The Future of IB Research


Four Decades of International Business at Reading: Looking to the Future, Reading, UK, 16-17 Apr 2007; Deadline 15 Nov 2006

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Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2006 10:30:07 +0100
From: "Michael J. Mol" <m.mol@READING.AC.UK>

Four Decades of International Business at Reading: Looking to the Future

Apologize for cross-postings

April 16-17, 2007
Reading, United Kingdom

The University of Reading has played a leading role in International business studies for the last four decades. Over this period, international business as a discipline has also evolved quite considerably, simultaneously becoming more specialised and more cross-disciplinary. The University  of Reading’s has been at the centre of much research and many publications. But its contribution extends even further: a surprising number of IB scholars have studied and worked in, or visited, Reading over this period. To celebrate Reading’s role in IB scholarship and to mark the launch of the Centre for International Business and Strategy (CIBS), we are pleased to announce a 2-day conference on the future of IB research. Globalisation is changing the playing field for international business, and thereby altering the way that firms interact with their environment at the local, national and supra-national environment. It also changes how multinational firms are organised and managed internally. Future research needs to address these challenges. Do we need to question old truths and conventional approaches to international business? Are we too complacent in our approach to these new issues?  We invite all scholars with an interest in IB research traditions in Reading in the past and the future to join us for this exciting event, and to submit papers to this conference.

The conference consists of two main elements. A series of debates will focus our attention on what the future holds for IB research. These interactive debates bring together prominent established scholars and youngerresearchers on four specific themes. Speakers who have already agreed to participate include Peter Buckley, Alan Rugman, Masaaki Kotabe, Ram Mudambi, Marina Papanastassiou, Bernard Yeung, and Stephen Young.

A series of poster sessions with paper presentations provides opportunities for young and senior scholars to discuss their latest research with colleagues in the field. Because there will not be parallel sessions, the poster sessions will be well-attended, and many senior scholars including Bob Pearce, John Cantwell, Mark Casson and others will be including their papers in the poster sessions. These debates and the poster sessions will centre on the following four themes.

  1. Is the multinational firm a dying breed? (track chair: Michael Mol) Globalisation has changed the relative merits of alternative organisational forms. Is the concept of internalization as relevant as it was in the 1980s to explain cross-border activities? Do new business concepts of outsourcing, alliances and global production networks make the concept of the monolithic MNE obsolete?  To what extent are geographical borders themselves still relevant to firms?
  2. The geography of innovation (track chair: Bob Pearce) Globalisation has changed the dynamics of innovation, the dynamics of cluster evolution and the patterns of interaction between clusters. This is of great concern to those wishing to attract high value-adding activity to certain locations. Can innovation and industrial policy initiatives really help to create new innovation clusters? Should so many resources be focused on creating high-tech clusters, and do new MNE structures help or  hinder the creation of new clusters?
  3. Management across countries and contexts (track chair: Klaus Meyer) Globalisation brings MNEs into contact with a variety of different business environments. This challenges multinational enterprises to adapt their strategies and operations in areas like marketing, human resources, supply chain management and subsidiary roles. How are management practices, structures and modes of operation influenced by the host country environment?  How do MNEs adapt organizational forms and management practices to diverse institutional and cultural contexts?  And what impact does this have on firm performance and on individuals within those organizations?
  4. Conflicts in international business regulation (track chair: Rajneesh Narula) Globalisation has meant that conflicting interests of regions, nation states, supranational organizations and integration areas generate a wide array of policy initiatives which are rarely harmonised. Although it is recognised that policy harmonisation is necessary at either global or regional level in certain areas (such as standards, competition policy, etc), differences between industries,  ideologies etc, has meant that many new global institutions that hinder international business.

Conference dates:
The conference begins on Monday morning, the 16th of April 2007 and closes on the 17th of April. This conference dovetails with the AIB UK 2007 meeting which takes place on 13-14th April at Kings College, London. In addition, we are organising a dinner on the 16th evening to mark John Dunning’s 80th birthday.

Submission requirements:
Unlike other conferences, we seek papers for the poster sessions that are essentially complete, and not ‘work–in-progress’, and that are provocative in either theory development, or in terms of data and analysis.  Abstract submissions should be made by November 15th at the latest, and decisions on acceptance will be confirmed by December 1. Final versions of the papers should be submitted by February 1.  You are encouraged to submit your abstracts early, since the number of spaces is limited in each theme to 50 papers.  The website for abstract submission and registration will be operational from October 1 2006.

The conference will be held at the University of Reading’s picturesque campus. Reading is just a half hour away from central London, and 45 minutes from Heathrow.

Conference fees and costs
Conference registration will be £120, including the dinner and reception. For further details visit the website at: