Journal of International Management SI CFP: Improving Rigor in Research: Replication Studies in International Management

12-13-2023 19:42

Dear friends and colleagues,
We are seeking scholarly contributions to the replication studies in the domain of International Management:
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Special Issue Proposal for Journal of International Management 


Improving Rigor in Research: Replication Studies in International Management 


Special Issue Editors (listed in alphabetical order of the surname):  

David Ahlstrom (The Chinese University of Hong Kong,

Linda Hsieh (University of Birmingham, 

Bin Liu (Xiamen University,

Eric W. K. Tsang (University of Texas at Dallas,



Submission deadline:  November 1st, 2024 

First author notification:  February 1st, 2025 

Special issue workshop:  August 29th, 2024 

Tentative publication date:   November 1st, 2025 




The international management (IM) discipline has long enthusiastically focused on both novel and practical topics due to the discipline’s rich contextual nature (Buckley, Doh, & Benischke, 2017; Grøgaard, Sartor, & Rademaker, 2022). However, as with scholars in other social sciences, IM scholars have spent substantial efforts on identifying isolated evidence (Delios et al., 2022; Tsang & Kwan, 1999), with limited attempts of replicating prior studies (Dau, Santangelo, & van Witteloostuijn, 2022; Wang, Liu, Delios, Qian, 2023). In fact, replication studies, whether adopting the same or alternative research designs with respect to measurement, analysis, or population (Bettis et al., 2016a; Wang et al., 2023), are employed to assess the reproducibility and repeatability of a particular prior study (Bettis, Helfat, & Shaver, 2016b; Popper, 1959; Tsang & Kwan, 1999). Yet, the literature reveals that many impactful studies in biomedical science and other scientific disciplines fails to replicate (Bettis et al., 2016a; Open Science Collaboration, 2015), implying a shakier foundation of scientific knowledge (Bettis et al., 2016b; Tsang & Kwan, 1999).  

With few exceptions (e.g., Blagoeva, Jensen, & Merchant, 2020; Johnson Jr., Arya, & Mirchandani, 2013; McGuire, James, & Papadopoulos, 2016; Tsang & Yamanoi, 2016), replication studies are not common in the IM discipline. Yet, replication is particularly crucial to IM because IM studies are expected to deliver actionable results and implications (Grøgaard et al., 2022), and they are by definition context-specific as the findings are largely subject to heterogeneous institutional settings in both geographic and temporal aspects (Buckley et al., 2017; Wang et al., 2023). Such heterogeneities are prominent for both developed and developing economies under the recent dynamic, uncertain, and potentially decoupling era (Witt, Lewin, Li, & Gaur, 2023). Therefore, single studies without replication may not generate reliable implications for practitioners given that the significance of the p value indicates “only about the probability of finding a result in a particular sample” (Bettis et al., 2016a: 259). Worse still, researchers tend to focus on finding statistically significant relationships as opposed to substantive effect sizes because journals mostly accept papers in which hypotheses are supported.  

This bias toward significant results leads to the practice of “HARKing” (Hypothesizing After the Results are Known) that represents “post hoc hypotheses in a research report as if they were, in fact, a priori hypotheses” (Kerr 1998: 197). In the case of IM research, cross-country differences and complexities of multinational activities may also cause false positives and biased findings that obfuscate our theoretical understandings as findings derived from any single study are conditional on the sample, period, measures, etc. (Dau et al., 2022; Delios et al., 2022). The lack of replication studies not only runs counter to the fact that replication is a cornerstone of scientific research but also leads to a fragmented body of IM knowledge (Bettis et al., 2016; Tsang & Kwan, 1999).  

