Calls for papers


European Journal of International Management
European Journal of International Management


EMNet2021: Special Issue on: "Strategy - Governance Relationship In International Business Networks"

Guest Editors:
Assoc. Prof. Josef Windsperger and Dr. Aveed Raha, University of Vienna, Austria
Asst. Prof. Maria Jell-Ojobor, LUISS University, Italy
Asst. Prof. Muhammad Zafar Yaqub, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

International business networks have increasingly gained importance in the past decades as a multi-organisational governance form to efficiently coordinate complex goods or services in uncertain and competitive environments, and to create new knowledge to gain sustainable competitive advantage (Jones, Hesterly and Borgatti, 1997; Provan and Kenis, 2008; Kano, 2018; Kano, Tsang and Yeung, 2020). Governance structure, in terms of ownership rights, decision rights, and income rights, is the outcome of a complex interaction between each stakeholder's interests and the (changing) environment. Business environments are changing globally due to vast technological developments (e.g., ICT, robotics, blockchain), climate change, and (geo)political forces, to name a few. However, despite much advancement by scholars studying networks over the past three decades, there is a dearth of research on how networks function through strategising and/or (re)configuring their relationships with for-profit firms, non-profit organisations, and a wider network of stakeholders (Dyer and Singh, 1998; Parkhe, 2011; Castañer and Oliveira, 2020; Yaqub, Sreckovic, Cliquet, Hendrikse and Windsperger, 2020) in physical as well as digital ecosystems. Therefore, successful internationalization requires a dynamic strategy-governance alignment in intra- and interfirm networks (Henderson and Venkatraman, 1993; Milgrom and Roberts, 1995; Wolf and Egelhoff, 2001; Madhok, 2002).

Starting from the “structure follows strategy” point of view applied to international firms (e.g., Chandler, 1962; Egelhoff and Wolf, 2017), the main research focus of this special issue is to address the relationship between strategy and governance in international business networks (IBN). We welcome theoretical, conceptual, empirical, and case study papers from all areas in economics, management, and strategy that develop and apply leading theoretical perspectives and shed new insights on strategy-governance issues of various forms of IBN, such as international franchising networks, retail and service chains, cooperatives, joint ventures, strategic alliances, consortia, licensing, clusters, public-private partnerships, and digital networks.

We encourage submissions that focus on the antecedents, dynamism, and/or consequences of such strategy-governance (mis)alignments in IBN by developing new theoretical perspectives and shedding new empirical insights. Studies that on the strategy-governance permutations in de-internationalisation contexts would grab even more attention than the international expansion (vertical as well as horizontal growth) contexts.

The Guest Editors will be inviting substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the Economics and Management of Networks Conference (EMNet2021) for review and potential publication, but are also inviting other experts to submit articles for this call.


