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Forthcoming Issues

Thunderbird International Business Review Forthcoming Focused Issues:




Chinese Multinationals in the New Era of Globalization: The Belt-and-Road Initiative amidst RisingAnti-globalization Sentiment 

Submission Deadline: October 1, 2018


Guest Editors:

Liang Wang, University of San Francisco, USA, Coordinating Editor
Haifeng Yan, East China University of Science and Technology, China
Xiaohua Yang, University of San Francisco, USA
Francesco Ciabuschi, Uppsala University, Sweden
William Wei, Grant MacEwan University, Canada

Thunderbird International Business Review is pleased to invite submissions to a special issue, which will address issues faced by Chinese multinationals in the new era of globalization, when their international expansion is facing threats from the rise of anti-globalization sentiment across the globe, as well as opportunities from China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative. 

The accelerating internationalization of emerging market multinational enterprises (EMNEs) has urged management scholars to understand how and why these firms differ from MNEs from developed economies (Bonaglia, Goldstein, & Mathews, 2007; Ramamurti, 2012) and whether they are theoretically distinct (Hernandez & Guillén, 2018), in terms of their motivation (Luo & Tung, 2007), strengths and weaknesses (Madhok & Keyhani, 2012), strategy (Luo, Sun, & Wang, 2011), among other things. While liability of foreignness is a challenge for both developed and emerging-economy multinationals, liability of country of origin (COO) is primarily an issue for emerging economy multinationals (Muralidharan, Wei & Liu, 2017). In this growing body of literature in particular, scholars are calling for a better understanding of what is “Chinese” about Chinese foreign direct investment and Chinese multinational enterprises (CMNEs) (Buckley et al., 2007; Deng, 2012; Deng, 2013; Deng, Yang, Wang, & Doyle, 2017), and how this translates into unique models and business strategies (Child & Rodrigues, 2005; Boisot & Meyer, 2008; Rui & Yip, 2008). 

As Ramamurti and Hillemann (2018) posit, despite still being infant rather than mature MNEs, CMNEs have grown much faster than their Western counterparts in the past. A series of different factors have contributed to the high speed and large scope of CMNEs’ internationalization: the leapfrogging advantages of being late-movers, favorable Chinese government policies, and more importantly, a favorable global context for internationalization (Ramamurti, 2012; Ramamurti & Hillemann, 2018); the rise of outsourcing; the modularization of global value chains, which could be even further accelerated by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (Yang, Roddy, Lewis & Moise, 2018); the codification of knowledge; the gradual concentration and globalization of retailing; the more fluid international market for talent and professional services; and the increasing open market for corporate control in many countries (Williamson & Zeng, 2009, p. 81). 

Despite the insights learned from existing studies, however, we believe that CMNEs and EMNEs in general have entered into a new era of globalization with both threats and opportunities, and that their corresponding strategies in the new era will have profound impacts on the global economic landscape, and on the Chinese economy in particular. First, the traditionally pro-free-trade Western society is witnessing an unprecedented wave of anti-globalization sentiment which, in some countries, has been translated into government policies such as the Trump administration’s “Buy American, Hire American” policy, and are having impacts on MNE strategy, location, and operations. As such, it is questionable whether the favorable global context for internationalization that has blessed the rise of CMNEs and EMNEs in general will be maintained. Second, in contrast, its rise to the second largest global economy gives China the ambition and resources to shape the process of globalization according to its own pace. One notable example is the Belt-and-Road Initiative, which promises to boost economic connectivity and cooperation among Eurasian countries at a grand scale. This opens opportunities to CMNEs but also challenges them to respond to more complexities in the environment, including divergent institutions (Tan & Wang, 2011), informal economy (De Castro, etc., 2014), and other issues. Lastly, the more recent escalating trading tension between the U.S. and China provides additional complexity to CMNEs. For example, Huawei, the flagship Chinese high-tech MNE, has been effectively banned from the American market, and ZTE, another Chinese telecom giant, is now in turmoil due to the export ban issued by the U.S. government. 

How do CMNEs respond to opportunities and threats in the new era of globalization? What are the Chinese characteristics of their strategy? How are CMNEs’ management and foreign subsidiary strategies evolving in a time of global change? How do their responses shape the process of globalization? In this special issue we welcome papers addressing these issues and related topics. 

