We are so pleased to welcome you to the annual AIB Insights special issue that highlights the work of some of the AIB’s up-and-coming stars – the four finalists for the 2022 Peter J. Buckley and Mark Casson AIB Dissertation Award. In this issue, you will find executive summaries of the excellent doctoral research undertaken by Livia Barakat, Liang (Arthur) Li, Katherine Tatarinov, and Pengxiang Zhang. The four finalists have produced research that varies widely, with respect to focus and approach, but is united by rigor and creativity. We congratulate them all!

Katherine Tatarinov, from the University of Geneva (PhD awarded by University of Geneva), is the winner of the 2022 Peter J. Buckley and Mark Casson AIB Dissertation Award. In her dissertation, entitled “Managing, Structuring and Scaling Innovation in International Organizations”, she studies organizational innovation in the context of a unique international organization: the United Nations. Key takeaways from her work include the value of digital solutions for supporting innovation, especially in the face of wicked problems, and the value of working across traditional organizational boundaries when addressing complex issues. Her study, while of a very specific service-oriented organization, has implications for a wide variety of MNEs.

Livia Lopes Barakat, from Fundacao Dom Cabral (PhD awarded by Copenhagen Business School), focuses on how knowledge is linked to innovation and performance in her dissertation-based article: “Knowledge Management Mechanisms at MNCs and the Enhancing Effect of Absorptive Capacity”. Her study is based in the context of Brazil, and considers both product and process innovation, from the perspectives of various aspects of the multinational organization, from teams to headquarters.

Liang (Arthur) Li, from Toronto Metropolitan University (PhD awarded by Western University), investigates the processes and consequences associated with replacing top subsidiary-level managers in “General Manager Succession in Multinational Enterprise Subsidiaries”. His work includes a variety of methodological approaches, while combining aspects of human resource management and strategy, and considers nuances pertaining to attributes of the subsidiary and its position within the MNE. At the 2022 Academy of Management meetings, Arthur was awarded the 2022 International Management Division D’Amore-McKim School of Business, Northeastern University Award for the Best Dissertation in International Management.

Pengxiang Zhang, from Peking University (PhD awarded by University of South Carolina) focuses on the fast-moving, and inherently global, digital marketplace in his dissertation: “Iterate to Innovate: How Firms Strategize Design Iteration to Navigate the Uneven Landscape in the Global Mobile Application Industry”. His emphasis is on the impact of the rapid design iterations that characterize this industry, viewed from the perspectives of both designers and users. By studying the demand side, along with the frequency and rhythm of innovation, his work contributes to a variety of literatures, including strategy and entrepreneurship.

We thank Arthur, Katherine, Livia, and Pengxiang for sharing their exciting and insightful research with AIB Insights. We also want to acknowledge, on behalf of the AIB community, the selection committee for the 2022 Buckley and Casson AIB Dissertation Award. The members of this committee undertake a huge commitment, and we extend our gratitude to Tatiana Kostova (Chair), Catherine Welch, Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, and Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra.