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Journal of International Management
Special Issue: MNEs and Sustainable Business in Emerging Markets
Deadline: 1 March 2022
Maoliang Bu (Nanjing University, China, email@example.com)
Faith Hatani (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Dirk Holtbruegge (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany, email@example.com )
Ari Van Assche (HEC Montréal, Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org )
In the field of international business (IB) and management, research on sustainable development has been gathering momentum (Holtbrügge & Dögl 2012; Kolk, Kourula, & Pisani, 2017; Kolk & van Tulder, 2010), whereas some aspects of the study of emerging markets might appear to be reaching maturity. Partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic, moreover, the focus on the studies seems to be rapidly shifting to pandemic-related issues (Lawton, Dorobantu, Rajwani, & Sun, 2020; Verbeke & Yuan, 2020). However, it should be noted that most emerging economies, let alone other less and least developed countries, have been particularly vulnerable to the volatility of the global market (Narula, 2020). Moreover, because of the pandemic, it is expected that global poverty is likely to increase and eight out of ten "new poor" will be middle-income countries (World Bank, 2020). Against this background, multinational enterprises (MNEs) can be seen as a major player in addressing both economic and social problems in emerging economies (Meyer, 2004; Valente & Crane, 2010). That is, given the idiosyncratic nature of emerging markets, more research is needed on MNEs and sustainable business in emerging markets (Meyer & Peng, 2016).
Sustainable business can be understood as business which achieves economic viability (i.e. profitability and competitiveness) while operating within the capacity, or contributing to the integrity, of social, economic, and ecological systems (Halme, Rintamäki, Knudsen, Lankoski, & Kuisma, 2018; Voegtlin & Scherer, 2017). MNEs have a capacity to conduct sustainable business, thereby contributing to sustainable development in a wider territory. By doing so, MNEs should involve in sustainable development more proactively (Van Zanten & Van Tulder, 2018). International businesses are now facing many challenges in ensuring economic recovery and configuring more resilient value chains across borders to contribute sustainable policies and practices for the future (Gereffi, 2020). Amid the uncertainty, MNEs are now required to reassess the ways that they operate (Kim & Davis, 2016). While a "new normal" could encourage MNEs to adjust and innovate their business activities, the uncertainty in an international market could weaken MNEs' commitment to the 2030 Agenda for the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Against this backdrop, businesses and governments need to accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and inclusive world by demonstrating the lessons learned from the current situation (Sachs, Schmidt-Traub, Kroll, Lafortune, Fuller, & Woelm, 2020). This would include emerging markets and the Global South, and doing sustainable business is more important than ever.
Aims and scope of this special issue
This special issue addresses the research agenda in this theme by identifying the main challenges that MNEs may face, as well as by addressing key issues in IB research (Buckley, Doh, & Benischke, 2017; Maksimov, Wang, & Yan, 2019; Strike, Gao, & Bansal, 2006). This will raise questions such as: What are the contextual differences between emerging markets and advanced economies in doing sustainable business? Can such difference generate new theories for the MNE and sustainable development? How can sustainable practices learned from emerging markets shape the mind-set of MNE (and vice versa; how/if could MNEs' effort in doing sustainable business in advanced countries be applied to emerging markets)? Moreover, while sustainability tends to be discussed in view of environmental issues such as climate change, other issues are also crucial as identified in the 17 SDGs. Sustainability is not only about environmental protection, but also economic prosperity and social equity (Bansal, 2005; Bansal & Song, 2017). With these in mind, this special issue aims to explore how MNEs can contribute to sustainable development focusing on the emerging market contexts.
By doing so, the special issue intends to set a new research agenda for the study of MNE activities and their roles in emerging markets (Reimann, Ehrgottb, Kaufmann & Carter 2012; Luo, Zhang, & Bu, 2019). The call for papers is open to a wide range of regional scopes and different methodological approaches including quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods and case study, as well as theoretical/conceptual papers.
This special issue welcomes submissions with an interdisciplinary perspective but with a clear focus on international business and management in the contexts of emerging markets. We seek papers on the following and other related topics:
The deadline for paper submission to this special issue is 1 March 2022. We plan to hold a paper development workshop for this special issue, although the attendance at the workshop is not a necessary condition for the acceptance of submitted papers. All papers will be subject to a double‐blind review process. Papers for this issue should be prepared as per the Journal's guidelines available at: https://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/601266?generatepdf=true
Authors should submit an electronic copy of their manuscript via the journal's online submission system via https://www.editorialmanager.com/intman/default.aspx
Bansal, P. 2005. Evolving sustainably: a longitudinal study of corporate sustainable development. Strategic Management Journal, 26(3): 197-218.
Bansal, P., & Song, H.-C. 2017. Similar But Not the Same: Differentiating Corporate Sustainability from Corporate Responsibility. Academy of Management Annals, 11(1): 105-149.
Buckley, P. J., Doh, J. P., & Benischke, M. H. 2017. Towards a renaissance in international business research? Big questions, grand challenges, and the future of IB scholarship. Journal of International Business Studies, 48(9): 1045-1064.