Topics of Special Interest:

  • What are the threats and opportunities for Chinese firms to engage in globalization of business and the Belt and Road projects?
  • Participation of CMNEs, EMNEs, and MNEs from developed economies in the Belt-and-Road Initiative
  • CMNEs entering emerging markets as well as developed economies
  • The Chinese characteristics of CMNE strategies
  • What are the liabilities of institution of CMNEs? And how do they impact CMNEs?
  • How are CMNEs’ management and corporate strategies changing in order to meet new global opportunities and threats?
  • How is the relationship between CMNEs’ headquarters and foreign subsidiaries changing to support new strategies?
  • How are subsidiary level strategies and processes contributing to CMNEs’ further global expansion?
  • Strategic responses of CMNEs to the U.S.-China trade tension, and the global anti-globalization sentiment.
  • How do Chinese firms respond to competition from foreign and informal firms?
  • How do CMNEs deploy UN sustainable development goals and corporate social responsibility as a vehicle to build up competitive advantages?
  • How do CMNEs participate in global supply chains? 

The topics listed are meant to be illustrative; submissions on any topic that relates to the theme of Chinese multinationals in the new era of globalization are encouraged. Submissions should be prepared in accordance with Thunderbird International Business Review’s style guide and submitted to http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tibr by September 1, 2018. 

Be sure to indicate that it is for the special issue, Chinese Multinationals in the New Era of Globalization: The Belt-and-Road Initiative amidst the Rise of Protectionism. The authors of submissions are invited to attend the Academy of International Business China Chapter conference in Beijing, China, to be hosted by East China University of Science and Technology and co-hosted by the University of San Francisco, May 26-27, 2018. At this conference, authors will receive development feedback from the editorial team and discussants. For more details of the conference, please contact the conference organizing committee at aibchina2018@126.com. The special issue is tentatively scheduled to be published in 2019. 

For additional information contact:
Liang Wang, PhD, lwang28@usfca.edu , Coordinating Editor
TIBR Managing Editor, suzy.howell@thunderbird.asu.edu 


Boisot, M. & Meyer, M. (2008). Which way through the open door? Reflections on the internationalization of Chinese firms. Management and Organizational Review, 4(3), 349-36.
Bonaglia, F., Goldstein, A., & Mathews, J. A. (2007). Accelerated internationalization by emerging markets’ multinationals: The case of the white goods sector. Journal of World Business, 42(4): 369-383.
Buckley, P. J., Clegg, L. J., Cross, A. R., Liu, X., Voss, H., & Zheng, P. (2007). The determinants of Chinese outward foreign direct investment. Journal of International Business Studies, 38(4): 499-518.
Child, J. & Rodrigues, S. (2005). The internationalisation of Chinese firms: A case for theoretical extension. Management and Organization Review, 1(3), 381-410.
De Castro, J. O., Khavul, S., & Bruton, G. D. (2014). Shades of grey: how do informal firms navigate between macro and meso institutional environments? Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 8(1), 75-94.
Deng, P. (2012). The internationalization of Chinese firms: A critical review and future research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 14(4): 408-427.
Deng, P. (2013). Chinese Outward Direct Investment Research: Theoretical Integration and Recommendations. Management and Organization Review, 9(3): 513-539.
Deng, P., Yang, X., Wang, L., & Doyle, B. (2017). Chinese investment in advanced economies: Opportunities and challenges. Thunderbird International Business Review, 59(4): 461–471.
Hernandez, E., & Guillén, M. F. (2018). What’s theoretically novel about emerging-market multinationals? Journal of International Business Studies, 49(1): 24-33.
Luo, Y., Sun, J., & Wang, S. L. (2011). Emerging economy copycats: Capability, environment, and strategy. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 25(2): 37-56.
Luo, Y., & Tung, R. L. (2007). International expansion of emerging market enterprises: A springboard perspective. Journal of international business studies, 38(4): 481-498.
Madhok, A., & Keyhani, M. (2012). Acquisitions as entrepreneurship: Asymmetries, opportunities, and the internationalization of multinationals from emerging economies. Global Strategy Journal, 2(1): 26-40.
Muralidharan E., Wei W. and X. Liu (2017). Integration by Emerging‐Economy Multinationals‐ Perspectives from Chinese M&As, Thunderbird International Business Review, Vol 59 (4)
Ramamurti, R. (2012). What is really different about emerging market multinationals? Global Strategy Journal, 2(1): 41-47.
Ramamurti, R., & Hillemann, J. (2018). What is “Chinese” about Chinese multinationals? Journal of International Business Studies, 49(1): 1-15.
Rui, H. & Yip, G. (2008) Foreign acquisitions by Chinese firms: A strategic intent perspective. Journal of World Business, 43(2), 213–226.
Tan, J., & Wang, L. (2011). MNC Strategic Responses to Ethical Pressure: An Institutional Logic Perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(3): 373-390.
Williamson, P. J., & Zeng, M. (2009). Chinese multinationals: Emerging through new global gateways. In R. Ramamurti, & J. V. Singh (Eds.), Emerging Multinationals in Emerging Markets: 81-109. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Yang, Roddy, Lewis and Moise, (2018). One Belt, One Road, One World: Where is US Business Connectivity? In China's Belt and Road Initiative: Changing the Rules of Globalization, Zhang, et al, eds. Forthcoming.





