Decolonising the Curriculum: Insights from the Golden Age of Black Business

24 09 2020

The events of the last six months, which include the ‘Black Lives Matter moment’, have encouraged a renewed emphasis on equality and justice issues in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. The need to decolonise the curriculum of management schools has been discussed extensively in this context. In the past, I have argued that eliminating the vestiges of colonialism from our thinking can allow us to make better decisions, particularly in a business context..

In October, my department will welcome two guest speakers from the United States, Leon Prieto and Simone Phipps, who will talk about their efforts to decolonise management research and teaching and to engage more effectively with African-American management learners. We believe that their presentation will be of interest to staff in the SIBE group, across the management school, and indeed the wider university community.  A recent online presentation by Professors Prieto and Phipps to the Academy of Management attracted considerable interest and was well attended. Their recent article in the MIT Sloan Management Review has prompted online debate.

I’m very proud to have helped to organise this talk.

Decolonising the Curriculum: Insights from the Golden Age of Black Business

Leon Prieto (Associate Professor of Management, Clayton State University/ Associate Research Fellow Judge Business School, University of Cambridge) and Simone Phipps (Associate Professor of Management, Middle Georgia State University/ Associate Research Fellow Judge Business School, University of Cambridge)

Black entrepreneurs, managers, and management thought leaders are generally conspicuously absent from management research, omitted, not because they did not contribute, but because they and their contributions have been ignored or overlooked. In this era of Black Lives Matter, the decolonisation of the management curriculum is even more pertinent as it relates to the acknowledgment that Black lives and minds do matter, and should be prominently featured in business education. This session explores the contributions of two of the many Black management thought leaders and practitioners, namely Charles Clinton Spaulding (President of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company) and Maggie Lena Walker (President of St. Luke Penny Savings Bank). Also, the link between decolonisation of the curriculum (including teaching about Black managers and entrepreneurs) and student inspiration will be discussed. Finally, the session will include practical ways to decolonise and revolutionise the curriculum to make it more diverse and inclusive.  

Historical Cognition and Strategic Entrepreneurship

23 09 2020

That’s the title of a forthcoming webinar by Diego Coraiola, University of Alberta.  25/09/2020 @ 16.00 hrs London. Register hereSee abstract below.

There is an emerging ‘historical turn’ in strategy and entrepreneurship research. Scholars are realizing that history can be a source of competitive heterogeneity and foster entrepreneurial action. However, scholars disagree upon the reasons why history matters. Objective approaches have theorized the inertial and path dependence effects of historically acquired resources and competencies. Contrarily, narrative approaches argue that history can be conceived as a form of rhetoric used to generate competitive advantage. Thus, in spite of the recognized importance of history for entrepreneurial and strategic behaviour, we lack an overarching theoretical framework clarifying the role of history in strategic entrepreneurship. In this chapter, we develop an integrative approach to history grounded on the notion of historical consciousness. Our cognitive view of history integrates previous approaches and outlines new avenues for the study of strategic entrepreneurship.

Historical Cognition and Strategic Entrepreneurship

23 09 2020

Historical Perspective on the State Aid Controversy

21 09 2020

One of the major stumbling blocks that has emerged in the negotiations over an EU-UK trade agreement is the UK’s government insistence on the end of the EU rules that restrict its ability to aid British companies (see here, here, and here). Some of us here in the United Kingdom are extremely concerned that that there will be an increase in “corporate welfare” once the European Union’s restrictions on state aid to private firms cease to apply to the British government, which will occur when British government policies are no longer subject to review by the European Court of Justice. Some of the more interventionist-nationalist Conservatives support Brexit because it will give British policymaker “subsidy freedom”.

In this context, the publication of new paper by David Clayton and David Higgins on the historical backstory is particularly timely. ‘Buy British’: An analysis of UK attempts to turn a slogan into government policy in the 1970s and 1980s.’

Abstract: This article uses newly available state and business records to investigate the effectiveness of Buy British policies when Britain was a member of the EEC between the early 1970s and the mid-1980s – a period of rapid import penetration and deindustrialisation. We show that government pursued a range of overt and covert measures to combat these economic problems. Overt measures sought to encourage domestic consumers to buy British; covert measures, involving nationalised industries and public procurement, attempted to encourage British firms to source domestically. The article contributes to the emerging business history literature on how Member States tried to exploit loopholes in EEC competition and commercial policy, and it provides new evidence on UK consumer preferences for domestic and imported manufactures.

