Call for paper and Panels


International Business, Local Development and

Science-Technology Relationships


conference chair

Grazia D. Santangelo (University of Catania - ITALY)


EIBA 2007 focuses on one of the major theoretical issues currently debated in the international business realm: the role of public research institutions in helping to promote the processes of technological and economic catch up, development and growth, and of local policy in fostering local science-technology linkages with incoming foreign-owned multinationals.

In recent decades the impact of FDI on host economies has been greatly emphasised in international economic fora such as the World Bank and the IMF by stressing the positive direct effects that foreign-owned activities may generate locally in terms of job creation, stimulation of local demand and/or supply and incoming capital, just to mention a few. Along the same lines, a sizeable number of studies have increasingly pointed to the significance of knowledge spillovers stemming from inward FDI as a result of the introduction of technological and organisational innovations, managerial and operational skills and linkages with the local science base such as public research centres which may reinforce (or reverse) local virtuous (vicious) cycles by providing capabilities in basic research, the training of highly skilled labour, and networking connections with scientific and professional communities (and therefore access to knowledge and contacts) in other parts of the world. If public research institutes help to create the conditions required for local knowledge development and a greater capacity for problem-solving in local enterprises, through their interactions with other local actors, they are also a source of new competitive resources and competencies for the foreign investors, who can transfer them back in their home country. This leaves great room for policy interventions which aim at the stimulation of domestic growth, competitiveness, and economic development both in the home and host country.


The conference invites especially theoretical and empirical contributions that may help to enhance the understanding of the Conference theme, its consequences and challenges to international business scholars and policy-makers. Studies on other aspects of international business are also always welcome. Please refer to the list of Conference Tracks below for papers and panels submission.


Full papers and panel proposals should be submitted to Track Chairs according to the topic. Panel proposals should be submitted in the form of a 2-page description concerning the central research question addressed by including a brief statement of the topic, and of the issue or problem that motivates the panel, its relevance and expected contribution to IB. Panel proposals should also list the name of the panellists by having two panellists arguing for one viewpoint on the proposed theme and two other panellists arguing for the opposite viewpoint (for a total of 5 panellists including the chair). All submission will undergo a double-blind refereeing process. Final decision on acceptance for presentation at the Conference will be taken by Track Chairs.




tracks description


  1.  International Business and Science-Technology Relationships

CHAIR: John Cantwell, Rutgers University (USA)


The internationalisation of the firm has been increasingly motivated by the drive to form integrated international networks for knowledge creation. Within MNCs, some subsidiaries have evolved to take on a competence-creating role accordingly. A key feature that has supported internationally dispersed innovation in the MNC is the localised external networks that are utilised by competence-creating subsidiaries to tap into agglomerations of specialised expertise in their own immediate regional vicinity. These include linkages with the science base, both universities and public research institutes as well as with local companies. Competence-creating subsidiaries tend to be sited in centres with a stronger science base. Some of the key issues to be addressed in this track are:


- The characteristics of localised knowledge spillovers between foreign-owned companies and other actors in sub-national regions within host countries.

- The geography of knowledge sourcing in the innovation of foreign-owned subsidiaries.

- The effects of knowledge connections with local universities and public research institutes on local capability formation and knowledge creation in the subsidiaries of foreign-owned multinational corporations.

- The role of the international outsourcing of some specialised research and clinical trial facilities and the evolution of in-house R&D in large multinational corporations.


  2.  International Business and Local Development

CHAIR: Pervez Ghauri, Manchester Business School (UK)


This track examines the strategy of multinational enterprises in terms of conflicts between markets and economic development. The different pace of globalization across markets presents a number of challenges to policy makers in local governments. Moreover, the liberalization of trade and investments has increased location options for multinationals and has led to concentration of investments in some geographic areas. Multinational enterprises with their sophisticated strategies are thus deepening the international division of labour and unequal development among markets and regions. This track particularly invites papers on the following issues:


- The impact of multinational activities on local development and industries.

- Linkages and spill-over effects of foreign direct investment.

- Interdependence between multinational enterprises and host governments.

- The impact of foreign acquisitions on the local development and technology transfer.

- Foreign direct investment from emerging market multinationals and their impact on local industries.


  3.  Theory of MNCs

CHAIR: Antonello Zanfei, University of Urbino (Italy)


This task will focus on theoretical developments in the economics of multinational firms with a priority given to contributions which are clearly related to the general conference theme. Appreciative theorising and informal modelling will be encouraged, particularly when they offer original and rigorous frameworks for analysing relevant issues in international business. Comprehensive reviews of key topics of the theory of multinational firms will also be welcome. Sub-topics:


- The links between international production, science and innovation.

- FDIs, trade and the international organisation of production.

- Theoretical views on the origin and evolution of multinational advantages.

- Theories of MNEs and forms of internationalisation.


