Handbook of Contemporary Research on Emerging Markets
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Handbook of Contemporary Research on Emerging Markets

Edited by Hemant Merchant

The Handbook brings together leading scholars from IB as well as other disciplines to contribute state-of-the-art thinking on emerging markets. The volume extends theoretical and conceptual thinking, looks at operational practices and their implications and provides a research agenda to move the field forward. The contributors offer an in-depth look at specific geographies and functional areas to enrich our understanding of emerging markets.
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Chapter 14: Managing at the edge of chaos: Middle East North Africa – perspectives for international management

Melodena Stephens Balakrishnan


In 2010, Czinkota et al. (2010, p. 826) wrote a research perspective in the Journal of International Business Studies urging international businesses scholars to focus on a domain that to date has been sparsely developed: ‘IB [international business] scholars are encouraged to offer useful perspectives and effective solutions that shed needed light on terrorism and help reduce its destructive effects for IB and multinational firms.’ While terrorism is one type of crisis, there are many other types of crises that affect international businesses (see Figure 14.1). Any crisis is disruptive. Managing businesses in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region is something many international businesses approach with trepidation simply because the region is perceived as a hotbed of chaos. There are many reasons for this perception: 1. For most of the western world, it is a region that is poorly understood and shrouded in misrepresentation; as some would say, it is a ‘biased narrative’. Sometimes it is referred to as a homogeneous region but this is not true. The region is rich in the diversity of its people – ethnicity, religion, income group and history.

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