Elgar original reference
Edited by Alain Verbeke and Hemant Merchant
International strategic management research is a relatively new field of scholarly enquiry, but it has nevertheless contributed uncommonly high value added to the practice of strategy. There are three reasons for this high value added. First, the field systematically studies the most complex firms that can be subjected to empirical analysis. The largest non-state-owned firms in the world, with size measured in terms of sales, assets or number of employees, are almost invariably multinational enterprises (MNEs) with substantial product and geographic diversification. Second, irrespective of the size of the firms involved, the field addresses the most complex problems facing these internationally diversified firms, namely the challenges of resource recombination in high-distance markets, whereby this distance can be measured in cultural, economic, institutional or merely geographic terms. Third, the field is one where theory and practice are closely intertwined. This is in sharp contrast with many other subareas of management, where scholars can get away with elegant modelling at the expense of managerial relevance, and with mathematical or statistical sophistication as a substitute for true insight. One seldom observes such dysfunction in published studies on large, multiproduct and multimarket MNEs.