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Forthcoming Issues

Thunderbird International Business Review Forthcoming Focused Issues:

Thunderbird International Business Review

Call for papers

Global Talent Management in the “New Normal”

The notion of a global workforce, made up of diverse, educated, and mobile workforces spread around the world, and the topic of talent management have been the subject of extensive research in the field of international human resource management (Tarique & Schuler, 2010). The cross-border mobility of skilled professionals and the mutual recognition of educational qualifications and experience have been drivers for the transfer of knowledge within the global networks of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs). This transfer is facilitated through the use of expatriates and inpatriates by the MNEs (Shao & Al Ariss, 2020), who
relocate to fill knowledge gaps in the organization.

However, as Minbaeva and Collings (2013) highlight, the assumption that talent is always portable and knowledge easily transferable is a myth. The mobility of talent across borders is being challenged by the rise of economic and political nationalism in industrialized knowledge-based economies such as the United States with the “America First” slogan and Europe with “Brexit” (Horak, Farndale, Brannen, & Collings, 2019). More recently, the economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 epidemic has put nearly half of the global workforce at risk of job losses (UN News, 2020). In what is being described as the “new normal” (UN, 2020), many countries have closed their borders to foreign nationals or suspended immigration to protect jobs for their citizens (BBC, 2020). The use of global teams and virtual forms of organizing work have been touted as an option to address some of these issues (Mockaitis, Zander, & De Cieri, 2018). Yet, the mutual recognition of qualification remains the domain of government organization and professional bodies (Guo, Jasovska, Rammal, & Rose, 2018), and local registration of an individual’s qualification in certain professions may not be possible if the individual is located in another country.

Several theories and conceptual frameworks have been applied in studies on talent management (for a detailed review of the theories, please see Al Ariss, Cascio, & Paauwe, 2014). However, the extant literature acknowledges the lack of macro-level focus on the issue of global talent management (Khilji, Tarique, & Schuler, 2015). With economic and political nationalism challenging the way global talent is managed, this special issue aims to garner new theoretical contributions at the macro, meso (organizational-level issues in global talent management), and micro (individual talent and HR manager level issues) levels of analysis. This special issue attempts to highlight the human resource challenges that MNEs will face in managing global talent in the “new normal”, and how it affects individuals in the workforce. Some of the topics the special issue will attempt to address:

  • What are the challenges posed by economic and political nationalism for global talent management?
  • What role do professional bodies play in facilitating or restricting the mobility and management of global talent?
  • What are the strategies employed by MNEs to address the challenges posed to their management of global talent?
  • How will restrictions to cross-border movement of skilled professionals affect the intra-organizational knowledge transfer process of MNEs?
  • What are the implications of the “new normal” for individual talent?

Guest Editors:

Associate Professor Hussain G. Rammal - University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Associate Professor João J.M. Ferreira - University of Beira Interior (UBI), Portugal.

Submission Information:

Submission deadline: 31 March 2021

  • Questions about the Special Issue can be directed to the guest editors: Hussain G. Rammal (hrammal@gmail.com), and João J.M. Ferreira (jjmf@ubi.pt).
  • References

    Al Ariss, A., Cascio, W. F., & Paauwe, J. (2014). Talent management: Current theories and future research directions. Journal of World Business, 49(2), 173-179. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2013.11.001

    BBC. (2020). Coronavirus: Immigration to US to be suspended amid pandemic, Trump says. 21 April: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-52363852.

    Guo, Y., Jasovska, P., Rammal, H. G., & Rose, E. L. (2018). Global mobility of professionals and the transfer of tacit knowledge in multinational service firms. Journal of Knowledge Management, 24(3), 553-567. doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-09-2017-0399

    Horak, S., Farndale, E., Brannen, M. Y., & Collings, D. G. (2019). International human resource management in an era of political nationalism. Thunderbird International Business Review, 61(3), 471-480. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/tie.21959

    Khilji, S. E., Tarique, I., & Schuler, R. S. (2015). Incorporating the macro view in global talent management. Human Resource Management Review, 25(3), 236-248. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrmr.2015.04.001

    Minbaeva, D., & Collings, D. G. (2013). Seven myths of global talent management. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(9), 1762-1776. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2013.777539

    Mockaitis, A. I., Zander, L., & De Cieri, H. (2018). The benefits of global teams for international organizations: HR implications. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(14), 2137-2158. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2018.1428722

    Shao, J. J., & Al Ariss, A. (2020). Knowledge transfer between self-initiated expatriates and their organizations: Research propositions for managing SIEs. International Business Review, 29(1), 101634. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ibusrev.2019.101634

    Tarique, I., & Schuler, R. S. (2010). Global talent management: Literature review, integrative framework, and suggestions for further research. Journal of World Business, 45(2), 122-133. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2009.09.019

    UN. (2020). A new normal: UN lays out roadmap to lift economies and save jobs after COVID-19 (Vol. 27 April): United Nations.

