Scientometrics

, Volume 88, Issue 1, pp 17–42 | Cite as

The evolution of the international business field: a scientometric investigation of articles published in its premier journal

  • Peter W. Liesch
  • Lars Håkanson
  • Sara L. McGaughey
  • Stuart Middleton
  • Julia Cretchley
Article

Abstract

Macro-environmental trends such as technological changes, declining trade and investment barriers, and globalizing forces impacting both markets and production worldwide point to the heightened importance of international business (IB) and the relevance of IB research today. Despite this, a leading scholar has expressed concerns that the IB research agenda could be ‘running out of steam’ (Buckley, Journal of International Business Studies 33(2):365–373, 2002), prompting on-going introspection within the IB field. We contribute to this debate by investigating the evolution of the IB field through a scientometric examination of articles published in its premier journal, the Journal of International Business Studies (JIBS) from 1970 until 2008. We introduce a new analytical tool, Leximancer, to the fields of international business and scientometry. We show an evolution from an initial and extended emphasis on macro-environmental issues to a more recent focus on micro-economic, firm-level ones with the multinational enterprise (MNE) as an organizational form enduring throughout the entire period. We observe a field that has established a justifiable claim for relevance, participating actively in the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas.

Keywords

International business Scholarly field Evolution Concepts Leximancer 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are grateful for the constructive comments made by the reviewers throughout the review process, and thank Dr. David Rooney, UQ Business School, The University of Queensland for his most useful assistance with Leximancer in the formative stages of this project.

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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter W. Liesch
    • 1
  • Lars Håkanson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sara L. McGaughey
    • 3
  • Stuart Middleton
    • 1
  • Julia Cretchley
    • 4
  1. 1.UQ Business SchoolThe University of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia
  2. 2.Department of International Economics and ManagementCopenhagen Business SchoolCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.University of Strathclyde Business SchoolGlasgowUK
  4. 4.Leximancer Pty. LtdJindaleeAustralia

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