Six Decades of International Business Research: Where Next?

Paloma Miravitlles Matamoros, Yingying Zhang


This article portrays the evolution of international business (IB) literature. We review the main issues and theoretical assumptions that have dominated research in the IB field during the last sixty years. Moreover, on the basis of the essential paradigms developed, we analyse what issues are of interest and may represent a potentially fruitful arena in which to develop future scholarly research.


International business research; Literature Review; Future Research Development

Full Text:



Achcaoucaou, Fariza; Paloma Miravitlles and Fidel León-Darder. 2014. “Knowledge sharing and subsidiary R&D mandate development: a matter of dual embeddedness.” International Business Review 1(23):76-90.

Aidis, R., S. Estrin, and T. Mickiewicz. 2008. “Institutions and entrepreneurship development in Russia: A comparative perspective.” Journal of Business Venturing 23(6):656-672.

Alcacer, J., and J. Oxley. 2014. “Learning by supplying.” Strategic Management Journal 35(2): 204-223.

Aliber, R. 1970. “A theory of foreign direct investment.” In The International Corporation, edited by C. P. Kindleberger. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Andersson, U., Forsgren, M., & Holm, U. 2002. “The strategic impact of external networks: Subsidiary performance and competence development in the multinational corporation.” Strategic Management Journal 23(11):979-996.

Birkinshaw, J., G. Hamel, and M. Mol. 2008. “Management innovation.” Academy of Management Review 33(4):825-845.

Bresman, H., J. Birkinshaw, and R. Nobel. 1999. “Knowledge transfer in international acquisitions” Journal of International Business Studies 30(3):439-462.

Buckley, P. J., and M. Casson. 1976. The Future of the Multinational Enterprise. London: Macmillan.

Cantwell, J. 1991. “A survey of theories of international production.” In The Nature of the Transnational Firm, edited by C. Pitelis and R. Sugden. London: Routledge.

Caves, R.E. 1971. “International corporations: the industrial economics of foreign investment.” Económica 38(149):1-27.

Cavusgil, S.T., P. N. Ghauri, and A. A. Akcal. 2013. Doing Business in Emerging Markets. Los Angeles/London/New Delhi/Singapore/Washington D.C.: SAGE.

Chesbrough, H. 2010. “Business model innovation: opportunities and barriers.” Long Range Planning 43(2):354-363.

Chesbrough, H., and R. S. Rosenbloom. 2002. “The role of the business model in capturing value from innovation: evidence from Xerox corporation’s technology spin-off companies.” Industrial and Corporate Change 11(3):529-595.

Child, J., and S. B. Rodrigues. 2005. “The internationalization of Chinese firms: A case for theoretical extension?” Management and Organization Review 1(13): 381-410.

Chittoor, R., M. B. Sarkar, S. Ray, and P. S. Aulakh. 2009. “Third-world copycats to emerging multinationals: Institutional changes and organizational transformation in the Indian pharmaceutical industry.” Organization Science 20(1): 187-205.

Coviello, N.E. (2006). The network dynamics of international new ventures. Journal of international Business Studies 37(5):713-731.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A., and M. Genc. 2008. “Transforming disadvantages into advantages: developing country MNEs in the least developed countries.” Journal of International Business Studies 39:957-979.

Cuervo-Cazurra, A., and R. Ramamurti, eds. 2014. Multinationals from Emerging Markets. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

DiMaggio, P. J., and W. W. Powell. 1983. “The Iron Cage Revisited: Institutional Isomorphism and Collective Rationality in Organizational Fields.” American Sociological Review 48(2):147-160.

Dunning, J. H. 1979. “Explaining changing patterns of international production: in defence of the eclectic theory.” Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 41:269-95.

Dunning, J. 1988. “The Eclectic Paradigm of International production – an update and some possible extensions.” Journal of International Business Studies 19:1-31.

Erez, M., and E. Gati. 2004. “A dynamic, multi-level model of culture: from the micro level of the individual to the macro level of a global culture.” Applied Psychology: An International Review 53(4nd Marin Kawamura, K. (2015). “):583-598.

Estrin, S., S. Pouliakova, and D. Shapiro. 2009. “The performance effects of business groups in Russia.” Journal of Management Studies 46(3): 393-420.

Fischer, R. 2009. “Where is culture in cross-cultural research? An outline of a multilevel research process for measuring culture as a shared meaning system.” International Journal of Cross Cultural Management 9(25):25-49.

Fleury, A., and M. T. Leme-Fleury. 2011. Brazilian Multinationals: Competences for Internationalization. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Forsgren, M., and J. Johanson. 1998. Managing networks in International Business. Philadelphia: Gordon and Breach.

Forsgren, M., U. Holm, and J. Johanson. 2005. Managing the Embedded Multinational: A Business Network View. Cheltenham and Northampton: Edward Elgar.

Forsgren, M. 2008. Theories of the Multinational Firm. A multidimensional Creature in the Global Economy, Chetltenham and Northampton: Edward Elgar.

Fromhold-Eisebith, M. 2007. “Bridging scales in innovation policies: How to link regional, national and international innovation systems.” European Planning Studies 15(2):217-233.

Frost, T. S., Birkinshaw, J. M., & Ensign, P. C. 2002. Centers of excellence in multinational corporations. Strategic Management Journal 23(11):997-1018.

Gerhart, B. 2009. “How much does national culture constrain organizational culture?” Management and Organization Review 5(2): 241-259.

Ghoshal, S., and C. Bartlett. 1990. “The multinational corporation as an interorganizational network.” Academy of Management Review 15(4):603-625

Govindarajan, V., and R. Ramamurti. 2011. “Reverse innovation, emerging markets, global strategy.” Global Strategy Journal 1(3-4):191-205.

Gupta, A. K., and V. Govinddarahan. 2000. “Knowledge flows within multinational corporations” Strategic Management Journal 21(4):473-496.

Hennart, J. F. 1982. A Theory of Multinational Enterprise. Michigan: University of Michigan Press.

Hymer, S. H. 1960. The International Operations of National firms: A study of Direct Investment. PhD Dissertation. Published posthumously 1976. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Inkpen, A. C. 2008. “Knowledge transfer and international joint ventures: the case of NUMMI and General Motors.” Strategic Management Journal 209(4):447-453.

Johanson, J., and J. E. Vahlne. 1977. “The Internationalization Process of the Firm: A Model of Knowledge Development and Increasing Foreign Market Commitments.” Journal of International Business Studies 8(1):23-32.

Johanson, J., and J. E. Vahlne. 1990. “The mechanism of internationalization” International Marketing Review, 7 (4):11-24.

Johanson, J. and J. E. Vahlne. 2009. “The Uppsala internationalization process model revisited: From liability of foreignness to liability of outsidership.” Journal of International Business Studies 10:1411-1431

Johanson, J., and F. Wiedersheim-Paul. 1975. “The Internationalization of the Firm: Four Swedish Cases.” Journal of Management Studies 12(3):305-322.

Khanna, T., and W. Rivkin. 2000. “Estimating the performance effects of business groups in emerging markets.” Strategic Management Journal 22(1):45-74.

Kindleberger, C. P. 1969. American Business Abroad. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Knight, G. A., and S. T. Cavusgil. 1996. “The Born Global Firm: A Challenge to Traditional Internationalization Theory.” In Advances in International Marketing, Vol. 8, edited by S. T. Cavusgil and T. Madsen, 11-26. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Kogut, B., and U. Zander. 1993. “Knowledge of the firm and the evolutionary theory of the multinational corporation.” Journal of International Business Studies 24(4):625-645.

Kostova, T., and S. Zaheer. 1999. “Organizational Legitimacy under Conditions of Complexity: The case of the Multinational Enterprise.” Academy of Management Review 24(1):64-81.

