New Horizons in International Business series
Edited by Masaaki Kotabe and Preet S. Aulakh
Chapter 1: International Business Research: From Functional to Issue-based Focus
1. International business research: from functional to issue–based focus Masaaki Kotabe and Preet S. Aulakh International business (IB) research as a formal academic discipline has completed 40 years of existence. In this relatively short life span, IB research has made important strides as evidenced in the membership of the Academy of International Business as well as the recognition of the academy’s ﬂagship journal, Journal of International Business Studies. However, during much of the period, the discipline has had to confront its very existence as most of the effort was expended in internationalizing the traditional functional business areas and examining the application of concepts and theories of individual functional areas in cross-national settings. As we begin a new century, due to advancements in information technologies, changes in institutional structures around the world, inter-country economic, political, and social linkages, and the internalization of the term ‘globalization’ at both popular and political levels, international business activities are no longer considered peripheral to corporations around the world. Given this state of affairs, there are some who argue that there is no need for international business studies since, by default, all business is international. We believe that although there is some logic to this argument and, in fact, individual functional areas have become internationalized to incorporate this new reality in developing or reﬁning concepts and theories, international business studies will continue to confront unique issues not incorporated into functional disciplines. That is, IB research has to move away from the international dimensions of...
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