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CFP: Journal of Business Research (SSCI: IF 11.3) Special Issue on Democracy & International Business

  • 1.  CFP: Journal of Business Research (SSCI: IF 11.3) Special Issue on Democracy & International Business

    Posted 06-03-2024 06:53


    Special Issue of the Journal of Business Research



    Special Guest Editors:


    · Jeffrey J. Reuer (University of Colorado Boulder, USA, jeffrey.reuer@colorado.edu ; jreuer@purdue.edu)

    · Marjorie Lyles (Florida International University, USA, mlyles@fiu.edu)

    · Samuel Adomako (University of Birmingham, UK, S.Adomako@bham.ac.uk)

    · Riikka M Sarala (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA, rmsarala@uncg.edu)

    · Jeoung Yul Lee (Hongik University, Korea / Chongqing Technology & Business University, China, jeoungyul@hongik.ac.kr)

    · Consulting Senior Editor: Lucia Naldi (Jönköping University, Sweden, Lucia.Naldi@ju.se)


    Submission window: February 1st - September 30, 2024


    Submission deadline: September 30, 2024


    Tentative publication date: Spring 2026


    Related tracks: International Business; CSR and Business Ethics


    Motivation for the Special Issue


    This Special Issue focuses on the importance of political institutions, such as democratic and autocratic beliefs, and examines their impact on international business (IB). The traditional definition of democracy refers to a political system characterized by "free and fair elections, adult suffrage, protection of civil liberties, and few non-elected tutelary authorities (e.g., militaries, monarchies, religious bodies)" (Filippaios, Annan-Diab, Hermidas, & Theodoraki, 2019: 1104). Under democratic governance, political governance risks can be reduced, and multinational corporations (MNCs) can benefit from democracy. In this sense, because "a true democracy" can strongly protect political rights and civil liberties (Levitsky & Way, 2010), politically transparent and democratic host countries can attract MNCs from democratic home countries (Filippaios et al., 2019).


    However, the intersection of the phenomenon of democracy and international business (IB) remains a conceptual, theoretical, and empirical research gap in the IB field except for a few papers (e.g., Arregle, Miller, Hitt, & Beamish, 2013; Filippaios et al., 2019). In leading management and IB journals, few studies have dealt with democracy in the business/management context from an IB perspective (c.f., Stratu-Strelet et al., 2023). Furthermore, among these few studies, only two papers have dealt with democracy and IB directly (Arregle et al., 2013; Filippaios et al., 2019). Within the broader fields of political science and economics, the relationship between democracy, political risk, and international trade has been examined, but few discussions have pertained to the level of international firms, such as MNCs or small international firms (e.g., global firms), and managerial decision-making. However, democratization plays a vital role for companies when deciding on the modus operandi for their foreign investment (As-Saber et al., 2001). In addition, democratization can leverage prosperity and free trade, which rely on the institutional determinants of both international and local micro- and macroeconomic mechanisms and interest group rivalry (Henisz & Mansfield, 2006). This research gap implies interesting avenues for further research, including examining firms in the context of less-developed, emerging markets and transition economies where "low intensity" democratic or autocratic political regimes prevail, which influences MNCs' operations and globalization (Youngs, 2004).


    To address this gap, this Special Issue aims to contribute to an interdisciplinary and heterogenous understanding of the role of democracy in the IB. Democracy is a socially important and relevant topic through which the IB can offer novel contributions with the broader goal of progress towards a better and socially more equitable world. For example, the literature on international political economy has examined the association between democratic governance and the degree of democracy in host countries (Asiedu & Lien, 2011; Greider, 1998; Ursprung & Harms, 2001), with conflicting results. Some studies have found that MNCs undertake FDI more in host countries where democratic governance prevails (McGuire & Olson, 1996; Ursprung & Harms, 2001). On the other hand, previous studies have revealed a negative association between MNCs' FDI and democracies in host countries (Greider, 1998; Wintrobe, 1998) or even a non-linear association between them (Adam & Filippaios, 2007; Asiedu & Lien, 2011). Hence, all these studies are predominantly based on an international political economy perspective, and there is no clear conclusion. In addition, there has been limited exchange between the fields of international political economy and IB in translating the findings to the level of specific critical decisions for international firm managers. There is a need to bring interdisciplinary theorizing (from economics, political science, public administrative science, sociology, and psychology) to the field of IB in an integrative manner, with a focus on different types of international firms, their managers, employees, and stakeholders. Moreover, we encourage research that pursues creative or innovative ways of operationalizing democracy and democratic governance to capture its multiple dimensions.


    Submissions should offer explicit and new theoretical contributions(s) but can build on relevant theoretical perspectives. It is crucial to employ a theoretical framework to link democracy-as a broader, cross-disciplinary field of interest-and IB to develop novel theoretical insights and contributions that can benefit decision-making in international firms.