Leung, K., R. S. Bhagat, N. R. Buchan, M. Erez, and C. B. Gibson. 2005. “Culture and international business: recent advances and their implications for future research.” Journal of International Business Studies 36(4):357-378.

Liu, X., J. Lu, I. Filatotchev, T. Buck, and M. Wright. 2010. “Returnee entrepreneurs, knowledge spillover and innovation in high-tech firms in emerging economies.” Journal of International Business Studies 41:1183-1197.

Liu, E., and Y. Zhang. 2014. “Learning process and capability formation in cross-border buyer-supplier relationships: A qualitative case study of Taiwanese technological firms.” International Business Review 23:718-730.

London, K., and S. Hart. 2004. “Reinventing strategies for emerging markets: beyond the transnational model.” Journal of International Business Studies 35:350-370.

Luo, Y. 2007. “From foreign investors to strategic insiders: Shifting parameters, prescriptions and paradigms for MNEs in China.” Journal of World Business 42(1):14-34.

Lyles, M., D. Li, and H. Yan. 2014. “Chinese Outward FDI Performance: The Role of Learning.” Management and Organization Review 10(3):411-437.

Madhok, A. 1998. “The nature of multinational firm boundaries: Transaction costs, firm capabilities and foreign market entry mode.” International Business Review 7:259-290.

Madhok A, Keyhani M. 2012. “Acquisitions as entrepreneurship: asymmetries, opportunities, and the internationalization of multinationals from emerging economies.” Global Strategy Journal 2(1):26-40.

Markowitz, H. 1959. Portfolio Selection: Efficient Diversification of Investment. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Mathews, J. A., and I. Zander. 2007. “The international entrepreneurial dynamics of accelerated internationalization.” Journal of International Business Studies 38:387-403.

McDougall, P. P., S. Shane, and B. M. Oviatt. 1994. “Explaining the formulation of international new ventures: The limits of theories from international business research.” Journal of Business Venturing 9(6):469-487.

Minbaeva, D., T. Pedersen, I. Björkman, C. F. Fey, and H. J. Park. 2003. “MNC knowledge transfer, subsidiary absorptive capacity, and HRM.” Journal of International Business Studies 34:586-599.

Nonaka, I. 1994. “A dynamic theory of organizational knowledge creation.” Organization Science 5(1): 14-37.

Ohlin, B. 1933. Interregional and International Trade. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1966

Osborn, R., and R. Marion. 2009. “Contextual leadership, transformational leadership and the performance of international innovation seeking alliances.” The Leadership Quarterly 20(2):191-206.

Oviatt, B. M., and P. P. McDougall. 1994. “Toward a theory of international new ventures. Journal of International Business Studies 25:45-64.

Oviatt, B. M., & McDougall, P. P. 2005. Defining international entrepreneurship and modelling the speed of internationalization. Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice 29(5):537-553.

Peng, M., and K. Meyer. 2011. International Business. UK: Cengage Learning.

Popp, D. 2006. “International innovation and diffusion of air pollution control technologies: the effects of NOX and SO2 regulation in the US, Japan, and Germany.” Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 51(1):46-71.

Porter, M. E. The Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. NY: Free Press, 1985.

Ramamurti, R. 2004. “Developing countries and MNEs: extending and enriching the research agenda.” Journal of International Business Studies 35:277-283.

Ramamurti, R. 2012. “What is really different about emerging market multinationals?” Global Strategy Journal 2(1):41-47.

Rennie, M.W. 1993. Global competitiveness: born global. The McKinsey Quaterly 4(4):45-52.

Rialp, A., J. Rialp, and G. A. Knight. 2005. “The phenomenon of early internationalizing firms: what do we know after a decade (1993-2003) of scientific inquiry?” International Business Review 14(2):147-166.

Rohlfer, S., and Y. Zhang. 2016. “Culture studies in international business: paradigmatic shifts.” European Business Review 28(1). Forthcoming.

Rugman, A. M. 1981. Inside the Multinationals. New York: Columbia University Press.