Against this backdrop, more scholarly attention toward replication studies is required to strengthen the scientific foundation of IM research and to facilitate the integration of prior research results. While there are replication studies in topics such as performance (Berry & Kaul, 2016; Pisani, Garcia-Bernardo, & Heemskerk, 2020), diversification (Miller & Yang, 2016; Tsang & Yamanoi, 2016), corporate socially irresponsible practices (Bu, Xu, & Liang, 2023), corruption (Wu, Delios, Chen, & Wang, 2023), and international joint ventures (Wang et al., 2023) in the IM field, fewer than 20 replication studies have been published across the broad IM literature over the last five decades (see Dau et al., 2022 for a review). We surely need more replication studies that revisit prior seminal works to probe their robustness, external validity and generalizability by using different measurements, analyses, samples, and/or populations, with special attention toward contextual characteristics. In other words, replication studies help to define the boundary conditions of earlier theorization and harmonize inconsistent findings. After all, we need balanced evidence to build a cumulative body of empirical knowledge that facilitates scholarly conversation (Bettis et al., 2016b; Ethiraj, Gambardella, & Helfat, 2016), and fine tunes theories by addressing where, who, when, and why questions (Dau et al., 2022). Given the rapid developments in computing technologies and the infant state of replication studies, both retests with advanced methods and proposals of newer templates of replication studies are urgently needed to establish the methodological protocols and culture of replication for the IM discipline.     

To draw IM researchers’ attention to replication, we propose a special issue of the Journal of International Management with the title “Improving Rigor in Research: Replication Studies in International Management.” The purpose of this special issue is to foster more of a spirit of replication in the IM field with a focus on contextual characteristics and methodological dialogues. We are interested in heterogeneous institutional settings that may affect the generalizability of impactful IM studies, including but not limited to replications with different samples, time periods, countries and other salient aspects. Potential submitters should think of findings that anchor important topical areas of IM, are widely referenced, or have produced controversial results. It should be noted that replications we seek can either confirm or disconfirm a result. What is important is that they bring additional knowledge to the issue at hand. In this regard, we welcome both primary replications (i.e., a replication of an original empirical study) and secondary replications (i.e., a replication of a prior replication study; e.g., Pisani et al., 2020) that adopt a newer methodology or a more comprehensive dataset. We are also curious about any new methodological thoughts in regard to the approaches to and protocols of replication studies for establishing a more solid methodological foundation. The theme of this special issue is broad enough to attract a quantity of high-quality manuscripts to fill a special issue yet shares enough common elements to provide the cohesion required to make a significant contribution to the IM field. 

Sample Topics  

This proposed JIM Special Issue seeks to provide a better understanding of the theoretical importance of replication studies in IM. New theoretical perspectives, methodological discussions, and empirical evidence can help perfect the theoretical understanding of internationalization behaviors in the new institutional landscape, and how replication studies can be better integrated with IM literature.   

We welcome both theoretical and empirical contributions, and studies at the regional, network, business, or personal level, as well as those adopting multiple levels in their research design. We offer a few questions below to provide a sense of what the special issue seeks to address. These questions are illustrative and not intended to set boundaries in terms of the key themes of interest.  

Within the scope of the special issue, potential themes for individual submissions include, but are not limited to: 

How do changes in the current institutional conditions such as geopolitical tensions and de-globalization sentiments affect the generalizability of prior IM theorization? 
Do results of certain prior IM studies still hold during or after the Covid-19 pandemic? 
Are there any mixed findings across some areas of International Business (IB) studies that replication studies may help reconcile the equivocalness? (We do not seek meta-analyses as they are different from replication studies.) Are there any impactful IM studies that a replication can provide better measurements, an improved model specification, a larger or different sample, etc.?  
How does the advancement in methodology, especially machine learning, affect the reliability and robustness of earlier IB studies? 
Are there any better approaches to conduct replication studies, and what are the criteria and why? 
Is it really troublesome to advocate replication of qualitative studies (i.e., Pratt, Kaplan, & Whittington, 2020) and are there any better ways to conduct such replication studies? 
There is often a presumption that findings of a highly culture-specific study are not generalizable to a different cultural context. Whether and to what extent is the presumption true? 


All papers will be subject to JIM’s usual review process and must meet the publication standards of the journal. Final acceptance of papers will be contingent on incorporating reviewers’ feedback to the satisfaction of the editors.  


Submission Process and Deadlines 

* All manuscripts will be reviewed as a cohort for this special issue. Manuscripts must be submitted by November 1st, 2024

* For informal inquiries related to the Special Issue, proposed topics, and potential fit with the Special Issue objectives, please contact the guest editors. 


Special Issue Workshop  

We will arrange an initial JIM Special Issue workshop to help authors with this topic and give some feedback to those have submitted a short proposal. The workshop to be held at Xiamen University, August 29th, 2024, located in the city of Xiamen, Fujian province, People’s Republic of China. The special issue editors and JIM editorial board members will provide developmental feedback to paper presentations during the workshop to enhance the quality and contribution of papers in order to maximize the impact of the SI. But presentation at the workshop does not guarantee acceptance of a paper for publication in JIM and attending the workshop is not a precondition for acceptance into the Special Issue. 




Bettis, R. A., Ethiraj, S., Gambardella, A., Helfat, C., & Mitchell, W. (2016a). Creating repeatable cumulative knowledge in strategic management: A call for a broad and deep conversation among authors, referees, and editors. Strategic Management Journal, 37, 257-261. 

Berry, H., & Kaul, A. (2016). Replicating the multinationality‐performance relationship: Is there an S‐curve?. Strategic Management Journal, 37(11), 2275-2290. 

Bettis, R. A., Helfat, C. E., & Shaver, J. M. (2016b). The necessity, logic, and forms of replication. Strategic Management Journal, 37(11), 2193-2203. 

Blagoeva, D. H., Jensen, P. D. Ø., & Merchant, H. (2020). Services in international business studies: A replication and extension of Merchant and Gaur (2008). Management International Review, 60(3), 427-457. 

Bu, M., Xu, L., & Tang, R. W. (2023). MNEs’ transfer of socially irresponsible practices: A replication with new extensions. Journal of World Business, 58(2), 101384. 

Buckley, P. J., Doh, J. P., & Benischke, M. H. (2017). Towards a renaissance in international business research? Big questions, grand challenges, and the future of IB scholarship. Journal of International Business Studies, 48, 1045-1064. 

Dau, L. A., Santangelo, G. D., & van Witteloostuijn, A. (2022). Replication studies in international business. Journal of International Business Studies, 53, 215-230. 

Delios, A., Clemente, E. G., Wu, T., Tan, H., Wang, Y., Gordon, M., ... & Uhlmann, E. L. (2022). Examining the generalizability of research findings from archival data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences119(30), e2120377119. 

Ethiraj, S. K., Gambardella, A., & Helfat, C. E. (2016). Replication in strategic management. Strategic Management Journal, 37(11), 2191-2192. 

Grøgaard, B., Sartor, M. A., & Rademaker, L. (2022). What merits greater scholarly attention in international business?. Journal of International Business Studies, 53(7), 1508-1518. 

Johnson, J. H., Jr., Arya, B., & Mirchandani, D. A. (2013). Global integration strategies of small and medium multinationals: Evidence from Taiwan. Journal of World Business, 48(1), 47-57. 

Kerr, N. L. (1998). HARKing: Hypothesizing after the results are known. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2(3), 196-217. 

McGuire, J. B., James, B. E., & Papadopoulos, A. (2016). Do your findings depend on your data (base)? A comparative analysis and replication study using the three most widely used databases in international business research. Journal of International Management22(2), 186-206. 

Miller, D. J., & Yang, H. S. (2016). The dynamics of diversification: Market entry and exit by public and private firms. Strategic Management Journal, 37(11), 2323-2345. 

Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349(6251), aac4716. 

Pisani, N., Garcia‐Bernardo, J., & Heemskerk, E. (2020). Does it pay to be a multinational? A large‐sample, cross‐national replication assessing the multinationality–performance relationship. Strategic Management Journal, 41(1), 152-172. 

Pratt, M. G., Kaplan, S., & Whittington, R. (2020). Editorial essay: The tumult over transparency: Decoupling transparency from replication in establishing trustworthy qualitative research. Administrative Science Quarterly, 65(1), 1-19. 

Tsang, E. W. K., & Kwan, K. M. (1999). Replication and theory development in organizational science: A critical realist perspective. Academy of Management Review, 24(4), 759-780. 