Friedman on the Purpose of the Corporation at 50

15 09 2020

Fifty years ago, Milton Friedman published his frequently debated essay on the purpose of the corporation in the New York Times Magazine. In it, Friedman attached the idea that it was the job of business executives to use firm resource to address social issues such as racial discrimination and pollution by arguing forcefully that their job was solely to make profits for the shareholders. The anniversary of the essay has been marked with a flurry of online publications (see here, here, and here). Fairly typical of these comments on Friedman’s legacy were the words of Anand Giridharadas, who described Friedman as a “capital supremacist” and declared that “Today in America someone will be laid off right after his or her company announced record earnings. Someone’s hours will be cut without notice. Someone’s water will be poisoned by fracking. And among the pantheon of villains they can thank is Milton Friedman.”

Portrait of Milton Friedman.jpg:, CC0,

I’m struck by the tendency of most of the writers who have participated in this debate to assume that Friedman’s essay was influential, that it caused changes in corporate behaviour. I certainly do not dispute that ideas have consequences and that business intellectuals such as Friedman can have an influence on the real world of material conditions by changing the thinking of decision-makers. However, I’ve noticed an absence of serious historical research on the question of how influential Friedman’s ideas were. Such research would begin by answering really simple questions such as “how many people paid attention to Friedman’s essay at the time it was published? How many letters to the editor did it prompt?”

As scholars who wish to speak to practitioners whilst remaining rigorous, we need to think about what sorts of research methods would allow us to determine the actual influence of Friedman and other writers on the shareholder value revolution of the 1980s. Perhaps the revolution would have happened in the absence of their writings, as Prof. Brian Cheffins has suggested?

Trying to determine the real-world impact of academic writings about business is an issue that I have been wrestling with for some time (for theoretical considerations on the role of ideational factors in historical change, please see the co-authored paper I published in Economic and Industrial Democracy). I haven’t published on Friedman’s 1970 article and its role, if any, in the shareholder value revolution, but I have looked that reception of the text that helped to shape the predecessor ideology that shaped American corporate governance from the 1920s to the late 1970s, namely The Modern Corporation and Private Property (see here and here).

In a recent paper in which they reflected on Friedman’s theory of corporate purpose, Oliver Hart and Luigi Zingales (2017, p. 19) observed that the SEC may have contributed to the rise of the shareholder value ideology (shareholder primacy principle). The SEC rules limit the extent to which social and ethical issues can be discussed at company AGMs which, according to Hart and Zingales, have helped to produce a business culture in which there is an amoral focus on profit maximization.

Ironically, in the United States proxy access rules are not designed to solve this problem—if anything they go in the opposite direction. Under rule 14a-8, the SEC requirement to include shareholders’ proposals in companies’ proxy material is limited to “proper subjects for action.” The SEC later opined that “proposals which deal with general political, social or
economic matters are not, within the meaning of the Rule, ‘proper subjects for action by security holders’”. Consistent with this approach, in 1951 a federal court upheld the exclusion of a proposal seeking desegregation of buses as an improper subject for shareholders (Peck v. Greyhound, 97 F. Supp. 679, 680, S.D.N.Y. 1951). In 1954, the SEC added the “ordinary
business” exclusion, which further limited the ability of shareholders to introduce social considerations in proxy ballots. In the late 1970’s the SEC introduced the idea that the “ordinary business exclusion” would not apply to matters with significant policy implications, such as tobacco to minors,
nuclear power and the like (Andersen
[SIC], 2016). The effective boundaries of this public policy exception are heavily litigated to this day (see the Walmart case mentioned above). Overall, it is fair to say that law and regulation have not helped to prevent the amoral drift.

The passage I have quoted above suggests that the chain of causation that links Friedman’s ideas with the shareholder value revolution may run through the SEC and indicates a new avenue of business-historical research.

EBHA E-Congress, September 10 and 11, 2020

30 08 2020

The European Business History Association conference was supposed to take place in Nagoya, Japan this month. It has been postponed for a year because of the pandemic. The EBHA has organised a small but excellent e-conference at which I will be speaking about the challenges of online teaching.  The keynote address will be delivered by Martin Wolf, a Financial Times columnist who is a great defender of globalization, international trade, and liberal values. The title of the e-conference is “Globalization Challenged”.  Please register here.