Scott, W. Richard 1995. Institutions and Organizations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Shavinina, L. V., ed. 2003. The International Handbook on Innovation. Oxford, UK: Elsevier Science Ltd.

Si, S. X., and G. D. Bruton. 1999. “Knowledge transfer in international joint ventures in transitional economies: The China experience.” Academy of Management Perspective 13(1):83-90.

Simonin, B. 2004. “An empirical investigation of the process of knowledge transfer in international strategic alliances.” Journal of International Business Studies 35:407-427.

Sinkovics, R. R., M. Yamin, K. Nadvi, and Y. Zhang-Zhang. 2014. “Rising powers from emerging markets – The changing face of international business.” International Business Review 23:675-679.

Sosna, M., R. N. Trevinyo-Rodriguez, and S. R. Velamuri. 2010. “Business model innovation through trial-and-error learning: The Naturhouse case.” Long Range Planning 43(2-3): 383-407.

Spender, J. C., and R. M. Grant. 1996. “Knowledge and the firm: Overview.” Strategic Management Journal 17:5-9.

Teece, D. J., G. Pisano, and A. Shuen. 1997. “Dynamic capabilities and strategic management.” Strategic Management Journal 18(7):509-533.

Teece, D. J., G. 1976. The Multinational Corporation and the Resource Cost of International Technology Transfer. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger.

Tobin, J. 1958. “Liquidity Preference as Behavior towards Risk.” Review of Economic Studies 25(2):65-86.

Tsui, A. S., S. S. Nifadkar, and A. Y. Ou. 2007. “Cross-national, cross-cultural organizational behavior research: Advances, gaps, and recommendations.” Journal of Management 33(3):426-478.

Tsui, A. S., C. B. Schoonhoven, M. W. Meyer, C. M. Lau, and G. T. Milkovich. 2004. “Organization and management in the midst of societal transformation: The People’s Republic of China.” Organization Science 15(2):133-145.

Van Agtmael, A. W. 2007. The Emerging Markets Century: How a New Breed of World-Class Companies is Overtaking the World. London: Simon & Schuster.

Vernon, R. 1966. “International Investment and International Trade in the Product Cycle.” Quarterly Journal of Economics 80(2):190-207.

Von Zedtwitz, M., S. Corsi, P. V. Soberg, and R. Frega. 2015. “A typology of reverse innovation.” Journal of Product Innovation Management 32(1):12-28.

Welch, D. E., and L. Welch. 2008. “The importance of language in international knowledge transfer.” Management International Review 48(3):339-360.

Williamson, O.E. (1975). Markets and Hierarchies: Analysis and Antitrust Implications. New York: Free Press.

Williamson, P. J. 2015. “The competitive advantages of emerging market multinationals: a re-assessment” Critical Perspectives on International Business 11(3-4):216-235.

Williamson, P. J., R. Ramamurti, A. Fleury, and M. T. Leme-Fleury, eds. 2013. The Competitive Advantage of Emerging Market Multinationals. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Zaheer, S. 1995. “Overcoming the liability of foreignness.” Academy of Management Journal 38: 341-63.

Zahra, S.A. 2005. “A theory of international new ventures: A decade of research.” Journal of International Business Studies 36(1):20-28.

Zander, I. 2002. “The formation of international innovation networks in the multinational corporation: an evolutionary perspective.” Industrial and Corporate Change 11(2):327-353.

Zhang, Y., Y. Zhou, and J. McKenzie. 2013. “A humanistic approach to knowledge creation: People-centric innovation.” In Towards Organization Knowledge: the Pioneering Work of Ikujiro Nonaka, edited by G. Von Krogh, H. Takeuchi, K. Kase, and C. G. Canton, 167-185. UK: Palgrave MacMillan.



  • There are currently no refbacks.


Indexed in:

DOAJ, ERIH PLUS, Dialnet, Latindex, Google Scholars, RACO

RCUB Avís Legal RCUB Universitat de Barcelona