Critical Perspectives in International Business Education: why, what, and how?


Submission Deadline: 30th June, 2022


Guest Editors

Aušrinė Šilenskytė, University of Vaasa, Finland

Brent Burmester, The University of Auckland, New Zealand

Cyntia Vilasboas Calixto Casnici, Fundaçao Getulio Vargas, Brazil & University of Leeds, United Kingdom

Daria Panina, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, USA

Miguel Cordova, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Peru

S. Tamer Cavusgil, Georgia State University, USA


About critical perspectives on international business (cpoib)

The mission of cpoib is to exclusively support critical reflections on the nature and impact of contemporary international business (IB) activities around the globe from inter-, trans- and multidisciplinary perspectives. The journal places a special emphasis on contemporary societal issues and is open for work that seeks to challenge dominant discourses and evaluates the effects of their IB activities on the global economy and national societies.

Scope and Rationale of the Special Issue

Critical thinking is becoming one of the major learning outcomes as universities increasingly engage in international accreditations (Desai, Berger, and Higgs, 2016). However, the term ‘critical’ does not always mean the same. Critical thinking is deeply embedded in academic tradition since the days of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle (Atabaki, Keshtiaray, and Yarmohammadian, 2015). Critical thinking is rational, skeptical and unbiased analysis and evaluation of the facts considering entire set of evidence (Clarke, 2020). On the contrary, critical perspectives are uplifting the importance of subjectivity, inter-personal connections, power use based on interests, and their influence on knowledge, on individual and organizational behaviour in local and in international context. Critical perspectives go beyond analytical investigation and consider context and power-sensitive realities within MNCs and around them (Boussebaa and Morgan, 2014). Thus, critical perspectives concern “critical themes such as corruption or corporate and social responsibility (CSR)”, but also various interdisciplinary perspectives and brings “discussion of the many political, social, economic and environmental problems and concerns cross border economic activity raises” (Roberts and Dörrenbächer, 2012, p.6). In other words, critical perspectives raise normative considerations in addition to analytical observations of various forms of capitalism, and social trends; also, they question assumptions of exclusively positive impact of MNCs and their operations.

Consequently, questions comprising critical perspectives in IB are familiar to every IB educator. IB educators may consider: Do discussions in IB classroom introduce diverse perspectives and interests from around the world? Are we leading in depth and sometimes-uncomfortable discussions within our IB classrooms, or are we just scratching the surface of IB-related problems, such as hidden costs of MNC operations, (mis)management of global supply chains, identities assigned to international managers, and alike? How well do we educate future international managers to understand complexities of cross-border operations and evaluate potential tradeoffs between the three spheres of sustainability? Do our courses facilitate the development of independent, reflective international managers who are able to make responsible decisions, facilitate inclusion of racially and culturally diverse workforce, and promote diverse economic interests? Despite the significance of critical perspectives in IB education, studies on this topic are scarce, and only few contributions are available (e.g., Alcadipani and Caldas, 2012; Aula and Tienari, 2011; Beech, 2006; Fuchs, 2020; Joy and Poonamallee, 2013; Sliwa and Grandy, 2006).

Critical perspectives are not alien to IB scholarship, they are not limited to the research within the realms of the critical theory, and therefore they could be incorporated in research-based IB education. Critical questions were present even in seminal IB theories. For example, Hymer (1976) has raised questions and observations on MNC social impact inspiring further explorations on the topic of power (e.g., Yamin and Forsgren, 2006). Forsgren (2017) in the famous overview of all six classical IB streams of thought has dedicated a separate section to analyze how each view of the MNC addresses (or not) social and political impact of and such issues within the MNC. More recently critical perspectives are also popping up in mainstream IB journals. For instance, Geary and Aguzzoli (2016) demonstrate how incorporating analysis of perspectives from multiple stakeholders can help to understand certain IB phenomenon better. Moeller and Maley (2018) shed light on lesbian, gay and bisexual experiences in their expatriation assignments. Vaara, Tienari, and Koveshnikov (2019) elaborate on the ways MNC engage in national identity politics. Unfortunately, such research has been rarely extensively covered in IB textbooks, cases, or other teaching materials. IB educators are lacking understanding on how to integrate these and similar publications in their courses.