    We encourage multidisciplinary approaches and multilevel research designs. Researchers can study democracy in the IB context based on various data sources. For example, to investigate the impact of the political democracy of host countries and geographic regions on MNCs' location selection, Arregle et al. (2013) used a composite index based on factor analysis on datasets from multiple data sources, such as Freedom House's annual survey of political rights and civil liberties and the Political Constraint Index (POLCON) dataset (Henisz, 2000). To explore the impact of a host country's political governance (democratic vs. autocratic regimes) on its attractiveness to MNCs, Filippaios et al. (2019) measured political governance (a composite index on the spectrum of democratic and autocratic regimes) based on Polity IV and civil liberties suppression based on Freedom House. In addition, research can utilize content analysis based on Internet searches, newspapers, magazines, academic journals, and surveys. Furthermore, qualitative research based on field research and interviews can offer unique insights into these phenomena.


    Specific Focus of the Special Issue


    Given the understudied research gap on the effects of democracy on IB and vice versa, as well as the related organizational outcomes and interaction effects, the themes of this call for papers are purposefully very wide. We offer the following areas and research questions as illustrative examples rather than an exhaustive list:


    1. Democratic vs. autocratic political governance and organizations  

    ● What are the effects of different dimensions of democracy on organizational processes across borders (e.g., international corporate social responsibility, international knowledge flows and spillovers, internationalization process and entry mode decisions, location selections, and so on) (Ursprung & Harms, 2001)?

    ● What are the relationships between institutions, political rights, civil liberties, and FDI outflows and inflows?

    ● How does human capital moderate the relationship between civil liberties and FDI motives?

    ● What is the relationship between global CSR practices and democracy? What are their implications on the behaviors of MNCs (Wettstein, Giuliani, Santangelo, & Stahl, 2019)? How do institutional voids in home countries of emerging market MNCs allow them to decouple CSR from their implementations (Tashman, Marano, & Kostova, 2018)?

     What are the repercussions of well-established economic institutions and protection laws in home and host countries to attract FDI inflows (Wong, 2016)?


    2. Democracy vs. autocracy and global value chains, digitalization, environmental disruptions, institutions, and non-market strategy

    ● How do democracy and autocracy affect global value chains? What are their implications for the regionalization and localization of global value chains currently? What are the implications of this agenda for globalization/de-globalization and IB?

    ● How do digitalization and the fourth industrial revolution affect the relationship between democracy and MNCs' FDI?

    ● How does democracy vs. autocracy affect the non-market strategies of MNCs? How do lobbying, bribery, corruption, and political connections affect MNCs' FDI decisions and entry modes, as well as globalization/de-globalization?

    ● How do formal institutions and societal trust relate to democracy and IB (Gaur, Pattnaik, Singh, & Lee, 2022)?


    3. Research across levels of analysis

    Democracy can be conceptualized at various levels, such as the supranational, regional, national, corporate, subsidiary, functional area, team, or individual levels of analysis, as well. The examples are as follows:

    ● From the push-and-pull forces perspective, how does the home country's political democracy influence the internationalization of an MNC in a host country (Arregle et al., 2013)? How does the host country's "region-relative" political democracy influence the internationalization of an MNC (Arregle et al., 2013)?

    ● How can organizations maintain democratic rules across their overseas subsidiaries or operational locations to obtain social outcomes or create global efficiency and outcomes?

    ● How do advanced vs. emerging economies-based business groups differ in their emphasis on human rights or labor rights, and what are the implications for IB? How do different types of business groups (i.e., widely held, state-owned, and family owned) (Cuervo-Cazurra, 2006) affect MNCs' human or labor rights orientation?

    ● How do organizations deal with human rights or labor rights across their global units (headquarters, regional headquarters, and subsidiaries), functions, or teams?

    ● How do entrepreneurs maintain the rule of human rights or labor rights when they expand their start-ups to the global markets? How do MNC CEOs or senior managers maintain human rights or labor rights for their employees in local subsidiaries, especially in the context of weak institutions?


    Paper Development Workshop Conference and Symposium

    To help authors further improve their papers, we will organize a paper development workshop conference during February of 2025. We invite the authors of papers that receive the decision to revise and resubmit their papers, but participation in the workshop is not a condition for the acceptance of a paper for the Special Issue. This opportunity allows these authors to receive constructive feedback from well-reputed journal editors, discussants, and conference participants, and can support these authors in strengthening and improving their manuscripts.


    In addition, we plan to hold a symposium at a major academic conference in 2026 for papers selected for acceptance in our special issue to increase their visibility and impact.