Gereffi, G. 2020. What does the COVID-19 pandemic teach us about global value chains? The case of medical supplies. Journal of International Business Policy, 3: 287–301.
Halme, M., Rintamäki, J., Knudsen, J., Lankoski, L., & Kuisma, M. 2020. When is there a sustainability case for CSR? Pathways to environmental and social performance improvements. Business and Society, 59(6): 1181–1227.
Holtbrügge, D. & Dögl, C. 2012. How International is Corporate Environmental Responsibility? A Literature Review. Journal of International Management, 18(2): 180-195.
Kim, Y. H., & Davis, G. F. 2016. Challenges for Global Supply Chain Sustainability: Evidence from Conflict Minerals Reports. Academy of Management Journal, 59(6): 1896-1916.
Kolk, A., Kourula, A., & Pisani, N. 2017. Multinational enterprises and the Sustainable Development Goals: what do we know and how to proceed? Transnational Corporations, 24.
Kolk, A., & van Tulder, R. 2010. International business, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. International Business Review, 19(2): 119-125.
Lawton, T. C., Dorobantu, S., Rajwani, T. S., & Sun, P. 2020. The Implications of COVID-19 for Nonmarket Strategy Research. Journal of Management Studies, 57(8): 1732-1736.
Luo, Y. D., Zhang, H., & Bu, J. 2019. Developed country MNEs investing in developing economies: Progress and prospect. Journal of International Business Studies, 50(4): 633-667.
Maksimov, V., Wang, S. L., & Yan, S. P. 2019. Global connectedness and dynamic green capabilities in MNEs. Journal of International Business Studies.
Meyer, K. E. 2004. Perspectives in multinational enterprises in emerging economies. Journal of International Business Studies, 35(4): 259–276.
Meyer, K. E., & Peng, M. W. 2016. Theoretical foundations of emerging economy business research, Journal of International Business Studies, 47(3): 3–22.
Narula, R. 2020. Policy opportunities and challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic for economies with large informal sectors. Journal of International Business Policy, 3: 302–310.
Reimann, F., Ehrgottb, M., Kaufmann, L. & Carter, C. R. 2012. Local stakeholders and local legitimacy: MNEs' social strategies in emerging economies. Journal of International Management, 18(1): 1-17.
Sachs, J., Schmidt-Traub, G., Kroll, C., Lafortune, G., Fuller, G., & Woelm, F. 2020. Sustainable Development Report 2020: The Sustainable Development Goals and COVID-19. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Strike, V. M., Gao, J., & Bansal, P. 2006. Being good while being bad: Social responsibility and the international diversification of US firms. Journal of International Business Studies, 37(6): 850-862.
Valente, M., & Crane, A. 2010. Public responsibility and private enterprise in developing countries. California Management Review, 52(3): 52–78.
Van Zanten, J. A., & Van Tulder, R. 2018. Multinational enterprises and the sustainable development goals: An institutional approach to corporate engagement. Journal of International Business Policy, 1(3): 208–233.
Verbeke, A., & Yuan, W. 2020. A Few Implications of the COVID-19 Pandemic for International Business Strategy Research. Journal of Management Studies
Voegtlin, C., & Scherer, A. G. 2017. Responsible innovation and the innovation of responsibility: governing sustainable development in a globalized world. Journal of Business Ethics, 143: 227–43.
World Bank (2020, Oct. 7) "COVID-19 to add as many as 150 million extreme poor by 2021", at https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2020/10/07/covid-19-to-add-as-many-as-150-million-extreme-poor-by-2021
Guest Editor Brief Bio:
Maoliang Bu (Email: email@example.com)
Maoliang Bu is currently an Associate Professor at Nanjing University and Visiting Professor at Ivey Business School. He has published in leading academic journals, among others, NATURE Sustainability, Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) and Strategic Management Journal (SMJ). He has served as an editor for Journal of Business Ethics, Asia Pacific Journal of Management (APJM), Journal of International Management (JIM), and other journals. Dr Bu is also an Adjunct Professor at Hopkins-Nanjing Center (Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies), and an affiliated researcher at Copenhagen Business School.
Faith Hatani (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Faith Hatani is Associate Professor of International Business at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. She completed her PhD in Land Economy at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the role of international business in the sustainable development of economy and society with special attention to the upgrading and governance of global value chains, interactions between MNEs and government policies, and the impact of foreign direct investment in host countries. She is particularly interested in responsible business and industry-specific efforts to achieve sustainability.
Dirk Holtbrügge (Email: email@example.com)
Dirk Holtbrügge is Professor of International Management and Dean of International Programs at the School of Business, Economics & Society, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany. His main research interests are in the areas of international management, human resource management, and management in emerging markets. He has published seven books, eight edited volumes and more than 70 articles in refereed journals such as Academy of Management Learning & Education, International Business Review, International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of International Management, and Management International Review.
Ari Van Assche (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ari Van Assche is full professor in international business and co-founder of the International Institute of Economic Diplomacy at HEC Montréal. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and specializes in the organization of global value chains and their implication for trade policy. He is deputy editor of the Journal of International Business Policy.