; International taxation; Economics of innovation; R&D and intellectual property rights; Income inequality; Economic and financial integration; Management of macroeconomic risks; International corporate governance; Internationalization of corporate boards; Corporate incentive schemes; International financial reporting standards; International financial transparency; Fair value accounting; International micro finance issues
This track invites papers that address marketing issues in cross-national and cross-cultural environments. We welcome contributions focusing on traditional aspects of international marketing, like international marketing strategy, market selection/segmentation, entry modes and marketing mix management. We also welcome contributions focusing on the characteristics and decision processes of consumers and organizational customers in the global marketplace. In reflection of the conference theme, especially welcome are submissions addressing topics such as: the internationalization of entrepreneurial ideas to customers, new offerings and new competitors and new ways of creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging value to target groups in business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets. Phenomena like new electronic pricing, communication and distributions channels will rapidly gain international importance and increasingly change the behavior of customers. Also, as emerging market MNEs turn from imitators to innovators they face particular marketing and trademarking challenges.
Keywords: Adaptation and standardization; Buyer and consumer behavior; Communication management; Corporate branding; Country-of-origin; Cross-border and cross-cultural marketing; Customer integration; Customer loyalty; Customer performance management and measurement; Distribution management; E-commerce; Entry modes; Entrepreneurial offerings; Exporting; Global Branding; Global market segmentation; Integration of marketing processes; Key account management; Market orientation; Market selection; Marketing issues of MNEs from emerging markets; Marketing processes and organization; New product introduction; Pricing; Product and brand strategy; Retailing and services marketing; Sales management; Social media
Increasingly global operations -- characterized by diversity across all aspects of business, heightened interdependence and environmental flux -- elicit a strong demand for leadership and complex approaches to the acquisition, development, structuring and management of personnel, particularly personnel with distinctive capabilities that are in scarce supply. Systemic elements related to geographic, demographic, institutional, cultural and linguistic differences abound. These challenges are compounded in emerging markets or in areas where markets are under-developed or over-regulated. We are particularly interested in papers in global leadership, international HRM, global talent management and diversity management. Papers submitted to this track may take individual, group or organizational perspectives. We welcome pure theory papers as well as theoretical advances supported by empirical tests, both qualitative and quantitative.
Keywords: Global leadership; Boundary spanning; Global managerial competencies; Global mindset; Virtual teams; Bridging cultural divides; Talent management; Global careers; Expatriate management; Leadership development; Strategic human resource management; International human resource management; High performing organizations; Networked organizations; Organizational change and development; Organizational culture; Organizational capabilities; Selection; Retention; Performance appraisal; Compensation; Training and development; Cross-cultural values; Diversity; Local compliance
In this track we are seeking to encourage a debate about the methodologies we use-or should be using-in international business. Submissions about all aspects of the research process are relevant: generating research questions; ensuring fit between the research question and method; research design; research paradigms; data collection and analysis; and evaluating research quality. Papers and panel proposals on qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods are all welcome. We particularly encourage papers that develop innovative and non-traditional methodological approaches. This could be in the form of critically evaluating existing methods in use; introducing methods from other fields or proposing novel ways of contextualising our research approaches to diverse cultures and country settings. To be eligible for inclusion in this track, papers will need to do more than simply report the results of a study that uses an innovative method; they will need to explain how they advance the methodological debate in international business.
Keywords: Measurement issues in IB; Philosophy of science; Research design; Qualitative research methods; Quantitative research methods; Mixed methods; Multi-level methods; Structural equation modelling; Longitudinal research; Process research; Comparative research methods; Contextualisation
Please read the Special Call for Papers for this track for additional information and submission requirements.
Teaching IB presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities, as the contours are changing all the time. The large variety of tools and approaches available give us many ways to engage our students and create powerful learning experiences. However, planning, preparing and teaching IB courses consumes a great deal of our time and energy. The "Teaching IB" track was introduced in recognition of our commitment to teaching. The goal of the track is to provide AIB members the opportunity to share innovative approaches to making teaching IB more effective, more fun and more rewarding. Submissions to this track are invited in the following broad areas: how we go beyond Bartlett and Ghoshal's Integration and Differentiation framework; what students need to know; innovations, challenges and opportunities in teaching across cultures; social process of learning in the IB classroom, such as interactions, exploiting knowledge pipelines through cases, simulations and role-playing; policy formulation in internationalizing the business school curriculum and how IB can play its role.
Keywords: Case teaching; Cross-cultural classrooms; Developing an IB curriculum; Dual degrees; EMBA; Executive education; Experiential learning; International exchange programs; International study tours as part of the IB experience; Internationalizing the business school curriculum; Multimedia in IB teaching; Open online courses; PhD; Simulations and role-playing
All submissions will be handled through the AIB online submission system. All manuscripts and proposals must be submitted by January 15, 2016. Please refer to the detailed submission instructions page for additional information on how to prepare and submit your submission. For up-to-date information about the conference and related events, please check the conference website at http://aib.msu.edu/events/2016/. Any questions regarding this call for papers should be addressed to the track chairs or the Program Chair, .
Professor of Strategy and Global Leadership
Program Chair, AIB 2016 Annual Meeting