Welcome to the second 2023 issue of AIB Insights, which continues our prior issue’s geopolitics theme while also presenting articles on global value chains, mature subsidiaries and an interview with lebua Hotels & Resorts CEO Deepak Ohri.
As Elizabeth Rose and I enter the second year of our term as journal editors, working closely with Managing Editor Anne Hoekman, I wanted to provide a brief update on the journal’s progress. With two full years using the Scholastica publishing system, we can now better track the impact of AIB Insights publications. Statistics for calendar years 2021 and 2022 are shown in Table 1 below, and demonstrate healthy numbers of article views and downloads. As can be seen in the table, all numbers increased meaningfully between 2021 and 2022. While the journal has not been peer reviewed long enough to develop reliable citation data, we also know that citations have significantly increased since we switched to the new journal portal, which allows all articles to be assigned a DOI and tracked by Google Scholar and other search engines. Overall, the journal appears to be making steady progress.
This year, AIB Insights will be expanding from four to five issues, with a goal to eventually expand to six issues per year. To meet this goal, we need more high-quality submissions like the ones in this issue, and have been pursuing considerable efforts to increase both the quantity and quality of journal submissions. We held our first AIB Insights Paper Development Workshop at the 2022 AIB Annual Meeting in Miami. It was quite successful, and several papers from the workshop have already been published in AIB Insights issues, with a couple more still under later review stages. Since then, we have also made presentations about the journal in various forms (paper development workshops, stand-alone presentations, editors panels) at several AIB chapter conferences, including AIB-US Southeast, AIB Oceania, AIB-US West, AIB-LAC and AIB-UKI. We look to continue this practice at other AIB chapter meetings going forward. We are working hard to get the word out about the specific expectations for publishing in an applied journal such as AIB Insights, and can see evidence that the quality of submissions is improving due to these efforts. We will hold our second AIB Insights Paper Development Workshop at an AIB Annual Meeting this summer in Warsaw.
In September 2022, an interview promoting the journal was published on the Scholastica website, “How AIB Insights moved to double-anonymized peer review and expanded its readership with the help of Scholastica,” which details some of the advantages we have developed through use of the platform.
Along with our goal to continue to increase the reach of the journal, we also aim to apply to be part of the Scopus journal list as we are now eligible given that we have passed two years of peer review. This is an important criterion for attracting articles, especially from many emerging and developing countries. AIB Insights will continue its efforts to engage and challenge AIB members. We look forward to continuing to develop AIB Insights as a premier source of Actionable International Business Insights for the various stakeholders in the international business community.
Proceeding to review this issue’s article, further recognizing the high uncertainty and volatility faced by multinational corporations (MNCs) in the current geopolitical environment, this AIB Insights issue continues our prior issue’s (Ciravegna, Hartwell, Jandhyala, Tingbani, & Newburry, 2023) theme with three additional geopolitics-focused articles on remain or withdraw decisions in geopolitical crises, geopolitical resilience, and managing disengagement during political disruptions.
Kicking off the issue, Klaus Meyer (Ivey Business School, Canada) and Saul Estrin (London School of Economics, UK) authored “Managing Disengagement during Political Disruptions.” The authors develop a process of making exit decision during times of economic and ethical complexity caused by political disruptions. They suggest that MNEs facing pressures to exit a country should follow a three-step decision process. First, financial decision criteria related to exiting versus staying need to be clarified, followed by a consideration of ethical considerations, which again could support exiting or staying. Finally, if disengagement is seen as appropriate, partial versus full disengagement strategies need to be evaluated.
Complementing our first article, the next piece in the issue is by Thomas DeBerge (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA) and is titled: “Should we stay or should we go? MNE decisions to withdraw or remain during geopolitical crises.” In this article, the author describes how geopolitical crises may result in dual pressures for MNEs operating in crisis environments to either exit or stay put – either in the present term or through options to re-enter business in the country in the future. He then analyzes 1381 historical cases of firms exiting to varying extents from doing business in/with Russia to identify five levels of exit decisions. He further develops a strategy decision model based upon home country and firm-specific factors to help advise MNE managers in their future decision-making and build resiliency in the event of future geopolitical crises.
Our third article in the issue specifically addresses the issue of resilience in international business, which is not just an important geopolitical issue, but also relates to the theme of the third 2023 issue of AIB Insights, as well as the 2023 AIB Meeting in Warsaw. “From Fragmented Geopolitics to Geopolitical Resilience in International Business” is authored by Dino Bozonelos (California State University, San Marcos, USA) and Dimitrios Tsagdis (Kedge Business School, France). In this article, the authors develop a framework for enhancing geopolitical resilience in international business. This framework builds on four complimentary views based upon whether the observer is located inside or outside the organization, and whether the observer perspective is inward or outward looking. The authors then develop a series of practitioner recommendations to help in developing geopolitical resilience.
In addition to the three geopolitics-focused articles, this issue also contains articles on building inclusive governance of global value chains and generating research on mature subsidiaries in emerging markets in order to better advise multinational managers.
The article “What does it take to build an inclusive governance of global value chains? A framework for intervention”, is authored by a group of UK scholars, including Elizabeth Yi Wang (University of Leeds, UK), Nigel Driffield (University of Warwick, UK), Jeremy Clegg (University of Leeds, UK), Lilian Miles (University of Westminster, UK), Matthew Alford (University of Manchester, UK) and Jae Kim (University of Portsmouth, UK). In this article, the authors advocate for greater inclusivity among subordinated stakeholders such as employees, unions and subcontracted workforce in the governance of global value chains (GVCs). They propose a framework for intervention at the civil society level to greater empower weak links in GVCs, along with five actions aimed at achieving this empowerment, which often involves stakeholders within the economic “South.”
Felix Arndt (University of Guelph, Canada), Christiaan Roell (University of Sheffield, UK) and Vikas Kumar (University of Sydney, Australia) co-authored the next article in this issue, “Mature MNE subsidiaries in emerging markets: An old phenomenon with a new research agenda.” The authors note how subsidiaries that were established in emerging markets many decades ago require different management practices than new market entrants and indigenous firms, which extant literature tends to focus on. Within the article, they explore the distinct character of these firms, and identify missed research opportunities, with the ultimate goal of promoting research that can better advise managers of these MNEs. As such, the article aims to promote research into mature MNE subsidiaries that will ultimately better advise managers of these subsidiaries in their actions.
This issue concludes with an interview with lebua Hotels & Resorts Founder and CEO Deepak Ohri by AIB Insights Editor William Newburry. Mr. Ohri started from a humble background in India and has risen to become a leading figure in the luxury hospitality industry, winning numerous awards in the process. He recently released his book, A Bridge Not Too Far: Where Creativity Meets Innovation (Ohri, 2023), in which he describes this journey. This interview focuses on the conditions that impacted Mr. Ohri’s decision to become a self-initiated expatriate to Singapore, Thailand, and the United States, along with his development of an entrepreneurial global mindset, and factors related to the emerging market context of Thailand that influence business success. In doing so, it provides a glimpse into the factors contributing to Mr. Ohri’s success as a global entrepreneur. This is the second interview published in AIB Insights (following Rašković & Sinha, 2022), and we aim to continue this feature going forward to further enhance the journal’s applied focus.
Overall, I hope that you enjoy this issue of AIB Insights. As noted earlier, we will be expanding from four to five issues in 2023, with a goal to eventually expand to six issues per year, so look for even more great articles as the year progresses. To meet this goal, we need more high-quality submissions. Please continue to submit your applied international business research to the journal!