Academic journal article Management International Review

50 Years of Management International Review and IB/IM Research: An Inventory and Some Suggestions for the Field's Development

Academic journal article Management International Review

50 Years of Management International Review and IB/IM Research: An Inventory and Some Suggestions for the Field's Development

Article excerpt


* The evolution of MIR during the last fifty years shows remarkable similarity with the quantitative and qualitative development of IB/IM research in general. This is not only because the field of IB/IM started about fifty years ago but also because MIR, like the field itself, has been international in its orientation right from the beginning and has played in some aspects a pioneering and influential role in sharpening the profile of IB/IM research.

* Following its influential role during the past half-century, MIR will help develop future avenues promising further improvements in both the quality and scope of IB/IM research.

* To promote this process, we critically analyze the current state of the field in terms of its dominating research style and generate suggestions how identified weaknesses can be overcome.

Keywords: History of MIR * Past and future developments of IB/IM research * Further qualitative and quantitative empirical studies

The Development of Management International Review in the Context of IB/IM Research

According to Richard W. Wright, the academic fields of International Business and International Management (IB/IM) originated in the United States by the mid 1950s and research was done almost exclusively by US scholars (Wright 1970). A few years later, in 1961, the first issue of Management International Review (MIR) was published. This is remarkable in the light of two facts. First, MIR appeared as one of the very early academic journals that dealt with problems and solutions in International Business and International Management. Although MIR, during its early years, was not exclusively dedicated to those core problems of IB/IM that took shape a few years later (Wright 1970), every issue contained papers with a clear international focus. Second, MIR was and is not based in the United States but in Germany. In other words, a research outlet was created in a world region where IB/IM research had been largely neglected up to then.

From a general point of view, the journal's strategy with its initially limited focus on IB/IM was a truly pioneering one, and the corresponding risks of failure were high. However, in a German or even European perspective, research on IB/IM problems was not totally new. By the beginning of the 20th century, a rich stream of European and especially German research and publications on IB/IM evolved (Macharzina and Welge 1989) in parallel with the first big wave of real business internationalization. It lasted until WWI, followed by a short period of recovery in the twenties and early thirties. Afterwards, it took decades to overcome the setbacks of the Nazi regime and WWII also in this dimension. Institutionalized research and teaching in Germany and other continental European countries through appointing IB/IM professors at universities developed incrementally only in the late seventies (Engelhard et al. 1996; Macharzina 2008) although European scholars of the post-war years were strongly driven by the notion of internationalization. Political and economic developments such as the 1957/1958 Treaty of Rome and the significant increase of the FDI activities of many continental European firms demonstrated the need and advantages of taking a cross-border view. Besides, some academics did still remember the beginnings of European and especially German IB/IM research by the turn of the twentieth century.

MIR's entrepreneurial role was not as risky as a superficial view of the general conditions could suggest. Besides being aware of internationalization's advantages, the first editorial team of MIR was a truly international one with members from several European countries and the United States. Among them, Louis Perridon, who became, a few years after MIR's inauguration, its Editor-in-Chief, was himself an example of internationalization at its best. Born in 1918 in the Netherlands, he studied Law and Economics in Paris, received his PhD (Law) at the University of Bordeaux, also in France, and his second doctorate (Habilitation) at the Saarland University in Germany. …

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