Tsang, E. W. K., & Yamanoi, J. (2016). International expansion through start‐up or acquisition: A replication. Strategic Management Journal, 37(11), 2291-2306. 

Wang, P., Liu, B., Delios, A., & Qian, G. (2023). Two-sided effects of state equity: The survival of Sino–foreign IJVs. Journal of International Business Studies, 54(1), 107-127. 

Witt, M. A., Lewin, A. Y., Li, P. P., & Gaur, A. (2023). Decoupling in international business: Evidence, drivers, impact, and implications for IB research. Journal of World Business, 58(1), 101399. 

Wu, T., Delios, A., Chen, Z., & Wang, X. (2023). Rethinking corruption in international business: An empirical review. Journal of World Business, 58(2), 101410. 














Special Issue Editors:  


David Ahlstrom 

(The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 

Prof. David Ahlstrom is a Professor in the CUHK business School at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received a PhD in Management and International Business from New York University after working in government and the computer industry. His research includes managing in Asia, and innovation and entrepreneurship. He has published over 170 peer-reviewed articles in journals such as the Academy of Management ReviewAsia Pacific Journal of ManagementManagement and Organization ReviewEntrepreneurship Theory and PracticeJournal of International Business Studies, and The Wall Street Journal. He was Senior Editor of Asia Pacific Journal of Management (2007-2009), Editor-in-Chief (2010-2012), and currently is Consulting Editor there, as well as a former Senior Editor of Journal of World Business (2013-2020). Prof. Ahlstrom was recognized with the Highly Cited Researcher Award in 2017, 2018, and 2019, from Clarivate Analytics (previously Thomson-Reuters). 

Bin Liu(Xiamen University, Bin Liu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Business Management at Xiamen University. He received a PhD in Management from The Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research interests are international business, corporate governance, and family business with a focus on emerging economies. He is one of the leading pioneers in investigating China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He has published widely in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Asia Pacific Journal of ManagementManagement and Organization ReviewJournal of International Business StudiesJournal of International Business Policy, and the Journal of World Business. He received the Best Paper Award at 2019 Asia Pacific Regional Conference Meeting of Academy of International Business, Winner of the first runner-up for the Best Phenomenon-based Paper Award at Journal of World Business in 2019, IACMR-GSJ Global Strategy Best Paper Award at the Ninth Biennial International Association for Chinese Management Research Conference, Best Paper Award for Quarterly Journal of Management in 2021, Best Reviewer Award for Quarterly Journal of Management in 2018, 2020, 2021. He serves as the Editorial Review Broad for Asian Business and ManagementAsia Pacific Journal of Management, and the Quarterly Journal of Management, and special issue editor for Management and Organization ReviewLinda Hsieh(University of Birmingham, Linda Hsieh is a Professor of International Business in the Department of Strategy and International Business at the triple-accredited Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham. She received a PhD in Commerce from the University of Birmingham. Her research cuts across the fields of international entrepreneurship, international business, and strategy. Topics include internationalization decision-making of MNEs and SMEs, business models, and cooperative strategy. Her most recent research focuses on a cross-country comparison of digital trust and healthcare ecosystems. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed academic journals such as Journal of World Business, International Business Review, Journal of International Management, Management International Review, and R&D Management. Her research has been funded by the British Academy, Leverhulme Trust, and Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology. She is on the editorial board of British Journal of ManagementManagement International Review, and Journal of International Management. 

Eric Tsang(University of Dallas at Texas, Eric Tsang is the Dallas World Salute Distinguished Professor of Global Strategy at the Jindal School of Management at the University of Dallas at Texas. He is a fellow of the Academy of International Business. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge after working as corporate banker at HSBC in Hong Kong. His research interests are organizational learning, corporate governance, strategic alliances, entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, and philosophical analysis of methodological issues. He has published extensively in leading business journals, including Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management ReviewJournal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of World Business, Marketing Science, MIS Quarterly and Strategic Management Journal. His publications have been widely cited. For example, his article “Social Capital, Networks, and Knowledge Transfer” (with Andrew Inkpen) won the 2015 Academy of Management Review Decade Award. 



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