EBHA E-Congress, September 10 and 11, 2020
Hosted by CUNEF – Madrid (Zoom Platform)

After registration, you will receive a link to the Zoom platform (same link for all the congress, except
Globalization Challenged

Thursday, September 10 th, 2020
Session 1
4.00 – 5.30 pm CEST
Introduction and Chair: Andrea Colli, EBHA President
Keynote Speech, Martin Wolf, Financial Times
Discussant: Teresa Da Silva Lopes, EBHA Vice-president

Friday, September 11th, 2020
Session 2
10.00-11.45 am CEST
Introduction and Chair: Bram Bouwens
Globalization Challenged: the perspective of Business History
1) Tomasz Olejniczak, Kozminski University (Warsaw) Department of Management
2) Grace Ballor, Harvard Business School
3) Ann-Kristine Bergquist, Department of Economic History, Umeå University
4) Edoardo Altamura, Department of International History, Graduate Institute of International and
Development Studies (Geneva)

12.00-12.45 am CEST: EBHA AGM (in a separate virtual room)
Registration required (EBHA members only):
2.30-4.00 pm

Virtual Roundtable “Teaching Business History in Distance Learning” Coordinator: Maiju Wuokko
Same Zoom address than the Congress

Koyama on State Capacity and the Response of Western Nations to Coronavirus

29 08 2020

Over at Works in Progress, economic historian Mark Koyama has published a thoughtful essay that draws on the historical research on state capacity to explain why Western nations, particularly the United States, have handled the pandemic less effectively than many East Asian countries.

State capacity refers to the ability of the state to enact and enforce its policies. It is often broken down into two components: fiscal capacity – the state’s ability to raise revenue via taxation without mass evasion – and administrative or legal capacity – the ability to create and enforce its rules. Fiscal capacity matters because a state needs revenue in order to operate. Administrative or legal capacity matters because it is what allows states to actually operationalize their policy goals. While the analogy is not perfect, in a meaningful sense state capacity can be thought of as a form of capital: it requires investment to build, and it can easily deteriorate and corrode.

Koyama shows that while the US is a rich country, its level of state capacity is somewhat lower than what one would predict just by looking at GDP per capita alone and that this weak state capacity helps to explain why the death toll in the US is so appallingly high.

I like Koyama use of the concept of state capacity as it cuts through the standard nostrums of both the political right and the political left and uses historical and comparative data to help us to think about the capacity of governments to competently deliver public goods.

Works in Progress has recently published a couple of good pieces by researchers that use the concept of state capacity to understand current events (see here and here).




Scott Sumner on Pro-Brexit Intellectuals

28 08 2020

One of my favourite academic bloggers is Scott Sumner. I find that his analysis of economic policy is characterised by a very reasonable, evidence-based perspective, intelligent application of theory, good awareness of developments in China, and refreshingly non-parochial point of view.

In a recent blog post, he observes that the public intellectuals who advocated for Brexit in 2016 did so on the grounds that leaving the UK would somehow turn the UK into a deregulated, free-market type society of the type favoured by US libertarians, Brexit, or at least the Conservative governments that are in charge of the Brexit process appears to be moving the UK in the opposite direction–away from a Thatcherite belief in the superiority of markets over states. The Boris Johnson government has done a little bit of deregulation in the area of local planning reform but it generally speaking a collectivist sort of Conservative government that is intent on using the powers of the state to reduce income inequality, increase the role of public ownership in the economy, and redistribute wealth to the poorer regions that voted Leave. Johnson government has moved in the quasi-socialist system, which is exactly what libertarian opponents of Brexit such as Bjorn Lomborg predicted when he wrote a blog post in 2016 that attacked Brexit.

Sumner argues that the drift of the UK towards collectivist conservatism is because the largely working class people in traditionally Labour towns who voted for Brexit were motivated by opposition to immigration rather than any desire to roll back the state. I think that this statement is largely correct, but I think that Sumner is mistaken when he says that the intellectuals who supported Brexit generally did so on libertarian grounds related to the alleged tendency of the EU to impose lots of regulations on business. It is true that some of the public intellectuals who spoke in favour of Brexit, such as Viscount Ridley, did so using language that would likely appeal to US libertarians, and in online fora that are frequently read in the United States, but many of the other public intellectuals who spoke in 2016 in favour of Brexit (the historians Andrew Roberts  and Alan Sked) did so using arguments that were about sovereignty and  national identity that had nothing to do with debates about the role of state in the economy. It should also not be forgotten that many old school social democrats who opposed UK membership in the EEC in the 1970s and 1980s also supported Brexit, albeit more quietly in 2016.

