Calls for papers


European Journal of International Management
European Journal of International Management


Special Issue on: "EU-Latin America-Caribbean: European Management and Human Resources Systems Operating in the Latin American Context"

"Hay que tener raíces, pero no fronteras." [1]
Guillermo del Toro, Mexican Film Director

Guest Editors:
Jacobo Ramirez and Anabella Davila, Tecnologico de Monterrey-Campus Monterrey, Mexico
Maribel Blasco, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

The European Union (EU) is a key economic and political partner for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Over the last two decades, European businesses have invested heavily in LAC. However, we seem to know very little about the development and implementation of certain EU management and human resources systems in LAC. The European Commission claims that the presence of European businesses in LAC is a source of growth, transfer of know-how and employment provision that may help to reduce social inequalities. Thus, research is needed to examine the variety of contextual and situational variables that affect management and human resources systems in LAC.

The colonial history of Latin America and the Caribbean is tightly connected to that of the Iberian Peninsula. In addition, France and Britain offered important role models for societal development during the XIX Century. Since then, the LAC region has struggled to build its own character, establishing itself as a region under the political and economic influence first of Europe and later of the United States of America (USA). Today, LAC faces the influence of both powerful blocks.

How is the LAC group defined by the USA and by European countries? History shows that LAC has typically been defined by the USA and European countries as a homogeneous region. Nonetheless, many scholars prefer to describe LAC as a homogeneous region with differences. Given the historical, political and social development of the LAC countries, it could be argued that they share more similarities than differences. The countries of LAC are evolving towards an economic process of integration that makes the region attractive as an economic partner and a political ally. The Mercosur (Mercado del Sur) regional integration agreement (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) is a clear example of this process.

Europe’s strategies for engaging in partnerships with LAC countries differ from those of the US. The EU claims to have distinctive policies towards developing countries, aiming to include social, political, cultural and economic initiatives in their international agenda. In particular, the EU is committed to the social development of LAC while promoting economic growth. The EU has many aid programmes for developing Latin American societies including collaborative research in many areas of knowledge. The ample experience of the EU in integration processes is naturally influencing its international policy towards LAC. Research shows that the EU is following a ‘new regionalism’ strategy to draw closer to the LAC region. Scholars define the new regionalism strategy as a means of developing integration among different states through networks of cooperation and collaboration in order to minimise the risks of economic globalisation. This has taken place within the context of the economic liberalisation and democratic processes that changed the face of all the LAC countries during the 1980s and 1990s.

The EU has also experienced a transformation during the same period and has felt the need to redefine its policy towards LAC. According to the European Commission the EU’s external relations are based on the values that it promotes around the world: democracy, protection of human rights, private initiative, collective rights and respect for the rule of law, together with a multilateral policy within the framework of world governance. However, researchers claim that despite the EU’s efforts to reinforce its values in its external relationships, various European firms have been reproached for not adhering to international agreements. Different understandings of corporate responsibility on either side of the Atlantic might hamper EU-LAC business development and partnership. Might there be a need to adapt the corporate social responsibility practices of European firms in the Latin American region to the priorities of local societies?

For this Special Issue, two objectives of the EU’s programs stand out. The first aims to provide help to small and medium-sized companies that operate internationally, by encouraging European firms to invest in Latin American enterprises seeking such co-operation. The second focuses on the promotion of co-operation in higher education between the two regions. Surprisingly, management research on human resources management or leadership is hardly mentioned in these programs. We believe that at the operational level, management and human resources systems are fundamental if EU businesses are to succeed in LAC.

The recent Vienna 2006 Summit brought together an important business community with economic interests and important investments in LAC, pointing to the need to understand how fundamental EU values are practiced in EU businesses operating in LAC. By understanding this, we could help EU businesses to redefine their role in LAC by disseminating basic EU social values within organisations in LAC.

We are seeking to strengthen our knowledge on how European firms perform and manage in Latin America. To elaborate on the institutional factors and the background presented, academics and practitioners around the world are invited to contribute with their research and expertise by submitting conceptual and empirical (both quantitative and qualitative) papers which explore the themes presented above. The aim of this special issue is to achieve a better understanding of different European business practices and of how they are understood in Latin America.

¹ "We need roots, but not borders."

Subject Coverage
Topics covered include, but are not limited to:
  • How are these EU fundamental values enacted in EU business practices in LAC?
  • What are the emerging management models developed by EU businesses operating in LAC? Are they based on EU fundamental values?
  • What is the role of human resources systems in EU businesses operating in LAC?
  • To what extent do Latin American management models resemble those of, for example, the Iberians?
  • What is the role, and effects of, the Latin America institutional environment (including cultural, political and other factors) on EU business management practices in LAC?
  • Are Latin American management education programmes teaching their students intercultural skills, and if so, how are they doing this, and do those skills equip them adequately to work in European firms operating in the region?

Notes for Prospective Authors

Authors of selected papers presented at the First European-Latin American-Caribbean International Management Conference October, 9-10, 2008 at EGADE-Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico, will be invited to submit their papers to a special issue on EU- Latin America-Caribbean: Management and Human Resources Systems Operating in the Latin American Context. Please note that all submissions will be considered for the special issues, even if you are unable to attend the conference.

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere

All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page

Important Dates

Deadline for abstract submission: 1 March, 2008

Answer by the organising committee on acceptance or rejection of abstract by: 31 March, 2008

Deadline for full paper submission: 15 May, 2008

Double blind review of paper and feedback from review given to the author(s): 15 July, 2008

Deadline for final submission of corrected papers: 15 August, 2008

No Changes can be made to the papers after: 15 August, 2008

Conference in Monterrey, Mexico at ITESM-EGADE: 9-10 October, 2008