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Call for Papers. JIBS special issue on Multinationals' solutions to Grand Challenges

  • 1.  Call for Papers. JIBS special issue on Multinationals' solutions to Grand Challenges

    Posted 12-03-2022 09:37
    Dear friends and colleagues,
    We have organized a special issue on Multinationals' solutions to Grand Challenges and we are looking for your submissions. The deadline is October 15, 2023. The full call for papers appears at Below is an excerpt.
    Best wishes,
    Alvaro (on behalf of the editorial team)


    Special Issue of Journal of International Business Studies 




    Special Issue Editors: 


    Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra, Northeastern University (

    Gerard George, Georgetown University ( 

    Grazia D. Santangelo, Copenhagen Business School (  

                Laszlo Tihanyi, Rice University ( 

    Xufei Ma, Tsinghua University (

    Lemma Senbet, University of Maryland (

    JIBS Supervising Editor: Jonathan Doh, Villanova University ( 

    Deadline for Submission: October 15, 2023 

    Motivation for the Special Issue 

     Grand Challenges are complex problems with no easy solutions, which transcend national borders and affect future generations. These Grand Challenges, such as climate change, global health, forced migration, food security, financial development and infrastructure gaps, capital flight and illicit flows, food security, etc., have usually been discussed as the purview of governments (Montiel, Cuervo-Cazurra, Park, Antolín-López, & Husted, 2021). MNEs are uniquely positioned to effectively address Grand Challenges given their size, global reach, and market and nonmarket power. In recent years, societies increasingly expect MNEs (both non-financial and financial) to contribute to solutions to Grand Challenges and expand their traditional roles by, for example, promoting human rights and improving labor and environmental standards (Wettstein, Giuliani, Santangelo, & Stahl 2019; Maggioni, Santangelo & Koymen-Ozer 2019), fostering financial inclusion and development (e.g., Allen, Carleti, Senbet, Vanzuela, 2021). Moreover, these increasing societal expectations for responsible corporate practice and some long-standing global initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact, have pressured MNEs to rethink their responsible conduct as an integral part of their strategy (Global Reporting Initiative & United Nations Global Compact, 2018). They have also motivated MNE leaders to consider how their firms' externalities affect local communities and integrate these considerations into their decision-making and corporate purpose (George & Schillebeeckx, 2022). As a result, MNEs are called to assume the role of positive organizational actors, actively provide public goods, and protect global commons (Boddewyn & Doh, 2011; Scherer, Palazzo & Mattern, 2014). These externalities can be both positive (e.g., Covid-19 vaccine production) and negative (e.g., environmental degradation), calling for incentive and institutional mechanisms to maximize the positive and mitigate the negative (Gande, John, Nair & Senbet, 2020).  

    This special issue aims to contribute to and guide this ongoing conversation by bringing attention to multinationals' solutions to Grand Challenges. Multinationals can be both non-financial and financial (e.g., large multinational banks operating regionally and globally).  This focus originates from the notion that MNEs are in a privileged position to address Grand Challenges and offer impactful solutions because Grand Challenges transcend national borders and require cross-country answers. We are interested in submissions that focus on particular actions or initiatives taken by MNEs to solve specific Grand Challenges. We also solicit studies that investigate the behavior of diverse groups of actors participating and collaborating with MNEs, including collaborations of MNEs with governments, transnational, hybrid, and not-for-profit organizations to provide solutions (Teegen, Doh, & Vachani 2004). They can even take the form of local initiatives that are scaled and adopted by MNEs and international organizations in other geographics and jurisdictions as solutions to Grand Challenges. These solutions may involve strategic, operational, financial, marketing, technological, or other approaches that leverage MNEs' capabilities, often in conjunction with private, public, and not-for-profit partners.

    Professor, International Business and Strategy, Northeastern University
    Co-editor, Global Strategy Journal