    Submission Process and Deadlines

    All manuscripts will be reviewed as cohorts in this Special Issue.  Manuscripts must be submitted between February 1st and September 30, 2024, at https://www.editorialmanager.com/jobrAll submissions will go through the JBR regular double-blind review process and follow the standard norms and processes.


    For more information on this call for a paper, please contact the Special Issue Editors.



    Adam, A., & Filippaios, F. (2007). Foreign direct investment and civil liberties: A new perspective. European Journal of Political Economy, 234, 1038–1052.

    Arregle, J.-L., Miller, T. L., Hitt, M. A., & Beamish, P. W. (2013). Do regions matter? An integrated institutional and semiglobalization perspective on the internationalization of MNEs. Strategic Management Journal, 34(8), 910–934.

    Asiedu, E., & Lien, D. (2011). Democracy, foreign direct investment, and natural resources. Journal of International Economics, 841, 99–111.

    As-Saber, S. N., Dowling, P. J., & Liesch, P. W. (2001). Geopolitics and its impacts on international business decisions: A framework for a geopolitical paradigm of international business. School of Management, University of Tasmania.

    Cuervo-Cazurra, A. (2006). Business groups and their types. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 23, 419–437.

    Dunning, J. H. (1997). Governments and the macro-organization of economic activity: A historical and spatial perspective. In J. H. Dunning (Ed.), Governments, globalization, and international business. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Dunning, J. H. (1998). Location and multinational enterprise: A neglected factor. Journal of International Business Studies, 29(1), 45–66.

    Filippaios, F., Annan-Diab, F., Hermidas, A., & Theodoraki, C. (2019). Political governance, civil liberties, and human capital: Evaluating their effect on foreign direct investment in emerging and developing economies Journal of International Business Studies, 50, 1103–1129.

    Gaur, A., Pattnaik, C., Singh, D., & Lee, J. Y. (2022). Societal trust, formal institutions, and foreign subsidiary staffing. Journal of International Business Studies, in press.

    Greider, W. (1998). One world, ready or not: The manic logic of global capitalism. New York: Simon & Schuster.

    Henisz, W. J. (2000). The institutional environment for economic growth. Economics and Politics, 12, 1–31.

    Henisz, W. J., & Mansfield, E. D. (2006). Votes and vetoes: The political determinants of commercial openness. International Studies Quarterly, 50, 189–211.

    Jensen, N. M. (2003). Democratic governance and multinational corporations: Political regimes and inflows of foreign direct investment. International Organization, 57, 587–616.

    Levitsky, S., & Way, L. A. (2010). Competitive authoritarianism: Hybrid regimes after the cold war. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    McGuire, M. C., & Olson, M., Jr. (1996). The economics of autocracy and majority rule: The invisible hand and the use of force. Journal of Economic Literature, 34, 72–96.

    Polity IV Project: Dataset Users' Manual 2007 Monty G. Marshall and Keith Jaggers.

    Stratu-Strelet, D., Gil-Gómez, H., Oltra-Badenes, R., Oltra-Gutierrez, J. V. (2023). Developing a theory of full democratic consolidation: Exploring the links between democracy and digital transformation in developing eastern European countries. Journal of Business Research, 157, 113543

    Tashman, P., Marano, V., & Kostova, T. (2018). Walking the walk or talking the talk? Corporate social responsibility decoupling in emerging market multinationals. Journal of International Business Studies, 50(2), 153–171.

    Ursprung, H., & Harms, P. (2001). Do civil and political repression really boost foreign direct investments? SSRN eLibrary.

    Wettstein, F., Giuliani, E., Santangelo, G. D., & Stahl, G. K. (2019). International business and human rights: A research agenda. Journal of World Business, 541, 54–65.

    Wintrobe, R. (1998). The political economy of dictatorship. Cambridge: Cambridge Books.

    Wong, M. Y. H. (2016). Democratic persistence and inequality: The role of foreign direct investments. Studies in Comparative International Development, 51, 103–123.

    Youngs, R. (2004). Democracy and the multinationals. Democratization, 11(1), 127–147.


    About the Guest Editors


    Professor Jeffrey J. Reuer has led courses and seminars on business and corporate strategies, strategic investment decisions, and collaborative strategies in many graduate degree programs and organizations.  He has also taught executive education programs at Harvard Business School, Duke University, INSEAD, the Indian School of Business, the University of Mannheim, the University of St. Gallen, and Peking University. He served as an Associate Editor for the Strategic Management Journal and as a Consulting Editor for the Journal of International Business Studies. He recently coedited a special issue of the Strategic Management Journal on the interplay between competition and cooperation. He served on the Board of Directors of the Strategic Management Society (SMS). He has also served as the chair of the nomination and selection committee of the Fellows of the SMS, Chief Grants Officer of the Strategy Research Foundation, co-founder of the Cooperative Strategies Interest Group, and program chair of two SMS conferences. He is a Past Chair of the Strategic Management Division of the Academy of Management and has also served on the organization's executive and research committees. His recent projects have focused on the governance and design of alliances, collaborative strategies, and applications of information economics and real options theory to various problems in strategy, international business, and entrepreneurship. He was the first recipient of SMS's Emerging Scholar Award. He received the Silver Medal from the Journal of International Business Studies for lifetime scholarly contributions to that journal.