Bottom line: only some of the public intellectuals who supported Brexit in 2016 did so on libertarian grounds and they were probably not that influential in the UK, no matter how many readers they would have in the US.

Big Tech: Monopoly’s Second Moment? The Evolution and Trajectory of Government Policy and Corporate Strategy

25 08 2020

Co-sponsored by Long Run Initiative (LRI) and the Wilson/Currie Chair in Canadian Business History, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.

This free half-day conference focuses on one of the great public policy challenges of our time: the power of Big Tech. Across the North Atlantic world, governments and publics are coming to grips with the implications of just how large and powerful the FAANG companies – Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google (Alphabet) – have become.

Bringing together academics, policy makers and corporate executives for evidence-led discussions on this key 21st century challenge, the conference also explores how our experience with historical monopolies can provide meaningful insight.

We are pleased to welcome as our keynote guests Hon. Dr. Kevin Lynch, former clerk of the Privy Council, and Dr. Richard Langlois, Professor of Economics, University of Connecticut, who will each feature in a virtual fireside conversation. The event will also include two panel discussions with participants drawn from the senior ranks of government and business. Each session will include time for audience questions.

The event will also include two panel discussions with participants drawn from the senior ranks of government and business. The first panel will address the international perspective on Big Tech and anti-trust. The second panel will address possible Canadian responses, in both public policy and corporate strategy. Each session will include time for audience questions.


Date and Time

Friday, October 2, 2020
8:30 am – 12:30 pm ET


Registration is required for this online event.

Register here →

This conference is co-hosted by the Wilson/Currie Chair in Canadian Business History, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, and Long Run Initiative (LRI), a not-for-profit initiative which organizes short, high-impact roundtable events for academic experts, business leaders and public policymakers to reflect on and discuss parallels from the past and consider how these lessons apply to their own organizations.




8:30 – 8:40 am
Conference Co-Chairs
Dr. Dimitry Anastakis, The Wilson/Currie Chair in Canadian Business History, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
Dr. Laurence B. Mussio, Co-Founder & Director, Long Run Initiative (LRI)

8:40 – 9:00 am
Hunting the Big Five: Twenty-First Century Anti-Trust in Historical Perspective
Dr. Richard Langlois, Professor of Economics, University of Connecticut
Dr. Dimitry Anastakis, Rotman School of Management

9:00 – 10:20 am
The tension between oligopolistic technology firms reflects one of the most compelling episodes of anti-trust debate in corporate history, with long-term implications for today and the future. Attempts to rein in anti-competitive behaviour in the United States and the European Union are complicated by the evolving legal landscape, various nationalist pressures, and broader questions over the role of the state in regulating technology, culture, information. Questions also arise about the very nature of consumption. This session will address how governments and these companies are responding to the challenges.

Dr. Gillian Hadfield, Director, Schwartz-Reisman Institute, University of Toronto
Ms. Claudette McGowan, Global Executive Officer for Cyber Security, TD Bank
Mr. Victor Tung, Executive Vice President U.S Chief Technology & Operations Officer & Chief Operating Officer, BMO Financial Group
Dr. Michael Aldous, Senior Lecturer, Queen’s Management School, Queen’s University, Belfast

Mr. David Walmsley, Editor-in-Chief, The Globe and Mail

10:20 – 10:40 am
10:40 – 11:00 am
Anti-Trust in a Digital World: Do Old Problems Require New Solutions?
The Hon. Dr. Kevin G. Lynch, P.C., O.C., Ph.D., LL.D, Former Clerk of the Privy Council
Dr. Laurence B. Mussio, Long Run Initiative

11:00 – 12:20 pm
What are the possible Canadian responses, in both public policy and corporate strategy, to the grand challenges posed by Big Tech and the corporate or institutional forms it takes? The challenges are multifaceted: they are also made more complex for countries outside the superpower or bloc structure (USA, China, EU) whose companies and governments have to find a middle way with relatively limited leverage. This session will discuss the various aspects of a global challenge in a national context.

Mr. Simon Kennedy, Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Mr. Lawson A.W. Hunter, Senior Counsel, Stikeman Elliott LLP
Professor Taylor Owen, Max Bell School of Public Policy & Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications, McGill University
Dr. Elizabeth Acorn, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Political Science, University of Toronto

David Skok, CEO & Editor-in-Chief, The Logic

12:20 – 12:30 pm
Conference Co-Chairs
Dr. Laurence B. Mussio, Long Run Initiative
Dr. Dimitry Anastakis, Rotman School of Management

JWB SI That Will Interest Many Business Historians

10 08 2020

AS: Many business historians, particularly those who operate at the intersection of business history and international business, explore how managers have responded to past episodes of de-globalization. The metanarrative that informs this research is that the global economy has experienced waves of globalization and deglobalization over the last few centuries. Since 2008, and particularly since November 2016, there has been a great deal of attention paid to the thesis that we are now in another period of deglobalization. While the de-internationalization and de-globalization are not exactly the same thing, the two concepts are linked. For this reason, I suspect that many readers of this blog will be interested in this Special Issue.



Journal of World Business

A Special Issue on

“Cycles and Waves of Internationalisation: Determinants and Consequences of De-Internationalization and Re-Internationalization”

Submissions open July 1, 2021; submissions due July 31, 2021


Guest Editors:

Mario Kafouros, University of Manchester, UK

Tamer Cavusgil, Georgia State University, USA

Timothy Devinney, University of Manchester, UK

Panagiotis Ganotakis, University of Liverpool, UK

James Love, University of Leeds, UK


Supervising Editor:

Stav Fainshmidt, Florida International University, US



Special Issue Overview

International business scholars have examined various aspects of the process through which large MNEs but also small entrepreneurial firms internationalize. Although the vast majority of studies concentrate on how and why firms expand their foreign operations or under what conditions they perform well in home and foreign markets (Richard et al., 2009; Kafouros and Aliyev, 2016; Liesch et al., 2007; Lu at al., 2018), the literature has largely ignored the fact that firms’ internationalization is rarely a simple forward-moving process. Rather, it often involves various cycles and waves of internationalization that may include a reduction in the intensity or scope of international activities or even a complete withdrawal from foreign markets. These phases of de-internationalization can be followed by a subsequent increase in international activities or by re-entering international markets (Chen et al., 2019; Surdu et al., 2018). The limited focus on the cycles and waves of firms’ internationalization is also reflected in prior theories, including the sequential approach to internationalization or the international new venture theory (Johanson and Vahlne, 2009; Oviatt and McDougall, 1994), that implicitly assume that internationalization is a non-reversible process (Bernini et al., 2016). Nevertheless, a better understanding of international business rests not only on studying internationalization, but also de-internationalization and re-internationalization (Berry, 2013; Mohr et al., 2018; Soule et al., 2014).



The aim of this special issue is to advance IB theory and empirical knowledge about the determinants and consequences of cycles and waves of firm internationalization including different forms of de-internationalization and re-internationalization. Contributions about such determinants and consequences are encouraged to include different levels of analysis, including the firm, market, industry and state actors. 



Regardless of the mode of entry adopted (e.g., exporting, Joint Ventures, WOS), firms can increase or decrease their presence in foreign markets, exit and even re-enter markets at a later point in time (D’ Angelo et al., 2020; Gaur et al., 2019; Yang et al., 2017; Welch and Welch, 2009). Therefore, firms do not merely adopt a mere linear approach to internationalization. Instead, they often choose to fluctuate their foreign market involvement (Vissak and Francioni, 2013). Although such waves and cycles and various forms of de and re-internationalization occur very frequently, the reasons behind the reduction (and subsequent increase) in international operations but also the consequences of different forms of de and re-internationalization have not been examined to the extent that they ought to (Bernini et al., 2016).


For instance, although MNEs make long-term commitments in foreign markets through FDI (e.g., by acquiring or setting up new subsidiaries; Wang et al., 2012), divestment of such foreign assets occurs at half the rate of investments (Chung et al., 2013). Yet, the majority of recent work has been carried out in the area of FDI and only limited work has looked at the determinants or consequences of different types of divestments (Berry, 2013; Dachs et al., 2019; Konara and Ganotakis, 2020; Lee et al., 2019; Mohr et al., 2020; Rodrigues and Dieleman, 2018). For example, when it comes to the retention of foreign subsidiaries, recent studies have highlighted the important role played by the innovative capabilities that subsidiaries possess (Konara and Ganotakis, 2020), the scope and uniqueness of a subsidiary’s mandate portfolio (Lee et al., 2019) and that of foreign market characteristics (Berry , 2013). Other studies have examined the backshoring of manufacturing activities and how this is influenced by the adoption of new production technologies (Cachs et al., 2019) or how governmental control can reduce the international operations of multinational state hybrids (Rodrigues and Dieleman, 2018). Finally, a few studies have examined how the negotiating process between seller and buyer under different industry conditions can influence the outcome of a divestment taking place (Fuad and Gaur, 2019).


Despite of those important contributions, we still have an incomplete understanding of the range of internal, external and institutional factors that affect different forms of divestment and, importantly, how the interaction between those factors influences de- and re-internationalization. The importance of studying not only the determinants but also the consequences of de- and re-internationalization is evident from recent international disintegration events, such as Brexit, that have led to a number of foreign MNEs exiting or considering exit from the UK, with possible adverse effects not only on employment but also on knowledge transfer and economic competitiveness (Andersson et al., 2016; Cumming and Zahra, 2016; Kafouros et al., 2018; Sampson, 2017).


As with FDI and divestment, firms that use non-equity methods of internationalization, such as exporting, do not always maintain a constant presence abroad. Rather they tend to either completely exit foreign markets without re-entering, or exit and later re-enter the same or different markets (Chen et al., 2019; Love and Ganotakis, 2013). The process of exit and re-entry can be repeated a number of times over a certain time period (Bernini et al., 2016; Love and Manez, 2019). The importance of uncovering the reasons behind exiting export markets and subsequent re-entry but also the effects of those activities on a number of firm level outcomes, is emphasized by the eminent and possible pro-longed global financial crisis and reduced global demand (Bamiatzi et al., 2016; Konara and Ganotakis, 2020) resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. Second, its importance is also highlighted from recent trade protectionism trends, resulting in an increase in the prices of intermediate and final products as well as changes to firms’ supply chain networks (Amiti et al., 2019).


Exploring the reasons behind re-internationalization is as important as investigating the determinants of de-internationalization. By re-entering foreign markets, firms can salvage prior tangible and intangible sunk costs, capture emerging opportunities as well as new or cheaper resources and hence improve future performance (Chen et al., 2019). However, re-internationalization is a more complex process (Javalgi et al., 2011) than initial market entry because the decision will be influenced by the type of experience gained during the exit (but also the time-out) period (Bernini et al., 2016; Surdu et al., 2019). Such experience can be the result of critical events, or it can be the outcome of a willing strategic decision (Vissak and Francioni, 2013). In the former case, this might mean that firms will hesitate to re-enter markets despite of the existence of new untapped opportunities (Javalgi et al., 2011). It is important therefore not only to examine what enables or constraints firms from re-entering foreign markets, but also to methodologically and conceptually distinguish between the reasons that led to exiting and take those into account when re-entry is examined.


Finally, even if firms maintain their presence in foreign markets, they do not always increase their commitment in those markets as the stage process to internationalization would suggest. However, they can also decrease their presence, either by reducing the level of sales or by changing the mode of internationalization into a less resource intensive one (D’Angelo et al., 2020; Surdu et al., 2019). Nevertheless, we still have a rather incomplete understanding of the effects that such changes have on the short- and long-term performance of firms.


Objectives of this Special Issue

  • To increase understanding of the various cycles and waves of internationalization and, more specifically, why firms engage in various forms of de-internationalization and re-internationalization.
  • To identify the determinants and consequences of de-internationalization and re-internationalization using different levels of analysis – such as the firm, market, industry and state level.
  • To account for, and ideally incorporate, de-internationalization and re-internationalization in existing IB theory where appropriate and as a basis for new theoretical perspectives where needed.
  • To increase understanding of the relationship between de-internationalization and re-internationalization.
  • To understand how the various forms of de-internationalization (e.g., complete and partial exit from markets, reduction in sales intensity, change in mode of entry) depend on the initial market entry mode and how understanding this can advance theorization in IB.


