Online from: 2003
Subject Area: International Business
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Article citation: Alan M. Rugman, (2011) "Moving MBR to Emerald and the domain of MBR", Multinational Business Review, Vol. 19 Iss: 1, pp. -
Starting with Volume 19, Multinational Business Review (MBR) will be published in partnership with Emerald. Future submissions will be edited using the Emerald online submission system. Starting with MBR 19:1, all articles will be published and be available electronically. During this calendar year, Emerald will also place Volumes 1-18 of MBR online. At MBR, we are very pleased that our important articles will now become more widely accessible through electronic searches on the Emerald web site. Subscribers to MBR will be able to elect to receive either a hard copy or an electronic copy. MBR will continue to be edited at Saint Louis University by the Boeing Institute of International Business (IB) in the John Cook School of Business headed by Seung H. Kim. The Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Review Board will remain independent of Emerald and the current Editor and existing members of the Editorial Review Board will remain in situ.
The mission statement of MBR will continue to be that adopted in July 2009:
The focus of MBR is upon the strategy, operations and performance of the multinational enterprise (MNE). MBR welcomes manuscripts across all areas of IB but requires that they explicitly relate to the MNE. The journal also welcomes papers from all cognate areas of IB such as economics, finance, marketing, operations, human relations, sociology, or psychology, when such papers relate their findings to the activities of the MNE.
The editorial statement for MBR was amended on July 1, 2009 to focus upon research explaining “the strategy, operations and performance of multinational enterprises (MNEs)”. We are pleased that, starting with Volume 18, MBR now attracts leading edge studies of the MNE. We are particularly pleased that these papers blend keen theoretical insight with detailed empirical work, including innovative contributions, such as the M curve fit for multinationality and performance by Ian Lee in 18:4. As MBR moves into partnership with Emerald, why will this focus on MNEs remain relevant and make MBR into one of the leading journals in the field of IB?
The answer to this question can be found by deconstructing the recent editorial by the new editors of JIBS, “Positioning JIBS as an interdisciplinary journal”, JIBS (2011) 42, 1-9. In what is an articulate restatement of current orthodoxy in the IB field, Cantwell and Brannan ably demonstrate that JIBS is a “row” journal, positioned against disciplinary “columns” in the traditional matrix of disciplinary columns and subject/issues rows. Indeed, it could be argued that JIBS has always been a row journal, bringing rich institutional context and international breadth for 50 years to the theoretical depth exhibited in basic disciplines such as economics, finance, marketing, political science and management.
Cantwell and Brannan’s main point is that JIBS has really followed a multidisciplinary approach, attempting to bring into IB the new theoretical and empirical advances in core disciplines. Some 20 years ago we called this a “multiple perspectives” approach to IB. Scholars in disciplines such as economics and strategic management brought transaction cost economics thinking and the resource-based view, respectively, to the field of IB. Scholars in organization studies brought cross-cultural studies and analysis of human resource management. More recently, concepts such as real options and dynamic capabilities have been incorporated into IB theory.
Cantwell and Brannan argue that now IB scholarship needs to become more interdisciplinary, not just multidisciplinary. New interdisciplinary research will need to develop “row” insights across functions, yielding greater breadth without a loss of disciplinary depth. As an example of good interdisciplinary research they cite Dunning’s OLI framework. This brought together insights from internalization theory (I), economic geography and trade policy in terms of country level location factors (L) and firm-specific ownership advantages (O). However, while the inaugural OLI framework provided a useful framework for analysis of foreign direct investment at macro-level, it has been less successful in incorporating firm-level strategy, see the six papers in MBR 18:2 for a useful debate about the value of O advantages.
Indeed, interdisciplinary research may well amount to wishful thinking since knowledge of the institutional complexity and breadth of insight across disciplines is difficult to acquire. It is not in traditional PhD programs around the world. While the current editors of JIBS and some senior scholars may possess such interdisciplinary insight, it is doubtful that the vast majority of IB referees, trained in mainstream disciplines, will recognize such work. Therefore, at MBR we shall continue to focus upon the MNE from a multiple perspectives/disciplinary approach. Of course, if we see a good interdisciplinary paper we shall happily snap it up. In conclusion, at MBR we are looking for good papers with a focus on the MNE and we are very open to any relevant research perspective.
Alan M. Rugman