Academic journal article Journal of East European Management Studies

Emerging Advanced Topics in an Advanced Emerging Market? International Business Research in Poland in the Period 1990-2014 *

Academic journal article Journal of East European Management Studies

Emerging Advanced Topics in an Advanced Emerging Market? International Business Research in Poland in the Period 1990-2014 *

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Being the largest Central and Eastern European (CEE) economy, Poland has gradually increased its integration into the network of global economic ties by increasing its share of world trade and foreign direct investment (Gorynia/ Nowak/Wolniak 2006). The rising internationalisation of Poland's economy, industries and firms has frequently been considered as one the key drivers of the country's transformation toward a market-based economy. In fact, the significant political and economic shift in the CEE region in 1989 opened both the economies and firms of the region to the global economy. This process was simultaneously facilitated by the implementation of a new economic policy, which inter alia included liberalised prices, privatisation of previously state-owned firms, a shift of the geographic profile of trade relations from the former Soviet bloc towards Western European economies, and not least opening several key industries to foreign direct investment (Gorynia/Nowak/Wolniak 2003). Furthermore, similar to some other post-communist countries from the region, the transformation also required the convertibility of the national currency, foreign trade demonopolization, cancellation of non-tariff trade barriers, liberalised customs tariffs or the restoration of economic freedom for international business transactions (Gorynia 2002). These changes were further complemented by Poland's accession to international organisations such as the OECD and particularly the European Union. Indeed, the increasing internationalisation of Poland's economy can be reflected by its share of global exports and foreign direct investment (FDI) stocks. Poland moved from the position of 38th exporter in value terms to the 27th rank between 1990 and 2010 (Gorynia 2012).

In line with the internationalisation of economies and firms from the CEE region, Poland being only one of numerous cases, the academic discipline of international business also embarked upon a brand new stage of development. Many economics and management scholars from the CEE started reflecting on the macro- and micro-economic level globalisation of the region, providing conceptual and empirical contributions to the academic debate on the specificity of internationalisation into and from emerging markets. As Oblój (2014) put it, emerging markets constitute a promising ground for refining and enriching extant theoretical concepts of international business. However, after more than two decades of economic transformation in the region, the present economic positioning of CEE economies is highly heterogeneous and, in some instances, highly ambiguous (Trqpczynski 2015). In the case of Poland, some international institutions still classify the country as an emerging market (see e.g. MSCI 2013), while others regard it as an advanced economy (see e.g. UNCTAD 2013). FTSE (2013) assigns Poland to the "Advanced Emerging" category in terms of, inter alia, market institutions quality, consistency and predictability, stability and market access.1 This indicates an intermediate position and inevitably raises a valid question as to how research in the context of a mid-income country can contribute to extant international business scholarship, which has strongly accentuated either the traditional developed country contexts, in which a bulk of the mainstream international business theory is rooted, or emerging countries, with BRIC countries occupying a prominent role. Thus, the main aim of this review article is to examine the evolution of international business research in Poland in 1990-2014, with a particular focus on the relative relevance of different sub-disciplines, specific research themes addressed, research methods and publication outlets.2 Thereby, it is to be examined whether and to what extent research on a specific context has contributed and can further contribute to the field international business. In order to fulfil this objective, the findings of a structured review of conceptual and empirical contributions to international business scholarship in Poland are presented and discussed in this paper. …

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