    Market Entry into Africa: Acquisitions and International Joint Ventures.

    Market Entry into Africa: Acquisitions and International Joint Ventures.

    Forthcoming in 2019

    Co-Guest Editors

    Dr. Nnamdi Oguji, University of Vaasa, Finland - nnamdi.oguji@uva.fi
    Dr. Richard Owusu, Linnaeus University, Sweden - richard.owusu@lnu.se

    Thunderbird International Business Review is pleased to announce a special issue dealing with market entry, acquisitions and IJVs of firms in Africa.

    Submission Deadline: 1 October 2018

    For the past 40 years, while international business (IB) studies have focused on explaining the internationalization of multinational enterprises (MNEs) and the globalization of markets, studies focused on Africa have thus far been limited. Extending IB studies to the African context will improve IB theories as it has been suggested that contextualized explanations improve theorizing in international business studies (Meyer & Peng 2005; Welch, Piekkari, Plakoyiannaki & Paavilainen-Möntymäki 2011). African markets provide a unique context to test IB theories empirically and develop context-specific theories (Van de Ven & Jing 2011). Similar contextualization has been done in transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe (Meyer & Peng 2005), China (Child & Tse 2001), and studies on strategies of emerging market MNEs (Cuervo-Cazurra 2012).

    The aim of this special issue is to advance international business in Africa and specifically focus on how foreign firms enter African markets via acquisitions and international joint ventures. It will extend knowledge of these market entry strategies in Africa for research and for foreign firms intending to or currently doing business in Africa.

    This issue will address two important entry mode choices for foreign firms seeking market entry into Africa: the choice of acquisitions (partial and full acquisitions); and international joint ventures. Acquisitions and international joint ventures are gaining importance in Africa (Boateng and Glaister 2003; Dadzie & Owusu 2015) partly due to an increasing consolidation of several industries and economic liberation policies implemented by many Africa countries (UNCTAD 2015).

    We seek papers that explore and analyze why foreign firms opt for IJV and acquisition strategies in Africa, how they manage their African subsidiaries and their performance with these entry modes. Furthermore, we seek for mainly empirical research but also some conceptual papers that enrich the contextualization of Africa in international business. Specifically, we seek state-of-the-art empirical and conceptual papers on topics including, but not limited to the following:

    Motives and formation of IJVs and Acquisitions in Africa

    • Motives of IJVs and acquisitions in Africa
    • Motives of regional M&A vs. other cross-border M&As.
    • Partner selection in IJVs, targets search and due diligence in acquisitions in Africa
    • How IJVs and acquisitions from western countries in Africa differ from those of emerging market countries such as the BRICS?
    • What are the major trends in IJVs and acquisitions in Africa?

    External factors that are affecting IJVs and cross-border M&As in Africa

    • How have institutional changes in African countries affected IJVs and acquisitions in Africa?
    • In which countries are foreign investors utilizing IJVs more than acquisitions and vice versa and why?
    • How do the institutional frameworks in Africa affect IJV & M&A process?
    • What are the obstacles to IJVs and cross-border M&A in Africa?

    Entry and Ownership Strategies:  How do foreign firms choose their entry strategies in Africa?

