Advancing International Marketing Theory and Guiding Practice, Special issue of International Marketing Review; Deadline 31 Dec 2021

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Sophie Reckless

COVID-19: advancing international marketing theory and guiding practice

Call for papers for: International Marketing Review

Special Issue Guest Editors:

Michael Christofi (Cyprus University of Technology)

Olga Kvasova (University of Central Lancashire)

Elias Ηadjielias (Cyprus University of Technology)

Submission deadline: 31 December 2021

Businesses often cope with anomalous events, referred to as crises, that create high uncertainty levels and are potential threats to the survival of an enterprise (Grewal & Tansuhaj, 2001). The Coronavirus (COVID-19) global crisis is one such event that has several effects for various stakeholders, including consumers, business and markets. Consumers are frustrated and scared by changing policies and the “new normal,” resulting in the development of a new consumer behavior to which businesses must adapt, while local and global organizations in various industries, such as tourism, airline, services, restaurant and hospitality, are hit hard with potentially long lasting consequences (Song, Liu, & Deng, 2020).

Within this new international environment, Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) and global brands must learn how to manage unique and unpredictable challenges, and international marketing research and practice has a significant role to play from a variety of perspectives. Within the marketing discipline in general, and the international marketing domain in particular, scholars mainly focused on three types of such anomalous events: international incidents (international incidents between countries), economic crises, and product-harm crises (see, e.g., Barbarossa, De Pelsmacker, & Moons, 2018;  Gertner, & Rifkin, 2018; Gao, Zhang, Zhang,  & Knight, 2015; Williams, & Martinez, 2012; Maher, & Mady, 2010; Heslop,  Lu, & Cray, 2008). However, besides a few papers on the obesity epidemic (e.g., Moore et al. 2017; Argo & White, 2012), and the AIDS pandemic crisis of 2004 (e.g., Calfee, & Bate, 2004; Kennedy, Harris, & Lord, 2004), within the marketing discipline, international marketing knowledge regarding the potential effects, problems, and solutions to virus-related pandemic crises such as that embodied by COVID-19 is almost absent. Adding to this, the particular characteristics of the COVID-19 event are unique and unheralded: the global business-related effects of COVID-19 may be more significant than any other global crisis in living history, its impacts on international marketing theory and practice could be game-changing, and the lessons learned from previous crises may need to be adjusted, or new lessons may need to be learned. Accordingly, the need for research insights to inform international marketing theory and practice is of great importance.

This Special Issue aims on providing insights and tools to help marketing scholars, as well as executives of MNEs, emerging market multinationals (EMNEs), and global brands, navigate through, overcome, and learn from the COVID-19 global crisis. The Special Issue seeks contributions that will help develop and enhance international marketing theory in the context of international crises and disasters, and thereby assist marketing practitioners adjust and align moving forward. Papers considered for the Special Issue must address a real-world international marketing question, advance international marketing theory, and/or provide big picture lessons from the COVID-19 crisis. Purely theoretical papers are welcome, as are empirical papers that contribute to theory using any methodological approach (e.g., longitudinal studies, time-lag studies, surveys, case-studies, cross-national comparative studies), and may focus on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

Global Marketing Strategy Issues During and After a Pandemic Crisis

  • Global marketers’ responses to the COVID-19 crisis, and the effects on stakeholders, financial performance, customer loyalty, and corporate reputation.
  • Recovery plans and impact on global brand performance.
  • Pre-virus marketing strategies and post-virus performance.
  • International marketing strategies during a pandemic crisis.
  • Changes in international market segmentation, targeting, and positioning during and following a pandemic crisis.
  • Strategic orientations of international players, responses to the crisis, and outcomes.
  • The future of market-entry and operation-mode strategies.
  • Global new product development strategies.

Exporting and Importing

  • The impact of COVID-19 on export and international performance: winners and losers.
  • Power, conflict and opportunism in export channel relationships during the pandemic.
  • Communication and promotion strategies during a pandemic.
  • COVID-19 and export pricing strategies.
  • The export-related consequences of new policy initiatives.
  • What counts most for export success and survival? The roles of capabilities and resources.
  • Strategic flexibility in a time of crisis: impact on export success.

Consumers and a Pandemic

  • Cultural and national differences in consumer responses to COVID-19.
  • Does a major pandemic impact on consumer dispositions (eg cosmopolitanism, product nationalism, ethnocentrism) and shape openness to global consumer culture?
  • Intercultural service encounters during and after the pandemic.
  • Consumer animosity, the blame game, and COVID-19.
  • Nation branding and nation brands – effects of national responses to COVID-19.
  • International customer relationships in an age of social distancing.