Benito, G., and Welch, L. (1997) De-Internationalization. Management International Review, 37(2), 7-25.
Castañer, X., and Oliveira, N. (2020). Collaboration, coordination, and cooperation among organizations: Establishing the distinctive meanings of these terms through a systematic literature review. Journal of Management, 46(6), 965-1001.
Chandler, A. D. (1962). Strategy and Structure – Chapters in the History of the American Industrial Enterprise.
Dyer, J. H., and Singh, H. (1998). The relational view: Cooperative strategy and sources of interorganisational competitive advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(4), 660-679.
Egelhoff, W. G., and Wolf, J. (2017). Understanding matrix structures and their alternatives: The key to designing and managing large, complex organizations. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Helfat, C. and Peteraf, M. (2003). The Dynamic Resource-Based View: Capability Lifecycles. Strategic Management Journal, 24, 997 - 1010.
Henderson, J. C., and Venkatraman, N. (1993). Strategic alignment: Leveraging information technology for transforming organizations. IBM Systems Journal, 32(1), 4-16.
Jones, C., Hesterly, W. S., and Borgatti, S. P. (1997). A general theory of network governance: Exchange conditions and social mechanisms. Academy of Management Review, 22(4), 911-945.
Kano, L. (2018). Global value chain governance: A relational perspective. Journal of International Business Studies, 49(6), 684-705.
Kano, L., Tsang, E.W.K. and Yeung, H.Wc. (2020). Global value chains: A review of the multi-disciplinary literature. Journal of International Business Studies, 51, 577–622.
Madhok, A. (2002). Reassessing the fundamentals and beyond: Ronald Coase, the transaction cost and resource-based theories of the firm and the institutional structure of production. Strategic Management Journal, 23, 535–550.
Milgrom, P. and Roberts, J. (1995). Complementarities and fit: Strategy, structure, and organisational change in manufacturing. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 19, 179-208.
Narula, R. 2017. Emerging market MNEs as meta-integrators: the importance of internal networks. International Journal of Technology Management, 74(1/2/3/4): 214–220.
Parkhe, A. (2011). Form follows function? Interorganisational networks as a strategic imperative for global strategies. Global Strategy Journal, 1(1-2), 86-89.
Provan, K. G., and Kenis, P. (2008). Modes of network governance: Structure, management, and effectiveness. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18(2), 229-252.
Robinson, L. A., and Stocken, P.S. (2013). Location of decision rights within multinational firms. Journal of Accounting Research, 52(5), 1261 – 1297.
Teece, D.J., Rumelt, R., Dosi, G. and Winter, S. (1994). Understanding corporate coherence: Theory and evidence. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 23(1), 1-30.
Teece, T. J., and Petricevic, O. (2018). Capability-based theories of MNE growth. In Oxford handbook of international business strategy, Mellahi, K., Meyer, K., Narula, R., Surdu, I., and Verbeke, A. (eds.), DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198868378.013.3 Windsperger, J., and Gorovaia, N. (2011). Knowledge attributes and the choice of knowledge transfer mechanisms in franchising. Journal of Management and Governance, 15, 617 – 640.
Wolf, J., and Egelhoff, W. G. (2001). Strategy and structure: Extending the theory and integrating the research on national and international firms. Schmalenbach Business Review, 53 (2), 117 – 139.
Yaqub, Z., Sreckovic, M., Cliquet, G., Hendrikse, G. and Windsperger J. (2020) Network Innovation versus Innovation through Networks. Industrial Marketing Management, 90, 79 - 89.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • International strategy-governance fit. Alignment between strategy and governance is not only a requirement for the efficiency of internal networks of the multinational firm (Egelhoff and Wolf, 2017). International joint ventures, international cooperatives, international strategic alliances, and other forms of interfirm networks have to find the right strategy-governance fit to realise sustainable competitive advantage. For instance, firms pursuing a multinational strategy have to assign more decision and ownership rights to the foreign network partners to capture the local profit opportunities. Similarly, international franchise networks pursuing an adaptation/localization strategy have to align their strategy with the governance structure by using more decentralized decision-making and a higher percentage of franchised outlets.
  • Strategy-governance dynamics. In a dynamic context, the relationship between strategy and governance of IBN is path-dependent (Teece, Rumelt, Dosi, and Winter, 1994). During the life cycle, IBN governance influences strategy by creating new organisational capabilities that lead to adjustments of the firm strategy (Helfat and Peteraf, 2003). For instance, the use of international master franchising results in upgrading of local market capabilities of the international franchise network and consequently increases the advantages of adaptation strategy, which in turn increases the tendency towards master franchising.
  • Knowledge transfer strategy and IBN governance. A further dimension of an efficient governance structure of IBN is the alignment between knowledge attributes (tacit versus explicit knowledge), knowledge transfer strategy, and allocation of decision rights in IBN (Robinson and Stocken, 2013). For instance, decentralisation of decision rights in international joint ventures and franchise networks requires high information-rich knowledge transfer mechanisms that enable the transfer of tacit knowledge from the headquarters to the foreign partners (Windsperger and Gorovaia, 2011), to efficiently use this knowledge in local decision making.
  • International location strategy and IBN governance. In global value chains, IBN governance structure decisions (equity versus non-equity foreign operation modes) and location decisions are closely intertwined (Naruala, 2017). Efficient organization of the global value chain in different countries requires complementarity between location strategy and governance structure. For example, the use of joint ventures to exploit a location-specific advantage in a specific country may be more than compensated by its control cost disadvantages (Teece and Petricevic, 2018). Hence, the international location strategy and governance decision must be closely aligned and simultaneously determined (Kano, Tsang and Yeung, 2020).
  • De-internalisation strategy and IBN governance structure. Voluntary or forced actions can reduce multinational companies’ engagement in current cross-border operations (Benito and Welch, 1997). The question is which governance form should be chosen by the multinational company to support the de-internationalization strategy. For instance, the multinational company can switch to governance modes with lower ownership and decision control (e.g., from wholly-owned subsidiary to joint venture), switch from equity to non-equity control modes (e.g., from company-owned chain to franchising), or switch to a lower level of decision control within non-equity modes (e.g., from franchising to licensing).

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process.

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.

Important Dates

Manuscripts due by: 31 March, 2022

Notification to authors: 31 May, 2022

Final versions due by: 31 July, 2022