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date: 13 June 2021

(p. vi) Preface to First Edition

(p. vi) Preface to First Edition

In response to the new initiative of OUP to launch the Oxford Handbook series we invited leading scholars in the field of international business to write original state of the art literature reviews for this book. These chapters are designed to survey and synthesize the relevant literature. Each author has been encouraged to bring analytical insight and critical thinking to this task.

Each of the potential authors identified is an authority on the topic, as recognized by an extensive set of publications in leading refereed journals and by citations to this body of work. All have been active as leaders in the Academy of International Business, the professional body for scholars in the field of international business with a worldwide membership of approximately 3,000 academics. All have attended the annual conferences of the AIB or published in the Journal of International Business Studies. One of the two editors of this book is Professor Thomas Brewer, the current editor of JIBS and thereby positioned at the centre of the most extensive network of authors and referees in the area of international business. The second editor, Professor Alan Rugman, has been identified as one of the five most influential scholars in the field of international business, based on citation counts. He is the author or editor of thirty books in the field.

In order to determine appropriate contributors to the Oxford Handbook of International Business, and therein its content, the editors have consulted two ‘domain’ statements. First is that of the Academy of International Business, as reflected in the statement of the editorial board of JIBS.

The Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) welcomes manuscripts on multinational and other firms' business activities, strategies and managerial processes that cross national boundaries. The journal also welcomes manuscripts on the interactions of such firms with their economic, political and cultural environments. We are interested in papers that are exceptional in terms of theory, evidence, or methodology and that significantly advance social scientific research on international business. As a methodologically pluralistic journal, JIBS welcomes conceptual and theory‐development papers, empirical hypothesis‐testing papers, mathematical modeling papers, case studies, and review articles. The journal has a special interest in research on important issues that transcend the boundaries of single academic disciplines and managerial functions. We therefore welcome inter‐disciplinary scholarship and commentaries that challenge the paradigms and assumptions of individual disciplines or functions; such papers, however, should be grounded in conceptual and/or empirical literature. The journal does not accept manuscripts about teaching materials or methods.

The second statement is that of the International Management Division of the Academy of Management.

International Management. Specific domain: content pertaining to theory, research and practice with an international or cross‐cultural dimension. Major topics include investigations of the adjustments organizations make in order to succeed in various countries; investigations of the cross‐border management of operations, including multi‐country, multi‐unit strategy formulations and implementations; investigations of evolving organizational forms and management practices that are the consequence of the interaction of two or more socially‐ embedded, multi‐level, evolving business processes (from individual to supranational) and their outputs; investigations of the cross‐border differential impact of cultural, social, economic, technological, and political forces on organizational forms and management practices; comparative management studies; and other research with an international dimension.

Based on these two domain statements, Professors Brewer and Rugman met and interacted on numerous occasions to develop and refine the list of twenty‐eight chapters. These chapters cover all of the major themes identified in these domain statements. The book is arranged in six parts dealing in turn with:

  1. i. History and Theory of the Multinational Enterprise: six chapters;

  2. ii. The Political and Regulatory Environment: five chapters;

  3. iii. Strategy and International Management: four chapters;

  4. iv. Managing the MNE: four chapters;

  5. v. Area Studies: three chapters;

  6. vi. Methodological Issues: four chapters.

This structure, and the potential contributions, have been discussed with several other senior scholars in the field of international business. The design of the book reflects the current content of the field and also covers the major intellectual issues of current and likely future interest. For example, a key long‐term intellectual debate stems from the contrasting disciplinary perspectives of economics and political science as they analyse the role of multinational enterprises and public policy. In Part ii our chapters are linked to address this core issue; and authors in Parts i, iii, iv, and v were requested to consider this issue in their particular chapters. Another debate relates to the influence of culture on firm strategy and structure. Besides Chapters 18 and 22 which specifically address the issue, this was also considered by the authors of Chapters 13–15 and 24–8.

A.R. and T. B.