Finally, “learning involves transforming how we understand our experiences of ‘reality’ to free ourselves to think differently” (Huber and Knights, 2021, p.18). It is necessary to recognize that critical perspectives in IB education require pedagogical approaches that uplift social interaction and consider learning as social rather than an individual experience (Huber and Knights, 2021; Perriton and Reynolds, 2018). However, it remains unexplored, what teaching methods would be suitable to achieve these learning outcomes or create such learning environments.

Overall, we believe that there is a need to start addressing critical perspectives in IB education more systematically, so that IB education globally would shift from reactive to proactive stance in preparing future managers for their international careers. As there are more questions of diverse nature around the critical perspectives in IB education than well-established or at least potential answers, we are calling for papers that investigate but are not limited to the issues listed below.


Potential topics (the list is not exhaustive) that are welcomed to the special issue are:

  • Defining critical perspectives in IB education: when can we consider a course, or a lecture comprising critical perspectives? How and in what ways extending the boundaries of the topics that are considered as appropriate in IB education may benefit students embarking on an IB career?
  • How to teach classical IB theories with critical perspectives?
  • Myths and realities about critical perspectives in IB education
  • Why critical perspectives in IB education are important? What critique and skepticism they may face and from whom?
  • What powers and organizations and in what ways influence IB education forms and its content?
  • Power of IB scholarship tradition and its influence on IB education ability to remain rigorous and relevant
  • Contrasts and similarities of critical perspectives in IB education in developed and emerging countries
  • Suitable teaching materials and methods to pedagogically utilize these materials when teaching critical perspectives in IB; tools for teaching critical perspectives in IB courses. How does e-internationalization trend impact teaching critical perspectives on IB?
  • Regenerative systems and sustainability (economical, ecological, and social), and their role in IB education
  • To what extent and in what ways integration of critical perspectives in IB education would support achievement of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals?
  • Topics beyond sustainability that could and should be addressed in the IB courses (e.g., ethics, non-market issues, political and corporate scandals, corruption, and others), which aim to foster, or address critical perspectives
  • Critical perspectives and critical thinking in IB: how the two could support each other in IB education? What is lost when only critical thinking is utilized when teaching IB?
  • Student reactions to critical perspectives in IB courses. How to address diverse reactions appropriately? How to support students in handling ambiguity which critical perspectives in IB education are likely to bring? How to handle potential tensions when teaching critical perspectives in culturally and racially diverse classroom?
  • Uplifting students from the disadvantaged groups, or regions, with diverse abilities, or unconventional thinking via the IB education: methods and best practices
  • Critical perspectives in IB education in undergraduate, master’s, PhD, and executive programs: similarities and differences in the needs and scope
  • Motives, incentives, and potential challenges for an IB educator to integrate critical perspectives in their courses. How to overcome internal and external resistance when integrating critical perspectives in IB programs and classes?  
  • The role of IB scholars in designing education programs and courses that develop international managers who are able to internalize takeaways from global crises (CoVid, Global Financial crisis, etc.) and take initiatives to improve organizational and institutional loopholes that lead to those crises.
  • How IB educators could utilize global pandemics and its aftermath to initiate wider inclusion of critical perspectives in IB education?


This special issue welcomes conceptual work with insights on teaching philosophies and approaches that would suit integration of critical perspectives in IB education within the existing normative and other institutional constrains. In addition, both qualitative and quantitative studies are welcomed. Ideally, this special issue will create foundations on how IB educators who are interested in taking proactive stance in sustainable and responsible education of future international managers could approach this process, how they could cope with potential internal and external resistance to their initiatives. Moreover, we hope that the special issue will suggest the principles for how to design IB programs and courses that incorporate critical perspectives while still acknowledging value and insights from the classical IB theories. 


