Chapter 9: Managing the unavoidable: new avenues for research on MNEs and societal crises
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Multinational enterprises play ever more prominent roles in societal crises, including armed conflict and humanitarian emergencies. This chapter seeks to contribute to a revitalization of the IB research agenda on societal crises through the identification of new, ambitious, and socially relevant lines of research. To this end, the chapter reviews key achievements in IB research on conflict and crisis and critically revisits the theoretical assumptions behind this line of research with the help of several empirical illustrations, including the Mediterranean migration crisis and the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These examples illustrate the increasingly active and diverse role of multinational enterprises in efforts to combat societal crises and underline the need for theoretical paradigms and empirical methods that capture the complex interplay between IB activity and crises. The chapter ends with a series of theoretical and methodological recommendations for next-generation IB research in this important area.

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