  4.  Management, Organisation and Cultural Issues

CHAIR: Ram Mudambi, Fox School of Business & Management, Temple University (USA)


This track focuses on the importance on culture and institutions in the international business literature which derives from the fact that institutions represent the major immobile factors in a globalised market. In an international environment characterized by a sensational mobility of firms and factors of production, legal, political and administrative systems tend to be the internationally immobile framework whose costs determine the international attractiveness of a location. To a considerable extent, such an internationally competitive environment also embodies competition, not only amongst firms, but also between cultures and institutional systems: some of them have proved successful in achieving growth by promoting competition and openness; others have lost out and are beginning to emulate the institutions of the successful ones. However, these attempts often meet with considerable domestic resistance due to the above poses significant research questions for international business scholars at both the macro and micro levels. This track particularly invites papers on the following issues:


- Institutions and international business.

- Culture and MNC organization.

- Scientific, culture, business culture and knowledge creation.

- Local culture, knowledge spillovers and development.

- International human resource management.


  5.   International Corporate Strategies

CHAIR: Björn Ambos, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (Austria)


This track invites papers that address issues relevant to academics and practitioners interested in global strategy and the management of the MNC. Manuscripts appropriate for this track may include, but are not limited to, those addressing performance, competences, capabilities, competitive advantage, regional and global strategies, multi-market competition, internationalization, innovation, integration and responsiveness, international diversification, strategic learning, strategic networks, strategy processes, knowledge strategies, joint ventures and strategic alliances. This track particularly invites papers on the following issues:


- Local, regional and global strategy.

- Headquarter-subsidiary relations.

- Internationalization strategies and entry modes.

- Leveraging knowledge and capabilities.

- SME internationalization.


  6.  Corporate R&D and Knowledge Transfer

CHAIR: Lucia Piscitello, Polytechnic of Milan (Italy)


This track deals with the recent shift emerged in the literature from early emphasis on the transfer of MNC’s technology to the host countries towards a more comprehensive view of the links between internationalisation and innovation, and the attention to the process of “global knowledge creation and exchange”. This changing perspective implies consideration of aspects like the nature of FDI decisions, the international dispersion of innovative activities, international learning and technology sourcing strategies, intra-firm knowledge transmission across borders.


- The internationalisation of R&D and knowledge creation

- Knowledge transfer and reverse knowledge transfer in MNCs

- International alliances, M&As and learning

- Knowledge transfer and catching up


  7.  Corporate Governance, Ethics and Sustainable Development

CHAIR: Ans Kolk, University of Amsterdam Business School (The Netherlands)


This track solicits papers on the whole range of topics related to the governance of MNCs, and to the social, ethical and environmental dimensions/impacts of international business. This also covers MNCs’ interactions with and responsiveness to stakeholders broadly defined (thus including e.g. shareholders, governments, employees, NGOs). We also encourage submissions on MNC responsibilities, strategies and behaviour in relation to global issues such as poverty reduction, global health, human rights, outsourcing/offshoring, climate change, disaster relief. This track particularly invites papers on the following issues:


- Corporate governance across countries and regions, and within MNCs.

- Social, ethical, environmental and development dimensions/impacts of MNCs.

- MNCs’ interactions with stakeholders (including shareholders, NGOs, governments).

- MNCs and global issues (e.g. poverty reduction, human rights, HIV/Aids, climate change).


 8.   International Business and Finance

CHAIR: David M. Reeb, Fox School of Business & Management, Temple University (USA)


This track seeks papers that examine the international financial environment that businesses operate within. The continuing globalisation process increases our need to understand how financial relationships are affected in businesses and how these changes impact the various stakeholders of the firm. Potential topics include such issues as:


- Agency theory and governance in the multinational firm

- The impact of global banking and financial services on multinational firms.

- Transparency differences among firms and markets.

- The impact of market integration on foreign direct investment.


  9.  International Business and International Marketing

CHAIR: Catarina Sismeiro, Tanaka Business School, Imperial College London (UK)


This track seeks papers that address the issues faced by marketers operating in an international setting. Manuscripts appropriate for this track should address issues relevant to either academics or practitioners working in International Marketing and might include, but are not limited to those addressing how the internet and new information technologies have impacted the marketing across borders and cultures, the role of culture in defining international marketing strategies and tactics, adaptation-standardization issues in international marketing, the impact of geography and space in marketing across countries or cultures, the estimation methods used to deal with space and geography in marketing models, how to market to minorities or emigrants within a country, and studies of country-of-origin effects. This track particularly invites papers on the following issues:


- The use of the internet and new technologies to market across borders or cultures.

- Cross-cultural marketing and the impact of culture on consumer behaviour.

- Geographical and spatial effects in marketing across borders.

- Methodological issues in estimation, inference, and study development in International Marketing.


  10.   Economic Policy Issues

CHAIR: Rajneesh Narula, University of Reading (UK)


This track pays special attention to the policy dimension of international business, at the regional, national and supranational level. How are the activities of MNEs affected by industrial, science or technology policies of host and home governments? How do policy initiatives at the EU and the WTO influence the organization of MNEs activities? How are formal and informal institutions determine the nature of international business? This track particularly invites papers on the following issues:


- MNE activity and the WTO agreements.

- Science and technology policy.

- Institutions and systems of learning.

- National and supranational policy.

- Government regulation and failure.

University of Catania Faculty of Political Science University of Catania
EIBA web site