Submission Process and Deadlines

Submission Instructions

All papers will be subjected to double-blind peer review. Author guidelines are available at

Papers will be reviewed in accordance with cpoib guidelines. Submissions to this special issue of cpoib are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts via


Submissions open: 10th January 2022

Submission deadline: 30th June 2022

Estimated publication date: late 2023 or early 2024

More Information

Enquires about the special issue should be directed to the guest editors –

Aušrinė Šilenskytė ([email protected])

Brent Malcolm Burmester ([email protected])

Cyntia Vilasboas Calixto Casnici ([email protected])

Daria Panina ([email protected])

Miguel Cordova ([email protected])

S. Tamer Cavusgil ([email protected])



Alcadipani, R. and Caldas, M.P. (2012), "Americanizing Brazilian management", Critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 37-55.

Atabaki, A., Keshtiaray, N., and Yarmohammadian, M. (2015), "Scrutiny of critical thinking concept", International Education Studies, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 93-102.

Aula, H.M. and Tienari, J. (2011), "Becoming “world‐class”? Reputation‐building in a university merger", Critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 7-29.

Beech, N. (2006), "Intense, vigorous, soft and fun: Identity work and the international mba", Critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 41-57.

Boussebaa, M. and Morgan, G. (2014), "Pushing the frontiers of critical international business studies", critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 10 No. 1/2, pp. 96-106.

Clarke, J. (2020), Critical dialogues: Thinking together in turbulent times, Policy Press, Bristol.

Desai, M.S., Berger, B.D., and Higgs, R. (2016), "Critical thinking skills for business school graduates as demanded by employers: A strategic perspective and recommendations", Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 10-31.

Forsgren, M. (2017), Theories of the multinational firm: A multidimensional creature in the global economy (3rd ed.), Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK.

Fuchs, M. (2020), "MNCs’ open international strategy–local dynamics: Transfer of German “vocational education and training” to emerging economies", critical perspectives on international business, pp. Advance online publication.

Geary, J. and Aguzzoli, R. (2016), "Miners, politics and institutional caryatids: Accounting for the transfer of HRM practices in the Brazilian multinational enterprise", Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 47 No. 8, pp. 968-96.

Huber, G. and Knights, D. (2021), "Identity work and pedagogy: Revisiting george herbert mead as a vehicle for critical management education and learning", Academy of Management Learning & Education, pp. Advance online publication.

Hymer, S.H. (1976), The international operations of national firms: A study of direct foreign investment (Mit monographs in economics ; 14), MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Joy, S. and Poonamallee, L. (2013), "Cross-cultural teaching in globalized management classrooms: Time to move from functionalist to postcolonial approaches?", Academy of Management Learning & Education, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 396-413.

Moeller, M. and Maley, J.F. (2018), "MNC considerations in identifying and managing lgb expatriate stigmatization", International Journal of Management Reviews, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 325-42.

Perriton, L. and Reynolds, M. (2018), "Critical management education in challenging times", Management Learning, Vol. 49 No. 5, pp. 521-36.

Roberts, J. and Dörrenbächer, C. (2012), "The futures of critical perspectives on international business", Critical Perspectives on International Business, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 4-13.

Sliwa, M. and Grandy, G. (2006), "Real or hyper‐real?", Critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 8-24.

Vaara, E., Tienari, J., and Koveshnikov, A. (2019), "From cultural differences to identity politics: A critical discursive approach to national identity in multinational corporations", Journal of Management Studies No. Advance online publication.

Yamin, M. and Forsgren, M. (2006), "Hymer's analysis of the multinational organization: Power retention and the demise of the federative MNE", International Business Review, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 166-79.


