Welcome to our second issue of AIB Insights for 2022 – the first “regular” issue (as in, not a special issue) in our term as the journal’s editorial team. We want to take this opportunity to thank the AIB Board for its support of our proposal to lead AIB Insights. We are excited about the opportunity to continue the journal’s forward journey, building upon the excellent efforts of immediate past Editor John Mezias, and all of the prior editorial teams. We thank John and the past editorial teams for their foundational service to the journal. It is an honor to assume this role, and our plan is for the Editor and Associate Editor to work very closely, functioning effectively as co-editors, consistent with the approach taken by the journal’s recent editorial teams.
Before we proceed to introduce the articles in this AIB Insights issue, we want to share an overview of our vision – and some of our plans – for our 2022–2024 editorship. Our overarching aim is to continue developing the journal into a premier source of Actionable International Business Insights for the broad group of stakeholders in the IB community, complementing the more traditionally academic perspectives of JIBS and JIBP. Given its applied nature, AIB Insights has the goal of providing actionable insights that can be utilized by educators and practitioners. The applied emphasis offers the opportunity for a broad range of AIB members to share their valuable international business knowledge in a format that is distinct from those of JIBS or JIBP, with respect to focus and length.
AIB Insights has emerged from a major transformation during the pandemic. We are now a fully peer-reviewed journal, operating under a new publication platform that allows for much greater reach than was previously possible. During 2021, the first full year using the new journal portal, AIB Insights had 28,514 page views on the new site, including 15,657 article page views and 1769 article downloads. During our tenure as editors, we aim to solidify this transformation, while using it as a base to advance the journal to the next level of development. Simultaneously, we aim to give more people “voice”, increasing diversity and inclusion in the journal.
Following are of some of the initiatives supporting our vision for the journal.
Chapter and SIG Outreach
AIB Insights has a considerable history of working with AIB Chapters and Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and has published special issues over the past few years with the Oceania (2021), Latin America and the Caribbean (2019), Central and Eastern European (2018), and Africa (2018) Chapters. In addition, the journal has worked with SIGs: Sustainability (2022), Research Methods (2021), Teaching and Education (2020, jointly with the Consortium for Undergraduate International Business Education – CUIBE), and the Women of AIB (2019). We aim to continuing working with these important players within the broader AIB organization. As an editorial team, we bring to the table complementary geographic connections and experiences (e.g., Bill in Latin America, China, and Eastern Europe; Beth in Africa, India, Oceania, and Western Europe), which should facilitate broader coverage with respect to AIB’s chapters and SIGs. In addition to other benefits, we see this outreach as fertile ground for identifying and developing potential Editorial Review Board (ERB) members (see next goal), as working on a special issue provides Chapter/SIG members with journal-specific training that will enhance their effectiveness on the AIB Insights ERB.
Expanded Editorial Review Board (ERB)
As part of AIB Insights’ transition to a peer-reviewed journal in 2020, we appointed our inaugural ERB. During the current term, we intend to expand the diversity of the ERB (which is almost evenly split by gender, but would benefit from greater diversity in other dimensions). We also seek to appoint members of other stakeholder groups, such as business practitioners and NGO representatives, and include these stakeholders on the editorial teams for future special issues.
Special Issues to Support Diversity and a Broader Tent
AIB Insights publishes quite a few special issues, and we will continue to utilize this format to cater to the diversity of the AIB membership – in terms of people, locations and interests – within the broad AIB tent. Related to this goal, we plan to reach out to, and collaborate with, organizations of international prominence such as UNCTAD, which was featured, along with the World Investment Report, in a recent issue. More immediately, the next issue of AIB Insights, which is nearly complete, focuses on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Increase Journal Awareness
A major aim is to increase awareness of AIB Insights –both its new and its older content – through seminars and special sessions, and paper development workshops at the annual AIB conference, chapter/SIG conferences, and virtually. As part of this goal, we will seek to increase the journal’s virtual footprint through webinars related to special issues, within the broader AIB journals’ webinar series. There will also be more AIB Insights articles to enjoy, as the number of issues will increase from four to five in 2022, and then six each year thereafter. We will work with the JIBS and JIBP editors to ensure that AIB Insights’ complementary position within the AIB portfolio of journals is maintained and remains beneficial to the full collection of AIB journals.
Work towards Obtaining an Impact Factor
Now that AIB Insights is established as a peer-reviewed journal, we aim to guide the journal towards establishing an impact factor. This takes time, but the journal is now better positioned to move in that direction. A next step will be to apply for inclusion in Scopus once we reach the minimum of two years of peer-review; this will happen during the next few months.
