Past Special Issues

Few refute the conception of complexity in global strategy. Besides diligently coordinating intricate webs of knowledge flows and organizational linkages across country borders, multinational organizations are externally embedded in multiple and rapidly changing environments that necessitate constant monitoring and prompt responsiveness (Gupta and Govindarajan, 2000; Meyer et al., 2011)). Concepts such as the M-form, contingency, and strategic fit have emerged as central to understanding how firms amidst high levels of complexity organize most effectively (e.g., Birkinshaw and Pedersen, 2009).

In this Special Issue, we seek to revisit the question of complexity and organization, with a focus on multinational corporations (MNCs). There are two specific reasons we believe this inquiry is specifically pertinent. First, there are a number of political and environmental changes that potentially challenge conventional forms of MNCs’ organizational design, including the global value chains they orchestrate. The recent backlash against globalization with a gradual return to a more fragmented and nationally oriented economic world system could lead to higher complexity as firms need to scale back their global efforts and devise more country-by-country-oriented approaches to international business. Given the concurrent climate crisis, firms are also increasingly required to absorb and comply with new and stricter regulations on sustainability, including a higher degree of transparency and control on complex global value chains and trading relationships. Second, disruptive technological advancements including artificial intelligence, digitalization, additive manufacturing, and algorithmic decision making open up radical new ways of organizing international business activities. The speed and amount of change should also potentially fuel entrepreneurial activity, in society generally as well as more specifically by and within organizations, as new opportunities emerge and are uncovered and acted upon. 

Deadline for submission: December 1, 2020
Expected date of publication: 2022

Guest Editors: 

Julian Birkinshaw, London Business School 
Marcus M. Larsen, Copenhagen Business School 
Yue Maggie Zhou, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan 

GSJ Co-Editor:

Gabriel R.G. Benito, BI Norwegian Business School

The purpose of this special issue is to encourage and promote research at the cutting edge of our knowledge regarding the linkage between institutions and entrepreneurship. Evidence suggests that entrepreneurial activity has declined over the last 15 years in advanced countries (Porter, 2018). In contrast, entrepreneurial activity appears to be on the increase in emerging economies. The changing rates of entrepreneurial activity across countries and regions suggest the need for more in-depth research to help us better understand the impact of country-level factors, of which institutions is one of the most critical.

Three closely related themes are of particular interest for this special issue. First, institutions influence entrepreneurial activity. The impact of institutions on international entrepreneurship is increasingly salient with the rise of entrepreneurial activities in emerging economies. Some scholars proposed an institutional escapism view that new ventures and firms from emerging economies internationalize to escape from underdeveloped home institutions. Yet, others reported that a weak institutional environment can actually provide unique opportunities and resources for new ventures to engage in internationalization. Additional research by scholars would help us to explain how weak institutions encourage international entrepreneurial activity.

Second, institutions evolve; new venture creation and internationalization is a type of strategic adaptation to institutional evolution and changes. As outward foreign direct investment from emerging economies increases, new ventures created during institutional transition are playing an increasingly important role. How these ventures in evolving institutions obtain their international knowledge and formulate and execute their global strategy warrants scholarly attention.

Third, institutions and entrepreneurship co-evolve; new ventures created in adaptation to institutional changes also contribute to and reinforce the institutional evolution. Yet, we have limited knowledge about channels of the interplay between entrepreneurship in emerging economies and their diverse and complex institutions, and the mechanisms for these channels to function properly. As for multinational enterprises competing in such “fluid” institutional environments, incorporating entrepreneurship into their global strategy is critical to compete locally, particularly in platform industries. More importantly, how entrepreneurs potentially serve as a bridge between formal and informal institutions is of special interest; however, unanswered questions about this bridge in both the international business and international entrepreneurship literatures remain.

There are many research questions requiring attention to inform our scholarly research, managerial practice, and public policies helping us to better understand the interrelationship between institutions and entrepreneurship in the current global economy. We encourage authors to draw from and to integrate insights from multiple disciplines to prepare their work. We anticipate that submissions for this special issue will break new conceptual ground to address real-world phenomena regarding entrepreneurship within diverse institutional environments. In line with the Journal’s mission, submissions should examine cross-border activities occurring in multiple countries, provide a comparison and contrasting of activities across national borders, or discuss the impact of the context on firms’ strategies.

Submission window closed September 21, 2019.

Guest Editors:

GSJ Co-Editor:

The global reach and disruptive potential of digitally enabled business model innovation creates a distinct challenge for global strategy research. Although the more disruptive wave of digitally enabled business models started already in the mid-2000s, global strategy and international business research have been slow to address this phenomenon, in spite of increasing anecdotal evidence that the digitalization phenomenon is directly challenging and even undermining received theories of the internationalization of firms. When ubiquitous digital platforms enable direct and immediate interactions between users and producers located in different sides of the planet, what are the implications of this for the internationalization process theory and to the importance of foreign market knowledge? When firms can deliver services from a distance, without necessarily locating any physical resources in the country where the service is offered, what are the implications of this for network models of internationalization? When a globally transacting business can be coordinated and managed from a single location, what are the implications of this for the very meaning of internationalization and globalization?