Illustrative Topics

Exemplary research questions within the intended scope of this Special Issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • What internal to the firm (e.g., resources, capabilities) but also external factors (e.g., institutional and market related changes) contribute towards de-internationalization and re-internationalization depending on the foreign mode of entry that a firm has adopted?
  • How do internal and external factors interact to increase or decrease the likelihood of de-internationalization and re-internationalization?
  • What is the role of different forms of foreign experiential knowledge (e.g., marketing, business, institutional) in the de-internationalization process?
  • What is the effect of de-internationalization at different firm-level outcomes such as performance and innovation?
  • How does de-internationalization affect different aspects of firm performance depending on whether the exit was forced (as a result of a critical incident) or was part of a proactive strategic decision?
  • What decision making process do acquiring and divesting parties follow to deal with issues linked to uncertainty, information asymmetry/costs and the disclosure of technological knowledge and intangible assets under different industry conditions?
  • How do host and home country institutions and governmental intervention or control influence the de- and re-internationalization activities of MNEs?
  • How do firms gain more from the adoption of new production technologies during the backshoring process?
  • How is the way that a firm exited a market and the experience gained, linked with the likelihood of re-entry and the mode that will be used in order to re-enter that market or a different one?
  • What kind of internal changes firms need to carry out in order to re-start international operations once those have been stopped?
  • How do firms allocate and restructure internal and external resources to increase the likelihood that they will re-enter export markets and perform well?
  • Do firms that exited and then re-entered foreign markets achieve higher levels of performance in relation to newly entrants?




Amiti, M., Redding, S.J., & Weinstein, D.E. (2019). The Impact of the 2018 Tariffs on Prices and Welfare. Journal of Economic Perspectives33(4), 187-210.

Andersson, U., Dasí, Á., Mudambi, R., & Pedersen, T. (2016). Technology, innovation and knowledge: The importance of ideas and international connectivity. Journal of World Business51(1), 153-162.

Bamiatzi, V., Bozos, K., Cavusgil, S.T., & Hult, G.T.M. (2016). Revisiting the firm, industry, and country effects on profitability under recessionary and expansion periods: A multilevel analysis. Strategic Management Journal37(7), 1448-1471.

Bernini, M., Du, J., & Love, J.H. (2016). Explaining intermittent exporting: Exit and conditional re-entry in export markets. Journal of International Business Studies47(9), 1058-1076.

Berry, H. (2013). When do firms divest foreign operations?. Organization Science24(1), 246-261.

Cavusgil, S. T. and Knight, G. (2015). The Born-Global Firm: An Entrepreneurial and Capabilities Perspective on Early and Rapid Internationalization, Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 46, No. 1 (2015), 3-16.

Chen, J., Sousa, C.M., & He, X. (2019). Export market re-entry: Time-out period and price/quality dynamisms. Journal of World Business54(2), 154-168.

Chung, C.C., Lee, S.H., Beamish, P.W., Southam, C., & Nam, D.D. (2013). Pitting real options theory against risk diversification theory: International diversification and joint ownership control in economic crisis. Journal of World Business48(1), 122-136.

Cumming, D.J., & Zahra, S.A. (2016). International business and entrepreneurship implications of Brexit. British Journal of Management27(4), 687-692.

D’Angelo, A., Ganotakis, P., & Love, J.H. (2020). Learning by exporting under fast, short-term changes: The moderating role of absorptive capacity and foreign collaborative agreements. International Business Review, 101687.

Dachs, B., Kinkel, S., & Jäger, A. (2019). Bringing it all back home? Backshoring of manufacturing activities and the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. Journal of World Business54(6), 101017.

Freeman, S. and Cavusgil, S. T. (2007). Towards a Typology of Commitment States among Managers of Born Global Firms: A Study of Accelerated Internationalization, Journal of International Marketing, Vol. 15, No. 4 (2007) 1-40.

Fuad, M., & Gaur, A.S. (2019). Merger waves, entry-timing, and cross-border acquisition completion: A frictional lens perspective. Journal of World Business54(2), 107-118.

Gaur, A.S., Pattnaik, C., Singh, D., & Lee, J.Y. (2019). Internalization advantage and subsidiary performance: The role of business group affiliation and host country characteristics. Journal of International Business Studies50(8), 1253-1282.

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