    • How do firms choose between partial, staged, full acquisitions and IJVs?
    • Partial acquisition vs. joint ventures
    • Partial  vs. Full Acquisitions 
    • Staged acquisitions vs. full acquisitions
    • Ownership and control mechanisms in IJVS in Africa

    Management of IJVs and Acquisitions in Africa

    • Knowledge transfer  in IJVS and Acquisitions
    • Expatriate managers vs. local management team
    • Local adaptation vs. absorption of foreign practices in IJVs and acquisitions in Africa

    Organizational and Cultural Issues in Acquisitions and IJVs in Africa

    • The impact of cultural and language diversity in Africa on effective integration of cross-border acquisitions in Africa
    • The integration process in acquisitions in Africa
    • The role of culture in integration management in cross-border acquisitions in Africa
    • HRM practices in IJVS and acquisitions
    • Integration strategies in acquisitions

    Performance of IJVs and Acquisitions in Africa

    • Lessons learned from unsuccessful acquisition deals  and IJV failure in Africa
    • Determinants of performance of IJVs and acquisitions in Africa
    • Survival and stability of IJVs in Africa.
    • Divestments of IJVs and acquisitions in Africa

    New Trends in Expatriation

    New Trends in Expatriation

    Forthcoming in 2018

    Guest editors

    Jaime Bonache, PhD, Universidad Carlos III, Spain
    Chris Brewster, PhD, Henley Business School, UK & University of Vaasa, Finland
    Jean-Luc Cerdin, PhD, ESSEC, France
    Vesa Suutari, PhD, Vaasa University, Finland

    Thunderbird International Business Review is pleased to announce a special issue dealing with expatriation.

    The EIASM Workshop on Expatriation allows both experienced academics and newcomers interested on global mobility issues to meet and discuss their research. The event is run as an interactive workshop discussing both the latest research carried out by the participants and the overall development of the field. The number of participants is restricted in order to encourage participation and collegiate support. Researchers at all levels, from the very experienced to the new, are welcome. The best papers from each workshop have traditionally been published in a special issue in a selected high-quality journal.

    The management of the international labour force and expatriation, and topics related to that management, are the subject of this special issue. The issue focuses in particular on new trends emerging within this research tradition. Examples of such developing themes include:

    • The talent management and expatriation as two significantly overlapping but separate areas of research. Bringing the two together through a global talent management perspective has significant implications for both research and practice.
    • Interest in self-initiated expatriation has been steadily increasing since the topic was first identified in 2000. There are still many issues needing research such as the repatriation experiences of SIEs, longer-term impacts of assignments on career capital and the careers of SIEs or the HR-processes which can be used so that the potential of this employer group would be fully utilized in organizations. The link to migration studies also offers a rich basis for collaborative work. There is also a need to analyse different types of SIEs in order to really take the diversity of this group into account.
    • Interest in alternative forms of global mobility such as short-term assignments, virtual assignments, commuters and frequent flyers is also growing. While the long-term focus of expatriate research has been on long-term international assignments, other types of international assignment patterns are growing at least as fast as traditional company sponsored expatriation.

    Companies in the Circular Economy

    Companies in the Circular Economy

    Forthcoming in  2018

    Guest editors

    Mark Esposito, PhD, Grenoble School of Management & Harvard University Extension|
    Terence Tse, PhD, ESCP Europe Business School & i7 Institute for Innovation and Competitiveness
    Khaled Soufani, PhD, Cambridge Judge Business School

    Thunderbird International Business Review is pleased to announce a special issue dealing with the circular economy.

    This issue opens discussions on the concept of Circular Economy, an issue that lately has been gaining a great deal of traction in business, societal and political conversations. In direct contrast to our prevailing linear “cradle-to-grave” economic model, the new type of economy stresses the fact that companies and countries alike can no longer rely on the use of scare resources to grow themselves. This is particular relevant as our take, make and dispose lifestyle is using up ever more of the world’s rapidly depleting resources.

    The circular pathway, also called the “cradle-to-cradle” model, is more than just recycling and environmental concerns. It is about a new way of thinking about how to grow without resorting to simply expending resources. In this particular special issue, our intention is to examine how companies can explore – and benefit – from the circular model. This model requires firms to come up with disruptive technology and business models that are based on longevity, renewability, reuse, repair, upgrade, refurbishment, servitization, capacity sharing and dematerialization. This also requires a rethinking of products and services from the bottom up to “future proof” their operations, all the way to customer propositions.

    The purpose of this special issue is to provide the latest thinking and practices of companies moving on the circular pathway, thereby sparking further debates and showing the vast implications of the new model for both the academic community and practitioners.