Key issues in the future of international business research

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Key issues in the future of international business research

  1. 1. Key issues in the future of international business research Peter J Buckley
  2. 2. Future Research Directions in International Business Abstract <ul><li>This paper examines the domain of international business – discussing its disciplinary basis and the level of analysis involved and it examines the relationship between theory and observation. It briefly reviews past topics in international business research and argues that focus on a “big question” has been a feature of the past success of research in this area. It suggests that there are problems in international business retaining its vibrancy because of the trend towards other discipline based theories focusing directly on the issues that have been the traditional domain of international business. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Domain of International Business <ul><li>Level of Manager </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis Firm </li></ul><ul><li>Industry Vast heterogeneity in each category </li></ul><ul><li>Macro Environment </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Discipline  </li></ul><ul><li>Economics, Sociology, Social Psychology, etc. </li></ul>From Buckley & Lessard (2005) 
  4. 4. A recursive view of research in International Business “ THEORETICAL ROCKS” CONSTRUCTS MAPS “ Concept Push” Generalisation Observation Hypotheses Testing “ Problem/ Observation Pull” Note: This applies to both individual researcher and research community levels From Buckley & Lessard (2005)
  5. 5. Past Major Topics in International Business Research Research Agenda Approximate Dates Topics Country Focus 1 Explaining Flows of FDI Post WWII – to 1970s US FDI in Europe Managerial Issues of Investing Abroad Europe [US  Europe] (Latin America) (Canada) <ul><li>Explanation of Existence, </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy and Organization of MNEs </li></ul>1970’s – 1990 Theories of MNE Strategies of MNE Organization of MNE Foreign Market Servicing Strategies Smaller firms in IB International Economic Integration LDCS Japan (MNEs from LDCS) 4 Little Dragons <ul><li>Internationalization to </li></ul><ul><li>Globalisation </li></ul><ul><li>“ New forms” of </li></ul><ul><li>International Business </li></ul>Mid 1980’s – 2000 Joint Ventures Alliances (M & A?) Competitiveness Meaning(s) of globalization ‘ Born globals’ Eastern Europe ‘ Asian Crisis’ China
  6. 6. Current research agenda in International Business Research Agenda Approximate Dates Topics Country Focus The Big Question? [Legacy Issues only?] 2000 onwards M&A? Knowledge Management? Geography and Location? Globalization? Fragmentation? New Institutions (NGOS)? Cultural Difference and International Business? China India?
  7. 7. Early international business issue - theory interaction 1970s 2000 1950s 1960s 1990s 1980s Finance Theory Location Theory Organisation Theory Virtual Firms Issue Driven International Business Theory Development Discipline Based Theory Development Trade and FDI Trade Theory Industrial Organisation Theory Theories of FDI Coasean theory of the Firm Transaction Cost Economics Resource Based Theories of the Firm Emerging Economies Transnational Firm and Variants International Management International Joint Ventures Internalisation/ Eclectic Theory Product Cycle Hypothesis Dominance of MNE Monopoly Power of MNCs
  8. 8. The Missing Middle Transaction Cost Economics Geographical Location Theory Relationship Marketing and Branding Internalisation Theory of MNE Discipline Based Theory Issues Outsourcing/Offshoring Emerging Markets Emerging Locations (China/India) Virtual Firm Global Branding and Distribution Resource Based View International Business Theory
  9. 9. IB as a ‘melting pot’ <ul><li>IB as a ‘melting pot’ [often projection of trends on single issues – connections often ignored]. </li></ul><ul><li>Connectivity – seeing the big picture as comparative advantage of IB scholars. </li></ul><ul><li>Wide methodology and wide scope e.g. beyond the firm – impact of MNEs outside the firm. NGOs etc. Ethical issues in IB and globalisation. </li></ul>
  10. 10. … ..IB as a ‘melting pot’ <ul><li>Is this enough? </li></ul><ul><li>New factors – demography and migration. </li></ul><ul><li>Areas of long run neglect – e.g. finance. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The Big Picture <ul><li>Globalisation and Development </li></ul><ul><li>MNE – globally integrated production and distribution. Mass media control. </li></ul><ul><li>The Renaissance of Geography in Business Internet Geography . </li></ul>
  12. 12. New IB strategy <ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real Options </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Globally integrated production and distribution systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reappearance of (international) finance </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Key elements of the global factory <ul><li>Flexibility – the ability to reallocate resources quickly and smoothly in response to change. </li></ul><ul><li>Response to: </li></ul><ul><li>increasing volatility arising from globalisation; </li></ul><ul><li>opposition to monopoly including internal monopoly. </li></ul><ul><li>Resilience </li></ul><ul><li>Systems are resilient if they can absorb shocks. </li></ul><ul><li>Firms can survive downturns, crises and panics. </li></ul>

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