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Publication: Industrial Marketing Management
Title: Managing B2B Relationship with Emerging Market Partners
Type:Journal Special Issue
Editors:Daekwan Kim (Florida State University), Ruey-Jer “Bryan” Jean (National Chengchi University), Tomas Hult (Michigan State University)
Deadline:March 15, 2019

Overview and Purpose of the special issue

While rapidly globalizing, contemporary multinational firms are increasingly dealing with suppliers and customers in emerging markets including China, India, and Brazil, among many other countries (Simões, Singh, & Perin, 2015) and given their unique business practices stemming from the locally prevalent cultures and unique institutions (Sheth, 2011), managers at multinational firms or local companies doing business in those markets need to understand their relationship management protocols to stay abreast on the potential strategic implications of local relationship management practices (Hewett & Krasnikov, 2016). For examples, institutional voids such as weak intellectual property rights in emerging markets challenge firms’ decisions in sharing new product development and technology in their global supply chains (Chang, Bai, & Li, 2015; Murphy & Li, 2015). However, our efforts to understand the required actions to deal with knowledge on how institutional and cultural environments in emerging markets shape local relationship management protocols fall short of the current business practices in such markets (Kumar, 2014). While selected few streams of literature serves well in that regard, there is a compelling need for additional research to further our understanding on the relationship management practiced by both multinational managers and local business partners in emerging markets (Murphy & Li, 2015; Sheth, 2011).

Our lack of knowledge on the unique relationship management protocols in emerging markets may be attributed to the disconnect between Western society-focused research and locally required business practices in these emerging markets (Murphy & Li, 2015). Furthermore, the state-of-the-art research technique and rigor expected by academic journals in the Western society could have built barriers for researchers and managers in emerging markets that prevent them from sharing their experience and knowledge with the Western world (Vincent-Lancrin, 2006). To overcome the current gap, researchers need to place bridging efforts to bring about the unique relationship management mechanism of the business world in emerging markets.

This special issue calls for research that addresses emerging market-specific relationship management practices in multinational firms’ daily operations including local partnerships/supplier managements and buyer/customer relationship management. We are particularly interested in research findings that are emerging market-specific while generalizable across those newly active emerging markets in the global economy.

Given the objectives of the special issue, researchers are encouraged to contribute to the understanding of the relationship management practices in emerging markets. Specifically, this special issue is interested in research topics and findings that can further our current understanding of relationship management practices outside Western markets. We are seeking contributions not only from the theoretical lens, but also from the methodological perspectives to open up the doors for non-traditional, yet scientific methodologies that may stimulate future research on relationship management in emerging markets.

All submissions must have unique contributions theoretically, or methodologically, or both. Given the potential unique contributions sought by the special issue, conceptual studies with well thought-out propositions, empirical studies with emerging market-specific findings, and methodological papers that open up new ways to carry out future studies in emerging markets are all welcome.

The potential research topics for the special issue may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Relationship management protocols by managers of multinational firms for/in emerging markets
  • Drivers of successful relationship management in emerging markets
  • Decision behaviors of managers in emerging markets
  • Influences of local formal and informal institutions on the relationship management process/outcomes in emerging markets
  • Comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences in relationship management between the Western world and emerging markets
  • Role of locally prevailing business practices in relationship management in emerging markets
  • Emerging market specific customer/buyer relationship management practices
  • Locally prevailing organizational styles and their impacts on relationship management in emerging markets
  • Local management, leadership styles, and decision process in emerging markets
  • Decision mechanism that serve interfirm relationship management practices in emerging markets
  • Firm size, power, and dependence in supplier-buyer relationships and their implications for relationship management
  • Decision making on innovation (product, service, or business model innovation) in customer/buyer relationship in emerging markets
  • Performance implications of local style relationship management practices

Preparation and submission of paper and review process

 Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or presently be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Submissions should be about 6,000-8,000 words in length. Copies should be uploaded on Industrial Marketing Management’s homepage through the EVISE system. You need to upload your paper using the dropdown box for the special issue on “Managing B2B Relationship with Emerging Market Partners”. For guidelines, visit Papers not complying with the notes for contributors (cf. homepage) or poorly written will be desk rejected. Suitable papers will be subjected to a double-blind review; hence, authors must not identify themselves in the body of their paper. (Please do not submit a Word file with “track changes” active or a PDF file.)

Please address all questions to the guest editors:

Daekwan Kim, Florida State University, USA (
Ruey-Jer “Bryan” Jean, National Chengchi University, Taiwan (
Tomas Hult, Michigan State University, USA (


Chang, J., Bai, X., & Li, J. J. 2015. The Influence of Institutional Forces on International Joint Ventures' Foreign Parents' Opportunism and Relationship Extendedness. Journal of International Marketing, 23(2): 73-93.

Hewett, K. & Krasnikov, A. V. 2016. Investing in Buyer–Seller Relationships in Transitional Markets: A Market-Based Assets Perspective. Journal of International Marketing, 24(1): 57-81.

Kumar, V. 2014. Understanding Cultural Differences in Innovation: A Conceptual Framework and Future Research Directions. Journal of International Marketing, 22(3): 1-29.

Murphy, W. H. & Li, N. 2015. Government, company, and dyadic factors affecting key account management performance in China: Propositions to provoke research. Industrial Marketing Management, 51: 115-21.

Sheth, J. N. 2011. Impact of Emerging Markets on Marketing: Rethinking Existing Perspectives and Practices. Journal of Marketing, 75(4): 166-82.

Simões, C., Singh, J., & Perin, M. G. 2015. Corporate brand expressions in business-to-business companies' websites: Evidence from Brazil and India. Industrial Marketing Management, 51: 59-68.

Vincent-Lancrin, S. 2006. What is Changing in Academic Research? Trends and Futures Scenarios. European Journal of Education, 41(2): 169-202.

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