49th AIB UK & Ireland Chapter Conference
“International Business and SDG 8 – Are we on course?”
13 – 15 April 2023, Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow
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Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow
CALL FOR PAPERS
The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. The twelve associated targets call for action in a number of interconnected domains that are of great relevance for global governance, international business, and international entrepreneurship.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic and geopolitical issues such as war, the climate crisis and associated humanitarian catastrophes highlight just how fragile progress towards inclusive and sustainable growth is. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called the February 24 invasion of Ukraine a “Zeitenwende” (a revolution) and in face of external shocks we witness local communities and small firm actors are hit hard. Global disruptions in supply chains and an increase in national protectionism prompts questions whether global value chains should be shortened and re-localised to reduce risks. The increased need for government support for small and medium enterprises shifts the ground on which support was traditionally provided. Restrictions to travel and in person communication prompts businesses to take advantage of digital technologies to ensure business continuity. Disruptions to peace and the weakening of democratic systems raises questions around the responsibility of local and foreign business actors in these regions. Mass migrations, be it forced or voluntary, raise questions around integration mechanisms in host countries including integration into the labor market and through encouraging entrepreneurship.
In the 49th AIB UK & Ireland Chapter Conference we thus provide a scholarly platform to interrogate the complex relationship between international business (IB) and society, in particular around SDG 8. In tradition with previous chapter conferences, we invite general IB papers and contributions which speak to the specific conference theme. Topics include technological upgrading and innovation, the formalisation and growth of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises, the decoupling of economic growth from environmental degradation as well as from the exploitation of workers and employees including women, children, migrants, persons with disabilities and other minorities. We also invite work on technological advancements in digitalisation, automation, and robotics, specifically when connected to their enabling function for attainment of larger degrees of inclusiveness on the individual, firm and regional levels. IB topics which connect IB actors with effort of policy makers, non-governmental organisations, and other non-firm actors, are also very welcome.
Track 1: General track
Track Chairs: Rudolf Sinkovics (University of Glasgow) and Zaheer Khan (University of Aberdeen)
The AIB-UKI conference builds on a tradition of inclusiveness and thematic comprehensiveness. The ‘general’ track welcomes all IB papers, particularly ones which are beyond the scope of the specific conference tracks.
Track 2: International Business, Policy and Politics
Track Chairs: Ari van Assche (HEC Montreal) and Heinz Tüselmann (Manchester Metropolitan University)
The international community is confronted with a new set of challenges, the scale and complexities of which are virtually unprecedented. The impact of these challenges on firms, governments, international organisations and civil society invites the research community to intensify its efforts to supply useful insights, answers and innovative ideas that are relevant to policymakers. This track therefore invites paper submissions that aim to provide policy insights related to new international business trends and challenges. Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following topics: How do new global business realities influence the societal challenges that governments aim to tackle? What international business policies can policymakers develop to help address these societal challenges? How do multinational enterprises and global value chains reconfigure their business activities in reaction to these international business policies? These questions have a renewed sense of urgency as many governments nowadays prioritize political, social, environmental, and even national security objectives over economic efficiency. They are also critical to determine how policymakers need to engage with new international business trends such as digitalisation, friendshoring and sustainable shoring, and their wider implications on e.g., social, political and sustainability related issues. The track welcomes submissions from a variety of disciplinary angles, including international business, development studies, economics, political science, political economy and economic geography.
Track 3: Societally engaged International Business
Track Chairs: Noemi Sinkovics (University of Glasgow) and Mehdi Boussebaa (University of Glasgow)
This track invites paper submissions that focus the role of diverse IB-related actors (MNEs, global professional service firms, international trade organizations, etc.) in addressing or exacerbating grand societal challenges. We are especially interested in submissions exploring the tensions and trade-offs between social, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainability or how over-emphasising one aspect can lead to unintended consequences. We welcome empirical and conceptual papers, and submissions on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to: corporate social responsibility, business ethics, inequality, the Sustainable Development Goals, fair trade, non-market strategies, and public-private partnerships. Articles highlighting the adverse effects of international business activities or the structural inequalities of globalisation are also welcome. Topics include but are not limited to neo-colonialism, corruption and tax-evasion, human rights violations and human trafficking, environmental damage, conflict or war entrepreneurship, gender and racial discrimination, the exploitation of marginalized stakeholders, financialization, the impact of political and/or economic crises, and populism and nationalism.
Track 4: SME Internationalisation and International Entrepreneurship
Track Chairs: Alfredo D’Angelo (Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy) and Junzhe Ji (University of Glasgow)
This track invites paper submissions in two broad categories of small firm internationalisation. (a) The first category of critical interest is the internationalisation of established SMEs connected to the why, what, where and how these firms on their own or in collaboration with other actors can address the challenges of doing business in foreign countries. Topics include but are not limited to the motivations, barriers, capabilities, and support measures that underlie SME internationalisation as well as the process of market selection and entry modes (exporters and micro-multinationals). (b) The second category of interest for this track is represented by newly established SMEs or micro firms that have been able to entrepreneurially address the adverse effects of smallness and newness in international markets. Topics include, but are not limited to, reasons and effects of early internationalisation, international opportunity-discovery or -creation activities, entrepreneurial decision-making logics in internationalisation, alternative governance forms, and MNE–SME cooperation. For both categories, we also welcome papers on how internationalizing SMEs face and respond to the grand political, social, environmental, and technological challenges.
