This study examines the evolution of the field of international business (IB) research based on a relational cluster analysis of co-citations in the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) from 1982 to 2011. Particularly, we examine the changing role of theory in relation to empirical IB research. Based on a factor and network analysis, we identify distinct clusters of IB research and their relations over time. We show that the initial focus of IB research on issues of international expansion has shifted towards issues of governance and implementation. In this process, debates on foreign entry mode and culture have served as important integrating themes. At the same time, theory debates in IB have expanded from a narrow focus on explaining international expansion, to a rather heterogeneous conglomerate of approaches which have assisted increasingly differentiated empirical research. Our findings have important implications for evaluating the present state and potential future of IB as a research field.
Academy of International Business. Annual Meeting. Proceedings, 2013
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Academy of International Business. Annual Meeting. Proceedings