Societal Topics & Ethics

  • Protecting employees and customers: global versus local CSR?
  • Global brands, pandemic-related CSR, and consumer responses.
  • Domestication versus internationalization of social marketing.
  • Government health promotion during a pandemic: cross-national comparisons of strategies and consumer responses.

Submission Information

Manuscript Development Workshop

The guest editors of this Special Issue are planning to hold a manuscript development workshop within 2021 (further details will be announced at a later date). Authors who are interested in submitting a manuscript in this special issue will have the opportunity to present and discuss their papers with other attendees and the guest editors. Please note that participation in the workshop does not guarantee acceptance of the paper in the Special Issue, and is not a prerequisite for publication.


Argo, J. J., & White, K. (2012). When do consumers eat more? The role of appearance self-esteem and food packaging cues. Journal of Marketing, 76(2), 67-80.

Barbarossa, C., De Pelsmacker, P., & Moons, I. (2018). Effects of country-of-origin stereotypes on consumer responses to product-harm crises. International Marketing Review35(3), 362-389.

Calfee, J. E., & Bate, R. (2004). Pharmaceuticals and the worldwide HIV epidemic: Can a stakeholder model work?. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 23(2), 140-152.

Gao, H., Zhang, H., Zhang, X., & Knight, J. G. (2015). Spillover of distrust from domestic to imported brands in a crisis-sensitized market. Journal of International Marketing23(1), 91-112.

Gertner, D., & Rifkin, L. (2018). Coca‐Cola and the Fight against the Global Obesity Epidemic. Thunderbird International Business Review60(2), 161-173.

Grewal, R., & Tansuhaj, P. (2001). Building organizational capabilities for managing economic crisis: The role of market orientation and strategic flexibility. Journal of Marketing, 65(2), 67-80.

Heslop, L. A., Lu, I. R., & Cray, D. (2008). Modeling country image effects through an international crisis. International Marketing Review25(4), 354-378.

Kennedy, C. R., Harris, F. H. D., & Lord, M. (2004). Integrating public policy and public affairs in a pharmaceutical marketing program: The AIDS pandemic. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 23(2), 128-139.

Maher, A. A., & Mady, S. (2010). Animosity, subjective norms, and anticipated emotions during an international crisis. International Marketing Review, 27(6), 630-651.

Moore, E. S., Wilkie, W. L., & Desrochers, D. M. (2017). All in the family? Parental roles in the epidemic of childhood obesity. Journal of Consumer Research, 43(5), 824-859.

Song, Z., Liu, D. & Deng, Z. (2020). Call for papers on COVID-19 Outbreak and Business. Frontiers of Business Research in China. Accessed at:

Williams, C., & Martinez, C. A. (2012). Government effectiveness, the global financial crisis, and multinational enterprise internationalization. Journal of International Marketing20(3), 65-78.

Bios of Guest Editors

Michael Christofi is a Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the School of Management and Economics at Cyprus University of Technology. His research spans across the fields of corporate social responsibility, well-being, strategic and entrepreneurial marketing, innovation, strategic agility and organizational ambidexterity. His research work has been published in premier publication outlets, such as in British Journal of Management, Journal of World Business, Journal of Business Research, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, International Business Review, and International Marketing Review, among others. He has authored several book chapters and won various awards for his research work and academic service. Dr. Christofi has also served and serves as a guest editor for special issues at leading journals such as Technovation, European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Technological Forecasting & Social Change, and International Marketing Review, among others.

Olga Kvasova is Assistant Professor of Marketing, School of Business and Management, University of Central Lancashire, Cyprus. Her research focuses on the managerial implications of different aspects of ethical consumerism. Specifically, her research identifies the factors that influence consumer environmental attitudes and behaviour; examines the outcomes of consumer perceptions of business unethicality; investigates consumer attitude toward organisational unethical behaviour; and, finally, examines country-of-origin effect on consumer perceptions of products, associated marketing unethicality, and buying and using preferences. Her research work has been published in highly esteemed publication outlets in the marketing field such as Journal of International Marketing, European Journal of Marketing, Psychology & Marketing, Management International Review, Personality and Individual Differences, and Journal of Business Ethics.

Elias Ηadjielias is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Cyprus University of Technology. His research includes issues such as business groups, entrepreneurship in family businesses, sustainable entrepreneurship and business-to-business collaborations and co-operations. Elias won various awards for his research work and academic service and he has published scientific articles in international prestigious journals, such as Annals of Tourism Research, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing and Journal of Family Business Strategy.

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