Track 5: Research Methods in International Business
Track Chairs: Emmanuella Plakoyiannaki (University of Vienna) and Catherine Welch (Trinity College Dublin)
This track seeks submissions whose primary goal is to advance IB research methods. It welcomes articles that challenge methodological conventions and reflect methodological diversity in the study of IB phenomena. Submission can be from any topical area touching upon qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods, and emic or etic approaches and techniques. Potential areas of exploration include ontological and epistemological issues in IB research; new advances in qualitative and quantitative research in IB; assessing quality and rigor of IB and cross-cultural comparative research; and proposing methods that better represent the complexity of IB phenomena. We also encourage papers that consider the implications of time and space in IB research design.
Track 6: International Marketing and Advanced Technologies
Track Chairs: Olli Kuivalainen (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland) and Alan A. Ahi (University of Aberdeen)
This track invites paper submissions on international marketing and advanced technologies (e.g., AI, blockchain, the Internet of Things), particularly in relation to pressing societal and economic changes. The wider adoption of these technologies has engendered new business models that firms develop to reach international customers. Digital technologies are also redefining market conditions against the backdrop of regulatory restrictions, possible trade wars and changing customer demands in relation to sustainability. Further, notwithstanding the advantages of digitalisation, firms are facing digital vulnerability and digital nationalism, consumers experience privacy concerns and the replacement of labour through artificial intelligence is now a real concern. How should international marketers react to these challenges? What are possible proactive international marketing strategies to gain competitive advantage? And what are the challenges (dark sides) and opportunities of adopting advanced digital technologies? In line with the conference theme, we invite theoretical and empirical contributions that seek to respond to these questions.
Track 7: Finance in Global Business
Track Chairs: Sumon Bhaumik (University of Sheffield) & Nigel Driffield (University of Warwick)
Businesses across the world are passing through challenging times as they deal with the residual impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising inflation and its impact on the cost of borrowing, rapid technological changes that have disrupted the product space as well as working practices, and the growing threat of disruptions linked to climate change. In order to deal with these challenges and disruptions, firms have to develop new firm-specific advantages through means that are as diverse as investment in intangible resources and mitigation of firm-specific climate risk. These strategic actions require access to finance and well-functioning financial markets, therefore, become an important element of country-specific advantages that can give domestic firms a competitive edge in the global market. This track invites papers that explore the related issues of access to finance and corporate investment. This includes (but is not limited to) the new insights into the impact of corporate board networks (e.g., in media and politics) on access to finance, relationships between asset sales and investments by companies (alternatively, simultaneous creation and sale of real options), potential upsides of financial constraints (e.g., fewer financial mistakes and more prudent investment decisions), factors influencing corporate investment aimed at mitigating climate risk, and impact of country-level institutional and regulatory designs on financial constraints of companies.
Track 8: Internationalisation to and from Emerging Economies
Track Chairs: Carole Couper (University of Birmingham) and Dong-Hyu Kim (University of Glasgow)
Emerging economies represent a significant share of the global economy and their rise over the past three decades has created new foreign opportunities for a diversity of international organisations - from Western-style multinationals and large state-owned enterprises to family-owned conglomerates and international new ventures. Although firms - large and small - can benefit from internationalisation to and from emerging markets, they must also overcome the challenges generated by the movement of people, products and services across dynamic and highly diverse environments. This track invites theoretical and empirical contributions to these debates around three streams: (1) the process and nature of internationalisation to and from emerging markets, (2) the impact on IBE research and theories of internationalisation to and from emerging markets, and (3) catching-up and post catching-up strategies and practices of emerging economies and firms.
Track 9: International HRM and Organisational Behaviour
Track Chairs: David Collings (Dublin City University) and Sinéad Monaghan (Trinity College Dublin)
This track invites papers related to international human resource management (IHRM) and organisational behaviour (OB). Effectively managing people is a complex endeavour. This complexity is amplified in the context of international firms, who in operating across national borders must manage the tensions of multiple cultural and institutional environments. This presents a series of unique challenges that need to be understood and reconciled. IHRM and OB submissions are welcomed which consider topics and questions related to the management of people at work in the global context and also explore how individual employees, managers and leaders navigate the global environment. We are also interested in these topics from a more critical perspective and welcome papers with a focus on gender, diversity, ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility. In line with the conference theme, there is potential to explore how international HRM and organisational behaviour is influenced by the paradox of international opportunities and challenges for SMEs and MNEs and may relate to contemporary topics, including migration, language, ethical practices and digitisation.
Track 10: Multinational enterprise management, innovation and knowledge
Track Chairs: Pamela Sharkey Scott (Dublin City University) and Elizabeth Maitland (University of Liverpool)
This track invites papers that focus on the management of the multinational enterprise, including topics relating to innovation and knowledge. We very much welcome submissions that adopt the perspective of the firm, headquarters and/or subsidiaries. In light of the conference theme, we are particularly interested in papers that explore new ways for multinational enterprises to sustain and renew their advantage in rapidly changing and turbulent economic and political landscapes, and that examine the tensions and paradoxes this creates for managers.
Conference Organising Team
The conference provides a platform for a number of publication opportunities:
For conference related queries, please email: AIBUKI2023@glasgow.ac.uk