Once again, we are honored to take on the roles of Editor and Associate Editor of AIB Insights for the 2022–2024 period, and we will continue to endeavor to make the journal the premier source of Actionable International Business Insights!
We now proceed to introduce the five fascinating articles in this issue, which were accepted by members of both the prior and current editorial teams.
Articles in This Issue
The first article, “What Makes International Business Unique and Important as a Field? The Three Cs of IB”, is by Luis Alfonso Dau (Northeastern University, USA), Sjoerd Beugelsdijk (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), Maria Tereza Leme Fleury (FGV - Fundação Getulio Vargas, Brazil), Kendall Roth (University of South Carolina, USA), and Srilata Zaheer (University of Minnesota, USA). As international business scholars and educators, we are often faced with questions regarding the legitimacy of IB as a separate academic field. This article aims to address this fundamental question. The authors first briefly review the results of the 2020 Academy of International Business Curriculum Survey. They then propose a framework of three “Cs”, based on attributes that they perceive as being critical in IB research and teaching: context, connection, and complexity. After defining these three IB attributes, they apply the framework to the multinational enterprise, to develop applied insights for key IB stakeholders: researchers, educators, practitioners, and policymakers.
The next article in this issue, “Agenda for Practice-Oriented Research: From Relevance versus Rigor to Relevance with Rigor”, by Lilac Nachum (Baruch College, CUNY, USA), Karl P. Sauvant (Columbia Law School - The Earth Institute, Columbia University, USA), and Ari Van Assche (HEC Montréal, Canada), also addresses a broad fundamental theme within the IB field, which complements the Dau et al. paper. This article develops a conceptual framework for research that matters for practice. Based on this framework, they develop an agenda for conducting practice-oriented research, which defines roles for scholars and three components of the academic institutional environment: universities and research institutions, journals, and academic associations. The framework encourages stakeholders to pursue practices based on intent/commitment, familiarity/engagement, and outreach. Ultimately, the authors aim to change how IB scholars approach their research in terms of its societal impact.
The following article in the issue, “De-Globalization is a Myth”, is by Robert Grosse, Jonas Gamso, and Roy C. Nelson, all from the Thunderbird School of Global Management (USA), and addresses another fundamental tenet of the IB field: globalization, or, more specifically, whether de-globalization is indeed taking place. As such, this article addresses a theme raised as a justification for the earlier Dau et al. article in this issue. The authors note that the last 10 years have seen a steady stream of arguments claiming that globalization has reversed course, such that de-globalization is occurring. These arguments have stemmed from forces such as rising populism and nationalist economic policies. While Grosse et al. do not deny these developments, and recognize the rise of populist and nationalist leaders in several countries, they also argue – and provide evidence to suggest – that economic de-globalization is not happening. The authors conclude by discussing implications of their analysis for international business, noting that MNC managers must develop strategies that consider the globalization policies of various governments.
The fourth article in this issue, by Katherine Tatarinov and Tina C. Ambos, both from the University of Geneva (Switzerland), is “Innovation for Impact: An International Business Perspective on Transforming the United Nations”. While IB scholars often examine how policies of higher-level institutional organizations influence firm-level cross-border activities, this article addresses how firm practices may help a supranational organization to function more effectively. In particular, the authors demonstrate how the concepts of intrapreneurship and scaling, from the IB literature, offer the potential to assist the United Nations (UN) and its associated organizations in addressing global problems that are complicated by an international governance system characterized by bureaucratic, globally dispersed and politically-driven structures. Tatarinov and Ambos provide evidence for how intrapreneurship and scaling could be beneficial in assisting the UN to develop innovative approaches to achieving the organization’s core goals.
The final article of the issue, “Response to Semiconductor Chip Shortage: An Organizational Fit Perspective”, is by Nandini Lahiri (American University, USA). This paper utilizes a contingency framework to examine value chain decisions in the face of globalization. Considering the recent global shortage of semiconductor industry chips as a context, Lahiri treats firms’ prior organizational choices pertaining to geographic and vertical scope as a bundle, and examines the alignment between these seemingly-independent choices. Specifically, the article evaluates whether the decision to expand fabrication facilities enhances or diminishes the overall impact of the bundle of choices, using the location choices of key industry players Intel, Samsung, and TSMC as illustrative examples. Lahiri’s framework enables insights into factors that may improve the organization fit of firms’ choices regarding fabrication locations.
We hope you enjoy these articles, and we thank you for your support of AIB Insights. Please continue to submit your applied international business research to the journal!