JIBS Statement of Editorial Policy

The Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) is the top-ranked journal in the field of international business. The goal of JIBS is to publish insightful, innovative and impactful research on international business. JIBS is multidisciplinary in scope, and interdisciplinary in content and methodology.

JIBS seeks to publish manuscripts with cutting-edge research that breaks new ground, rather than merely making an incremental contribution to international business studies. Manuscripts should address real-world phenomena, problems or puzzles; recognize that their contributions stand on the shoulders of prior researchers to highlight what is interesting and different; and include a clear statement of what it is they contribute to international business research. JIBS is particularly interested in publishing innovative papers that start up or redirect a line of inquiry, integrate across disciplines rather than being single disciplinary, and are multi-level (micro, meso and/or macro) rather than single-level studies. Theories whose central propositions are distinctively international are encouraged, as are theories where both dependent and independent variables are international. Manuscripts that provide different perspectives, often deliberately controversial or challenging to mainstream views, are welcome if they advance international business theory.

JIBS does not publish manuscripts that merely criticize previous work without providing new insights into how the limitations of previous work can be resolved. JIBS is interested in papers that are constructive in nature, and which suggest how our established theories or received understandings of issues in international business can be positively adapted or revised, or extended to offer new perspectives and insights on newly emerging international phenomena.

JIBS welcomes submissions in any of the eight sub-domains of international business studies: (1) the activities, strategies, structures and decision-making processes of multinational enterprises; (2) interactions between multinational enterprises and other actors, organizations, institutions, and markets; (3) the cross-border activities of firms (e.g., intrafirm trade, finance, investment, technology transfers, offshore services); (4) how the international environment (e.g., cultural, economic, legal, political) affects the activities, strategies, structures and decision-making processes of firms; (5) the international dimensions of organizational forms (e.g., strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions) and activities (e.g., entrepreneurship, knowledge-based competition, corporate governance); (6) cross-country comparative studies of businesses, business processes and organizational behavior in different countries and environments; (7) industry 4.0 in IB (e.g., the profound effects that 4.0 technologies have on the governance, the strategies, the structures and the organizational functioning of internationally operating firms); and (8) global sustainability (e.g., how ESGD performance indicators, environmental and climate change impact mitigation, and a variety of dimensions of distributional justice –  the equity, diversity and inclusion movements throughout the world – affect the functioning of internationally operating firms).

Submissions qualify as having substantial international business content, and therefore potentially suitable for JIBS, where at least one of the eight sub-domains listed above is a primary focus of attention within the main line of argument being developed in the paper. The major theme of a JIBS paper should highlight the insights that can be derived for the international aspects of business activity as such. Papers in which international business is in the background, or in which international business issues are secondary or peripheral to the main argument being developed, are not suitable for JIBS.

Hence, a paper is applicable for JIBS when the core argument developed and examined is inherently international in character, which is not judged by the nature of the data used as such in any accompanying empirical investigation. Thus, a single country study of a question such as “are MNEs more R and D-intensive than purely domestic firms?” would qualify as potentially relevant for JIBS. Studies of inward or outward FDI in a particular country have long been an established part of the international business literature; for JIBS the issue is whether a paper contributes to new conceptual development within the relevant stream of literature. Conversely, a study that uses a cross-country dataset to test whether a theory of some aspect of business already established in a domestic context can be applied globally, while controlling for country effects (sources of international heterogeneity or variation), would not qualify as appropriate for JIBS. Likewise unsuitable for JIBS would be a cross-country comparative study of domestic business activities in a context in which it is known that international connections are significant, and yet the effect of these international connections is disregarded.

JIBS is an interdisciplinary journal that welcomes submissions from scholars in business disciplines (e.g., accounting, finance, management, marketing) and from other disciplines (e.g., economics, political science) if the manuscripts fall within the JIBS domain statement. Papers are especially welcome which combine and integrate theories and concepts that are taken from or that can be traced to origins in different disciplines. It should be emphasized that JIBS expects authors to engage with extant knowledge in the international business field, but the Editors strongly discourage superfluous citations to earlier work published in the journal. Spurious citations to JIBS articles are viewed unfavorably and interpreted as a signal of poor scholarship.

JIBS is a paradigmatically and methodologically pluralistic journal. Diversity in research methodologies, paradigmatic and cognitive approaches are encouraged, as long as the studies are theoretically and methodologically rigorous. Conceptual and theory-development papers, empirical hypothesis-testing papers, and case-based studies are all welcome. Mathematical modeling papers are welcome if the modeling is appropriate and the intuition explained carefully.

JIBS does not publish manuscripts about teaching materials/methods, literature reviews or manuscripts aimed solely at a practitioner audience. Manuscripts that make no theoretical contribution to international business studies or that have no specific relevance to the domain of international business studies should not be sent to JIBS. Empirical submissions utilizing student samples are usually discouraged, except where a strong, explicit justification for their legitimacy is provided (see Bello et al., JIBS, 2009, 40, 3, 361-364). Papers that classify or rank journals or scholars along various dimensions are generally discouraged.

Submissions to JIBS must follow the journal’s Style Guide, including formatting, length and references. Poorly written or structured papers will be promptly returned to the authors.

Code of Ethics (pdf, 108 kB)

List of keywords (pdf, 268 kB)

Style guide (pdf, 197 kB)

Guidelines for reviewers (pdf, 145 kB)

Guidelines for special issues (pdf, 177 kB)