Call for Papers: Global versus Local Knowledge in International Business @ AIB 2007 Annual Meeting

[German title: Aufruf für Artikel-Beiträge: Globales versus lokales Wissen im internationalen Geschäftsbetrieb @ AIB 2007 Jahrestagung (Translate text to: Deutsch)]

Call for Papers: Academy of International Business (AIB) 2007 Annual Meeting, June 25-28, 2007, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Theme: Bringing the Country Back In: The Importance of Local Knowledge in a Global Economy

Submission Deadline: January 15, 2007

Program Chair: Oded Shenkar, Ohio State University

The international business literature characterizes the challenge faced by the multinational enterprise as one of mastering the vagaries of multiple markets while leveraging resources and capabilities on a global scale. The same holds true for international business scholarship which has traditionally covered both globalization and localization, but seems to have now tilted towards the global side of the matrix. Today, international business research often treats a country in terms of its membership in larger groupings such as “emerging economies”, or judges foreign markets in terms of their cultural or institutional “distance” from a focal country, most often the United States. This bias towards global issues has limited the scope of international business research and curtailed development of its unique capabilities in deciphering and interpreting local knowledge, making it less distinguishable from strategy and related areas. Thus, the theme of the Indianapolis conference is to bring the country back in, that is, to discuss the importance of indigenous variables, from culture through politics to social structure, in the context of a rapidly globalizing environment.

We seek submissions from all areas of international business that consider the value of utilizing local and comparative knowledge as a focus of research in international business, propose theories and methodologies that are compatible with this aim, or constitute empirical studies looking at localization issues. Some general guiding questions are listed below, but submissions are by no means limited to answering those.

  1. What does “uniqueness” really mean in defining a country and is country the proper unit of analysis given internal variations?
  2. What elements of the local environment beyond such “usual suspects” as culture and political risk should multinational companies and international business scholars consider?
  3. Do current theories provide a sufficient base from which to appreciate and study local level phenomena? If not, should international business take the lead in developing new theoretical approaches?
  4. What should be the theoretical positioning of international “differences”; for instance, should cultural differences be treated simply as uncertainty?
  5. Are our research methods adequate for assessing local variables and the challenges they pose to firms? Should we give priority to case studies as a way to identify new variables and new relationships?
  6. How should we measure differences between local environments? Can common measures such as “cultural distance” and “institutional distance” capture the key variations? What are the biases embedded in our current measures?
  7. How useful are grouping such as “emerging economies” and do they come at the expense of attention to other key variables in a local environment?
  8. What can we learn from other disciplines, including area studies, about the variables and phenomena we should research?

Paper and Panel Submissions:
Paper and panel submissions for AIB 2007 are categorized into nine tracks. Each paper or panel proposal must be submitted to only one track. Please select the track closest to your proposal from the list below.

9. Global versus Local Knowledge in International Business
Track Chair: Mona Makhija, Ohio State University

The purpose of this track is to highlight the critical role of both global and local knowledge in international business. In particular, it will explore how differences in knowledge across national contexts can affect the development of capabilities, the nature of competition, and the competitive advantages of domestic and multinational firms. The track includes papers presenting theoretical distinctions between global and local knowledge and methods for empirically measuring these distinctions, and the processes by which firms draw upon or develop both types of knowledge.
Submissions for the conference will take place through AIB’s online submission system. The submission system will open on December 1, 2006. All manuscripts and proposals must be submitted by January 15, 2007. Detailed submission instructions will soon be made available on the conference website.


For up-to-date information about the conference and related events, detailed submission instructions, and important deadlines, please check the conference website at Any questions regarding this call for papers should be submitted to the track chairs or the Program Chair, Oded Shenkar, at

Dr. Oded Shenkar
Program Chair, AIB 2007 Annual Meeting
The Ohio State University

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