About the Special Issue Editors

Dr. Aušrinė Šilenskytė, University Teacher, School of Management, University of Vaasa, Finland – Dr. Šilenskytė teaches various topics related to international management for undergraduates, master’s degree students, as well as professionals in continuous education. She serves as a vice-chair, communications in the AIB Teaching & Education Shared Interest Group. Dr. Šilenskytė holds a PhD in the area of international management, MS. in International Business (University of Vaasa, Finland), and BS in International Economics (Vilnius University, Lithuania). She is an alumnus of prestigious Nord-IB doctoral program. Her research centers on the topics of strategy implementation in MNCs; adoption of digital innovations in MNCs; learning and teaching online; and utilization of critical realism philosophy of science. She has received several international awards for her research and as an educator. Prior to the academic career, she worked in Lithuania and Egypt in several international positions as a manager.  


Dr. Brent Burmester - Director, Centre for Research on Modern Slavery, Department of Management and International Business, The University of Auckland, New Zealand. Dr. Burmester studied law New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington, and international business at the University of Auckland. His research interest focus on the political character, capabilities, and consequences of the MNE, where international law, politics, and business intersect. He is also concerned with the phenomenon of modern slavery, a human rights issue that directly implicates corporations engaged in IB, and engages with NGOs, government, companies, and fellow academics in order to understand and remedy the problem.


Dr. Cyntia Vilasboas Calixto Casnici, Lecturer in Strategy & International Business at Fundaçao Getulio Vargas, Brazil & Teaching Fellow in International Business at University of Leeds, UK - Dr. Casnici has been researching and teaching about Emerging Market Multinationals, non-market strategies developed by Multinational Enterprises and multiple other issues related to International Business, Business Models and Tech Companies. Dr. Casnici integrates mainstream and critical perspectives in teaching IB. She earned her PhD in Business Strategy from FGV, which included an exchange program at the Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. She has substantial experience in supporting foreign companies in doing business in Brazil and advising Brazilian companies interested in exporting and expanding their operations abroad.


Dr. Daria Panina, Clinical Associate Professor of Management, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, USA – Dr. Panina teaches IB and international management courses  at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and directs several Study Abroad programs annually. She holds Ph.D. and M.A. from Rutgers University, USA; MBA from American Institute of Business and Economics, Russia; and B.A. from Moscow State University, Russia. Dr. Panina does research in the areas of cross-cultural skills and global competencies development. Dr. Panina is a chair of the AIB Teaching & Education Shared Interest Group.


Dr. Miguel Cordova, Associate Professor of Management, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Peru – Dr. Cordova has been researching and publishing on the sustainability of supply chains – one of the core areas in which CP in the IB are needed. Dr. Cordova has been providing seminars and leading research discussions on how supply chain scholars and IB educators can bring CP to their research and courses. He was a visiting professor at INSEEC Business School in Paris, UDD in Santiago, ESADE in Barcelona, and UDEM in Monterrey. He is Deputy Editor of 360 Management Journal (Peru). Dr. Cordova is Resources Vice-Chair at Teaching & Education SIG in the Academy of International Business (AIB) and serves as Peru Country Director for AIB Latin America and the Caribbean for the 2021-2024 period.


Dr. S. Tamer Cavusgil, Callaway Professorial Chair, Georgia State University & Founding Executive Director of the Georgia State University CIBER, USA – Dr. Cavusgil is a world-renowned educator, scholar, mentor, journal editor, institution builder, leader of professional societies, and advisor to senior executives and international agencies. A trustee of Sabanci University and visiting professor at Leeds University & University of South Australia. Dr. Cavusgil has authored several dozen books and some 200 refereed journal articles. He mentored over 35 doctoral students at Michigan State & Georgia State who have become accomplished educators themselves. Dr. Cavusgil is the senior author of the leading text International Business: Strategy, Management, and the New Realities, 5th Ed., Pearson Education, co-authored with Gary Knight & John Riesenberger. Dr. Cavusgil holds a BS from Middle East Technical University and MBA & PhD from University of Wisconsin. He has honorary doctorates from The University of Hasselt & University of Southern Denmark, in addition to being the inaugural Honorary Professor at Atilim University. Dr. Cavusgil is an elected Fellow of the AIB.