    UN News. (2020). Nearly half of global workforce at risk as job losses increase due to COVID-19: UN labour agency. 28 April: https://news.un.org/en/story/2020/04/1062792.



Ambidextrous Organizations in and from Emerging Markets

Guest Co-Editors:

  • Vijay Pereira, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE (vijay.pereira@port.ac.uk for questions)
  • Yama Temouri, Aston University, UK
  • Ahmad Arslan, University of Oulu, Finland
  • William Degbey, University of Turku, Finland
  • Shlomo Tarba, University of Birmingham, UK
  • Deadline for paper submission: December 31, 2020 -  https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/tibr to submit papers
  • Results of first reviews communicated to authors: March 25, 2021
  • Second round reviews communicated to authors: June 25, 2021
  • Papers finalization and expected publication: Early 2022

The aim of this special issue is to bring together scholars from various disciplines in business and management studies, in order to extend existing theoretical frameworks on organizational ambidexterity and encourage new research in under-researched EM contexts. We welcome both qualitative and quantitative studies, along with state of art conceptual (literature review) papers. Due to the relative uniqueness and newness of the topic, case studies (single in-depth cases or comparative cases) are particularly welcome. We invite research focusing on, but not limited to, the following topics:

• Organizational ambidexterity and the role of national culture in and from EM context
• Leadership styles, and organizational ambidexterity in and from EM context
• Organizational culture and ambidexterity in and from EM context
• HRM strategies in ambidextrous organizations in and from EM context
• Conceptualization of organizational ambidexterity and influences of national culture in and from EM context
• Functional ambidexterity (e.g. innovation ambidexterity, production ambidexterity) and its influences on firm performance in and from EM context
• Organizational ambidexterity and internationalization strategies of firms in and from EM
• Equity vs. non-equity market entry modes, leadership and role of organizational ambidexterity in and from EM (both MNEs and SMEs)
• Longitudinal case studies on how organizational ambidexterity is achieved in different EMs and influences of leadership, culture and HRM on the process
• Grounded theory-based research to enhance theoretical frameworks on organizational ambidexterity for EM context
• Global value chains and role of organizational ambidexterity of firms in and from EM context

Emerging markets (EMs) are increasingly playing an important role in a globalized economy. The increased importance of emerging market multinationals (EMNCs) is evident in recent academic discourse.

The extant literature on organizational ambidexterity portrays a variety of sectors (traditional, high-tech) and methodological settings, and the empirical findings to date are mixed (e.g. Junni et al., 2013; Junni et al., 2015). Through our call for papers we thus attempt to fill a specific gap in this context. More specifically, we aim to solicit studies exploring the aspects of internationalization by ambidextrous organizations in and from emerging markets.

Empirical research shows that some EMNCs are ambidextrous organizations, able to simultaneously pursue two disparate, and, at times, seemingly contradictory strategies (Luo and Rui, 2009).

Organizational ambidexterity is an emerging field of research which has significant implications on the evolving leadership and HRM literature (Stokes et al., 2017; 2018). A review of the extant literature reveals that organizational ambidexterity has been studied primarily in the context of firms operating within the developed market (DM) context (O’Reilly and Tushman, 2013).

In this vein, utilizing ten in-depth case studies of European firms’ corporate innovation initiatives, Zimmermann, Raisch, and Cardinal (2018) explored how frontline managers shape their organizational contexts to reconcile exploration/exploitation tensions. They found that frontline managers play a more central, proactive, and strategic role with respect to organizational ambidexterity through configurational practices than assumed by senior executives’ initial design choices.

Another study by Jansen et al. (2016) examined - via a socio-psychological perspective - the contingency role of supportive leadership behaviors on the emergence of team ambidexterity, and concluded that supportive behaviors of senior executives may not be always beneficial but rather a double-edged sword for team-level psychological attributes.

Examples of organizational ambidexterity studies can also be found in the International Business (IB) realm with more inclination toward culturally-diverse and internationalization-focused contexts. For example, employing case studies to examine ambidexterity as a dynamic capability in the globalization of Swedish firms, Vahlne and Jonsson (2017) indicated that the dynamic capability of ambidexterity adds to the explanatory power of the Uppsala globalization process model.

Given the current state of the literature on organizational ambidexterity, there is a gap in the understanding of what constitutes organizational ambidexterity in EMNCs. Exceptions are studies undertaken by Luo and Hui (2009), Winterhalter et al. (2016), Rao-Nicholson et al. (2016), Malik et al. (2017), Stokes et al. (2017), Chen et al. (2018) and Yu et al. (2018). However, these studies are exploratory in nature and it would be helpful to complement the existing findings with in-depth and specific studies on dynamics, development and management of organizational ambidexterity in the EM context. It is further important to mention that EMs are not a homogenous group of countries, and there are significant variations across EMs (Karolyi, 2015). Moreover, the role of leadership and HRM in the context of culture and internationalization has been argued to be important determinants of organizational ambidexterity (Malik et al, 2017, Pereira and Malik, 2018; Budhwar et al., 2020). However, these determinants have been rarely investigated within an EM context. Some studies which have addressed the role of ambidexterity in the EM context are mostly focusing on internationalization or merger and acquisition topics (e.g. Rao-Nicholson et al., 2016; Chebbi et al., 2017). In addition, so far, extant research on ambidextrous organizations has focused primarily on more well-known EMs, in particular, China and India. Keeping in view this gap in the extant literature, there is a need to enhance our understanding of the dynamics of ambidextrous organizations in EMs by empirically focusing on the under-researched ‘culture and internationalization’ context of other EM countries in Africa, Latin America, transitional periphery of EU and less researched Asian countries (e.g. Hsu, Lien and Chen, 2013; Martin, Javalgi and Cavusgil, 2017; Pereira, et al, 2018).


Budhwar, P., Pereira, V., and Temouri, Y. (2020). Investigating challenges faced by EMNCs and MNCs in the MENA region. International Studies of Management & Organization. Forthcoming.

Chebbi, H., Yahiaoui, D., Vrontis, D., & Thrassou, A. (2017). The impact of ambidextrous leadership on the internationalization of emerging‐market firms: The case of India. Thunderbird International Business Review, 59(3), 421-436.

Chen, M., Yang, Z., Dou, W., & Wang, F. (2018). Flying or dying? Organizational change, customer participation, and innovation ambidexterity in emerging economies. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 35(1), 97-119.

Hsu, C. W., Lien, Y. C., & Chen, H. (2013). International ambidexterity and firm performance in small emerging economies. Journal of World Business, 48(1), 58-67.

Jansen, J. J., Kostopoulos, K. C., Mihalache, O. R., & Papalexandris, A. (2016). A socio‐psychological perspective on team ambidexterity: The contingency role of supportive leadership behaviours. Journal of Management Studies, 53(6), 939-965.

Junni, P., Sarala, R.M., Taras, V., & Tarba, S.Y. (2013). Organizational ambidexterity and performance: A meta-analysis. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 27(4), 299-312.

Junni, P., Sarala, R. M., Tarba, S., Liu, Y., & Cooper, C. (2015). The role of human resource and organizational factors in ambidexterity. Human Resource Management, 54(S1), S1-S28.

Karolyi, G. A. (2015). Cracking the emerging markets enigma. Oxford University Press.

Luo, Y., & Rui, H. (2009). An ambidexterity perspective toward multinational enterprises from emerging economies. Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(4), 49-70.
Malik, A., Pereira, V., & Tarba, S. (2017). The role of HRM practices in product development: Contextual ambidexterity in a US MNC’s subsidiary in India. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1-29. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2017.1325388

Malik, A., Sinha, P., Pereira V., and Rowley, C. (2017). Implementing global-local strategies in the offshore outsourcing industry: Creating an ambidextrous context through strategic choice and HRM. Journal of Business Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.09.052

Martin, S. L., Javalgi, R. G., & Cavusgil, E. (2017). Marketing capabilities, positional advantage, and performance of born global firms: Contingent effect of ambidextrous innovation. International Business Review, 26(3), 527-543.
O'Reilly III, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2013). Organizational ambidexterity: Past, present, and future. Academy of Management Perspectives, 27(4), 324-338.

Pereira, V., Mellahi, K., Temouri, Y., Patnaik, S., and Roohanifar, M (2018). Investigating dynamic capabilities, agility and knowledge management within EMNEs - Longitudinal evidence from Europe. Journal of Knowledge Management. https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-06-2018-0391

Rao-Nicholson, R., Khan, Z., Akhtar, P., & Merchant, H. (2016). The impact of leadership on organizational ambidexterity and employee psychological safety in the global acquisitions of emerging market multinationals. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27(20), 2461-2487.

Stokes, P., Moore, N., Smith, S. M., Larson, M. J., & Brindley, C. (2017). Organizational ambidexterity and the emerging‐to‐advanced economy nexus: Cases from private higher education operators in the United Kingdom. Thunderbird International Business Review, 59(3), 333-348.
Stokes, P., Smith, S., Wall, T., Moore, N., Rowland, C., Ward, T., & Cronshaw, S. (2018). Resilience and the (micro-) dynamics of organizational ambidexterity: implications for strategic HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1-36. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2018.1474939

Vahlne, J. E., & Jonsson, A. (2017). Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability in the globalization of the multinational business enterprise (MBE): Case studies of AB Volvo and IKEA. International Business Review, 26(1), 57-70.

Winterhalter, S., Zeschky, M. B., & Gassmann, O. (2016). Managing dual business models in emerging markets: an ambidexterity perspective. R&D Management, 46(3), 464-479.
Yu, X., Meng, X., Chen, Y., Chen, Y., & Nguyen, B. (2018). Work-family conflict, organizational ambidexterity and new venture legitimacy in emerging economies. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 135, 229-240.

Zimmermann, A., Raisch, S., & Cardinal, L. B. (2018). Managing persistent tensions on the frontline: A configurational perspective on ambidexterity. Journal of Management Studies, 55(5), 739-769