This special issue seeks to address both theoretical and empirical implications of digitalization for global strategies and internationalization.

Submission deadline: April 30, 2018

Guest Editors:                                                               GSJ Co-Editor:

Erkko Autio                Youngjin Yoo                                 Ram Mudambi
Imperial College        Case Western Reserve                 Temple University
London                      University


Value chains exist on different levels: lead firms create global value chains with multiple suppliers and individual firms form their own global value chains where activities are offshored and outsourced. Over the past decades, there has been a growing fragmentation and globalization of value chains. In a 2010 World Bank report, the Global Value Chain concept is referred to as ‘the world economy’s backbone and central nervous system’ (Cattaneo, Gereffi, and Staritz, 2010: 7). Value chain activities are fine-sliced, separated and relocated across organizational or geographical boundaries. This fragmentation of activities is fueled by significant economic, social and technological changes.

This Special Issue of Global Strategy Journal explores how the shifting structure and dynamics of the global economy affect firm strategies and the economic governance of global industries. We focus, in particular, on evolutions, continuities and changes in the reconfiguration of activities among the variety of firms that shape the governance structures and impact of global value chains.

Submission deadline: February 15, 2018

Guest Editors:                                                          GSJ Co-Editor:

Gary Gereffi              Pavida Pananond                    Torben Pedersen
Duke University        Thammasat University             Bocconi University


In this special issue of Global Strategy Journal, we want to gain a better understanding of how the skepticism of globalization is altering the way in which we should think about the behavior of multinational firms and the theory of the multinational. Skepticism towards globalization alters decision-making in multinationals as it establishes new constraints on the operations of firms and introduces uncertainty regarding the future viability of investments and activities. Researchers need to understand the extent to which choices now made by managers in global companies and in their networks of suppliers, customers and partners reflect these new constraints and uncertainties. Skepticism towards globalization also changes the relationship between the multinational firms and the broader society, in which managers have to deal with interest groups, and a more generally diffused dislike and suspicion toward multinationals and their operations, both abroad and at home, forcing them to rethink their market and nonmarket strategies.

Submission deadline: December 15, 2017

Guest Editors:                                                                GSJ Co-Editor:
Yves Doz                    Ajai Gaur                                   Alvaro Curevo-Cazurra
INSEAD                     Rutgers University                      Northeastern University


This special issue seeked papers that would unpack and explain the microfoundations or roots of global strategy. Papers dealing with the management of emerging market companies were also welcome if they followed the microfoundations or behavioral strategy perspective, since decision-making in emerging market companies is said to be even more concentrated.

Submission deadline: May 31, 2016

Guest Editors:

Farok Contractor, Rutgers University
Nicolai Foss, Bocconi University
Sumit Kundu, Florida International University

Somnath Lahiri, Illinois State University

This special issue seeks studies that explore the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of the interaction between political and business actors. This includes, for example, quantitative studies differentiating different types of government actors or identifying contingent effects of their influence. We are also especially interested in in-depth qualitative studies that go inside of organizations to investigate the interfaces between specific businesses and specific government agencies. In line with the mission of the Global Strategy Journal, we are particularly interested in questions of a global nature, i.e. cross-border activities that take place in multiple countries and/or are integrated across borders. We expect submissions to be cutting-edge research, to break new conceptual ground and to address real-world phenomena regarding business-government interaction.We welcome submissions of conceptual/theoretical papers, qualitatively oriented empirical papers, quantitatively oriented empirical papers and papers employing mixed methods.

The deadline for submission of papers was April 1, 2016.

Guest Editors:

Lin Cui                         Helen Hu                   Sali Li                           Klaus Meyer
Australian National      University of             University of South       China Europe
University                    Melbourne                Carolina                       International Business

The worldwide diffusion of family business has intrigued researchers for decades; however, the debate on the role of family ownership and family management in influencing international growth and performance is still far from conclusive. Prior research has shown that specific aspects characterizing family governance exert meaningful effects on the extent and forms of internationalization. On the one hand, family firms are more incline to stick to domestic markets and to adopt conservative behaviors, as they tend to protect their socio-emotional wealth; on the other hand, family firms are relevant protagonists in the framework of international entrepreneurship, given a number of characteristics related to their family nature, which result in incentives to undertake global initiatives. Other studies suggest the need of accounting for the heterogeneity of family firms as well as for several contingent and situational factors. The objective of this special issue is to develop a finer-grained analysis of how family governance influences international diversification and global strategic growth, with the aim of constructing a more unified body of theory for thinking about family business. Hence, we welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions, papers adopting diverse theoretical and methodological approaches, and submissions by mixed industry-academic co-author teams.

The submission deadline was January 31, 2016.

Guest Editors: