March 26-27, 2004
The 5th Annual International Business Research Forum
Temple University CIBER and Institute for Business and Information Technology
- Masaaki Kotabe
- Munir Mandviwalla
Over the years, two fundamental counteracting forces have shaped the nature of international business operations and research. The same counteracting forces have been revisited by many authors in such terms as “standardization vs. adaptation” (1960s-70s), “globalization vs. localization” (1970s-80s), and then “global integration vs. local responsiveness” (1980s-90s). If the recent explosive growth of information technology (IT) is considered, one could suggest a new IT-relevant one, “online scale vs. offline sensitivity,” to the litany of the supply-side and demand-side counteracting forces.Although terms have changed, the quintessence of the strategic dilemma that globally operating companies face has not changed and may even remain unchanged for years to come. Are these terms just fashionable dichotomous (either/or) concepts of the time without some deep meanings? Or has something inherently changed in the nature of global strategy and competition under the influence of IT? Indeed, more recent views suggest these counteracting forces are no longer an either/or issue. Forward-looking, proactive firms have the ability and willingness to accomplish both tasks simultaneously.As a result, changes wrought by IT are profound and need to be expressly incorporated in international business (IB) theory development. Theoretical concepts (e.g., transaction costs, information asymmetry, and cultural distance) and operational concepts (e.g., product development cycle, product differentiation, and market segmentation) may need to be recast in light of the growth of IT.
In this research forum we wish to foster a dialogue among scholars studying the effect of IT on IB strategy and theory development in an attempt to develop a more integrated view of the working of the modern MNCs in the global marketplace. About twelve papers will be selected for presentation at the 5th Annual IB Research Forum at Temple University, scheduled for March 26-27, 2004. Temple CIBER and Institute for Business and Information Technology will cover the presenters’ travel and lodging expenses. Subsequently, the best papers from the research forum will be published in a Special Issue of the Journal of International Management.