Chinese Firms in the midst of de-globalization and a global pandemic

Call for papers for: Emerging Markets Case Studies

Submission deadline: November 1st, 2021

Guest Editors:

  • Professor William Wei, MacEwan University School of Business, President, International Case Research Association
  • Dr S Bruce Thomson, Lecturer, MacEwan University of Business, Vice President, International Case Research Association 
  • Professor Haibo Hu, Dean, School of Business, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Member of Advisory Committee, International Case Research Association
  • Dr Jingyue Xu, Associate Professor, Director of Management Case & Teaching Innovation Research Center, Deputy Director of China Social Science Case Center, Renmin University, China. Member of Advisory Committee, International Case Research Association.

EMCS Editor-in-Chief: Professor Michael Goldman, University of San Francisco & Adjunct Faculty at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, Member of Advisory Committee, International Case Research Association


Global trade is undergoing shifts of change driven by such factors as, de-globalization, the Covid 19 pandemic and the emergence of the 4th industrial revolution. Chinese businesses have been at the forefront of change in the world market. Yet, the pathway has not been easy.  The Chinese government’s ‘going global’ policy provided the impetus for Chinese multinational corporations (MNCs). By 2019 over 27,500 Chinese companies created 44,000 enterprises in 188 countries across the world (MOFCOM, 2020). Due to Chinese investments, the economic, social and political landscape of transitioning and developing countries is being transformed. and all this is occurring in the backdrop of de-globalization and the pandemic.

The process of weakening interdependence among nations, may lead to firm’s difficulty of acquiring knowledge and resource overseas, and thus undermine firm’s capability of utilizing internationalization as pathway to improve its innovation is the common definition of de-globalization. The consequences of de-globalization can be seen in the decline in the flows of international trade and FDI (Witt, 2009a). Global decoupling is seen in the weakening of economic and technological domains (Li, 2019), and in political and ideological spheres (Dupont, 2020).  The ongoing cases of Tiktok, WeChat, Huawei, ARM, Zoom, among other high-tech firms (Helberg, 2020; The Economist, 2020a, 2020b) illustrate the far-reaching consequences of global decoupling (Li, 2019; Teece, 2020; Witt, 2009b).

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic reveals vulnerabilities of global supply chains, dramatically intensifying de-globalization undercurrents and global decoupling (e.g., O’Neil, 2020; Schell, 2020). MNEs are now forced to consider adopting new configurations ecosystems. A new reality consistent with the framing of de-globalization (Witt, 2019a, 2019b) is now evident.

With this as a backdrop this virtual issue raises the question of how Chinese firms manage to survive and thrive in this dynamic environment filled with promise and risk. This virtual issue then calls for decision focused management cases focusing on Chinese firms, particularly in the pandemic era.

Topics and Scope:

Cases are expected to address but are not limited to the following main themes:

  • Contextual forces facing Chinese firms in de-globalization and global decoupling.
  • How Chinese firms manage the US/China trade battles.
  • Implications the role of geopolitical forces or complex versions of state capitalism and techno-nationalism.
  • Impact of the pandemic on corporate strategies, leadership styles, and new organizations forms in Chinese MNCs or domestic firms.
  • Impact of digitalization (e.g., cloud computing, AI, block chain, and 3D printing, among others) on strategies, organizational structures, and managerial skills in Chinese MNCs or domestic enterprises.
  • Impact of an economic and technological cold war between the US and China on Chinese MBCs or domestic enterprises.

Submission guidelines

Completed case studies and teaching notes must follow the Emerging Markets Case Studies collection author guidelines (which can be found here) and be submitted by November 1st, 2021. Additional guidelines on case writing are available on the Emerald Cases Learning Hub, found here.

To submit your case, first create an author account here and then follow the on-screen guidance which takes you through the submission process. Please select the option "Chinese Firms in the midst of de-globalization and a global pandemic" when prompted to choose from issue options. If you have any questions about the submission process, please contact the EMCS Lead Juliet Harrison at [email protected]

All cases will be double-blind peer-reviewed before acceptance and all cases published in EMCS are eligible for a payment of £100 or equivalent currency.


  • Dupont, A. 2020. New Cold War: De-risking US-China conflict. Hinrich Foundation.
  • Helberg, 2020. Silicon Valley can’t be neutral in the U.S.-China Cold War: Firms like Zoom show that ‘one company, two systems’ doesn’t work. Foreign Policy. Accessed on June 23, 2020. Available at
  • Li, W. 2019. Towards economic decoupling? Mapping Chinese discourse on the China-US trade war. Chinese Journal of International Politics, 12: 519–556.
  • O’Neil, S. K. 2020. How to pandemic-proof globalization: Redundancy, not re-shoring, is the key to supply-chain security. Foreign Affairs. Access on April 1, 2020. Available at:
  • Schell, O. 2020a. The ugly end of Chimerica: The coronavirus pandemic has turned a conscious uncoupling into a messy breakup. Foreign Policy, Spring Issue: 26–29.
  • Teece, D. J. 2020. Fundamental issues in strategy: Time to reassess? Strategic Management Review, 1(1): 103–144.
  • The Economist. 2020a. China v America: Doing business with China. Accessed on July 18, 2020. Available at
  • The Economist. 2020b. Will TikTok survive? Accessed on September 19, 2020. Available at
  • Witt, M. A. 2019a. De-globalization: Theories, predictions, and implications for international business research. Journal of International Business Studies, 50: 1053–1077.
  • Witt, M.A. 2019b. China’s challenge: Geopolitics, de-globalization, and the future of Chinese business. Management and Organization Review, 15(4): 687–704.