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Internationalization of Central and Eastern European firms: trends and strategies


Special issue call for papers from European Business Review

Since the 1990s Central and Eastern European (CEE) economies have reached a level of development and openness that allows local firms to operate in foreign markets. Over the past decade, transition economies from CEE have been the fastest-growing host and home region for FDI (UNCTAD, 2014). Although these economies have attracted a huge amount of academic research following their opening in the 1990s, most studies thus far have focused on foreign firms’ operations in these markets and on the difficulties to adapt to a different institutional framework (Gebulda, Meyer and Delios, 2008; Meyer and Su, 2015). Very few studies have analyzed the internationalization of CEE firms. In a recent study on the emerging market firms in fourteen top international management journals from 2000 to 2010, Jormanainen and Koveshnikov (2012) identify only three articles out of fifty on international activities of CEE firms. Existing studies on this topic mostly analyze the international expansion of Russian multinationals (Kalotay and Sulstarova, 2010), or they analyze CEE outward FDI using the Dunning’s Investment Development Path framework (Stoian, 2013). Research on the internationalization motives and the ways CEE firms internationalize remains extremely limited. In addition, performance implications of these firms’ international operations are under-researched.

Expanding research on the internationalization of CEE firms deserves academic interest because these economies have experienced profound changes over the past twenty-five years and a better understanding of the interactions between the institutional context and firm strategy may contribute to theory (Peng, Wang and Jiang, 2008; Kiss, Danis and Cavusgil, 2012; Kafouros and Aliyev, 2015). Indeed, the transition from planned to market-oriented economy has strongly influenced the internationalization processes of firms (Meyer & Peng, 2005; LiPuma, Newbert and Doh, 2013). Moreover, several CEE countries have become members of the European Union (EU) over the last ten years and several others are official candidates. This increased market integration creates new opportunities and threats for CEE firms because it opens new export and investment opportunities through the reduction of transaction costs, but on the other hand it increases competitive pressure and the burden of regulatory harmonization. These on-going transformations are shaping the business environment in the EU and their study is of utmost importance for the European Commission, as illustrated by their inclusion in Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation Programme.    

The special issue solicits theoretical and empirical (quantitative and case-based) articles that contribute to the understanding of the internationalization of CEE firms addressing, but not restricted to, the following range of issues:

  • What are the motives, the determinants, the modes and the speed of entry, the location patterns of the international operations of CEE firms?
  • Which theoretical frameworks can be used to analyze the internationalization of CEE firms?
  • Do the findings on the internationalization of CEE firms challenge existing theoretical frameworks? Why and how?
  • What are the sectoral specificities of CEE internationalized firms?
  • What is the impact of structural reforms (privatization, restructuration, international openness) on the internationalization of CEE firms?
  • What is the role of the different dimensions of EU membership in the internationalization of CEE firms?
  • Over the last 20 years CEE countries have received a large amount of FDI. How does foreign presence/ownership affect local firms’ internationalization?
  • How does the existing institutional framework shape the internationalization of new ventures in CEE economies?
  • Service sector is less developed in CEE countries. How do CEE service firms internationalize?
  • What is the role of the State in the internationalization of CEE firms? How do State-Owned CEE firms expand abroad?
  • How different are CEE firms from other emerging countries’ firms in terms of international strategies and performances?

References

Gelbuda, M., Meyer, K. E., & Delios, A. (2008). International business and institutional development in Central and Eastern Europe. Journal of International Management, 14(1), 1-11.

Kalotay, K., & Sulstarova, A. (2010). Modelling Russian outward FDI. Journal of International Management, 16(2), 131-142.

Kiss, A. N., Danis, W. M., & Cavusgil, S. T. (2012). International entrepreneurship research in emerging economies: A critical review and research agenda. Journal of Business Venturing, 27(2), 266-290.

Jormanainen, I., & Koveshnikov, P. C. A. (2012). International activities of emerging market firms. Management International Review, 52(5), 691-725.

Kafouros, M., & Aliyev, M. (2015). Institutional development and firm profitability in transition economies. Journal of World Business, doi:10.1016/j.jwb.2015.06.002.

LiPuma, J. A., Newbert, S. L., & Doh, J. P. (2013). The effect of institutional quality on firm export performance in emerging economies: a contingency model of firm age and size. Small Business Economics, 40(4), 817-841.

Meyer, K. E., & Peng, M. W. (2005). Probing theoretically into Central and Eastern Europe: Transactions, resources and institutions. Journal of International Business Studies, 36(6), 600–621.

Meyer, K. E., & Su, Y. S. (2015). Integration and responsiveness in subsidiaries in emerging economies. Journal of World Business, 50(1), 149-158.

Peng, M. W., Wang, D. Y., & Jiang, L. Y. (2008). An institution-based view of international business strategy: A focus on emerging economies. Journal of International Business Studies, 39(5), 920–936

Stoian, C. (2013). Extending Dunning's investment development path: The role of home country institutional determinants in explaining outward foreign direct investment. International Business Review, 22(3), 615-637.

UNCTAD (2014), World Investment Report 2014, UN: Geneva.

Submission Process

Submitted articles should be original contributions and should not be not under review for publication elsewhere at the same time. All papers that pass the preliminary screening will be blind peer-reviewed. Manuscript should be between 4000 and 6000 words in length, inclusive of all text, tables and references. Submitted manuscripts should comply to the format indicated in the submission guidelines on the journal website: http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=ebr
 
Deadline for submission: December 15, 2015
Notifications to authors: February 15, 2016
Expected publication date: June 2016

Questions about the Special Issue may be directed to the guest editors:

- Marina Dabic, University of Zagreb, Croatia ([email protected]) and Nottingham Trent University, UK ([email protected])
- Olivier Lamotte, Paris School of Business, France ([email protected])