    Professor Marjorie Lyles is the International Business Distinguished Research Fellow at the Florida International University College of Business International. She is the Past President of the Strategic Management Society and is a Chancellor's Emeritus Professor of Global Strategic Management at Indiana University Kelley School of Business, and an Adjunct Professor at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. She is a Fellow of the Strategy Management Society and the Association of International Business. Her research has focused on emerging economies since the mid-1980s. Her mixed methods and longitudinal research required her to seek research grants, including two National Science Foundation grants that developed organizational learning and knowledge-based perspectives by studying alliances in emerging economies. Lyles has worked with governmental, non-profit, and corporate entities worldwide. She has served on the editorial boards of the Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of International Business Studies (Area Editor), and Global Strategy Journal.


    Dr Samuel Adomako is an Associate Professor of Strategy and Innovation at the University of Birmingham. His research examined the nexus between strategy and innovation. His research has appeared in leading journals, including the Journal of Product Innovation Management, British Journal of Management, International Small Business Journal, International Business Review, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, Business Strategy and the Environment, Management International Review, Journal of Institutional Economics, Journal of Business Research, Journal of International Management, and many others. Dr. Adomako sits on the editorial boards of Business Strategy and the Environment, and Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. He has co-edited special issues in Journal of Business Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Technological Forecasting, and Social Change. He is currently co-editing two special issues of Journal of International Management and Management International Review respectively. He received his PhD from the University of Warwick. He is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy of the UK.


    Professor Riikka M Sarala is a Professor of International Business at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her work focuses on corporate strategies and innovation in cross-cultural contexts. She has published her research in the leading international business and management journals, including Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of World Business, Strategic Management JournalJournal of Management, and Journal of Management Studies. She holds/has held the position of Co-Editor-in-Chief in British Journal of Management and the Consulting Editor of Journal of Management Studies and has co-edited special issues in Group & Organization Management, Human Resource Management Review, and Journal of World Business. She strives to promote a pluralistic, interdisciplinary, inclusive, and socially relevant IB research. She has been a visiting scholar at Columbia University in NYC and EM Lyon in France, and a visiting professor at Aalto University in Finland.


    Professor Jeoung Yul Lee is a Professor of International Business at Hongik University School of Business Management (South Korea) and a Chongqing Bayu Chair Professor selected by Chongqing Municipality Education Commission (China) as an only Korean scholar. Currently, he serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Business Research and The International Journal of Human Resource Management, as well as Asian Business & Management, editorial advisory board member of the International Business Review, and editorial review board member of the Management International Review, Management and Organization Review, Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, International Journal of Consumer Studies, and European Journal of International Management. He has served as a leading/managing guest editor of 12 SSCI and one SCIE journal special issues of the Management International Review, Journal of Business Research, Management and Organization Review, Management Decision, etc. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Wharton School (USA) and a Visiting Associate Professor at Leeds University Business School (UK). His work focuses on advanced and emerging market MNCs' strategic management, human rights and global supply chains, human resource management, and CSR. He has also published 68 papers in SSCI journals, such as the Journal of International Business Studies (2015, 2019, 2022, 2023) and Human Resource Management (2019, 2022).


    Professor Lucia Naldi is a Professor in Business Administration and Vice President for Research. She received her doctoral degree from the JIBS and held an M.Sc. at the University of Florence. Her main research and teaching focus on entrepreneurship, international business, and strategy. Her research focuses on the growth and internationalization of small and young firms. She is also interested in entrepreneurship in various contexts, including family, media, and rural firms. Lucia's research has been published in several journal articles and book chapters. Lucia is affiliated with the Centre for Family Enterprise and Ownership (CeFEO) and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics (CEnSE).



    Jeoung Yul Lee, PhD
    Dean and Full Professor, College of Business Management, 
    Hongik U., Sejong Campus, South Korea

    Dean, Graduate School of Culture, Information and Public Policy

    Associate Editor, The International Journal of Human Resource Management (ABS3/2022 5-Year Impact Factor 6.2)

    Associate Editor, Journal of Business Research (ABS3/2022 Impact Factor 11.3)

    Associate Editor, Asian Business & Management (ABS2/2020 Impact Factor 4.800)