Journal of International Management Special Issue

Aims and scope of this special issue:
This special issue of Journal of International Management aims to advance the
application of QCA in the IM field in two important ways. First, because many IM
phenomena are inherently complex, QCA, an analytical approach that embraces
causal complexity, can enable the IM scholarly community to deepen understanding
of IM issues and, thus, make significant improvements to existing IM theories. As
Fainshmidt et al. (2020: 455) note, “the mismatch between the nature of the empirical
phenomena studied on the one hand, and hypothesis formulation and empirical
methods deployed on the other, explains why many quantitative empirical studies in
IB are overly reductionist, relying on hypotheses that assume linear (or simple,
curvilinear), unifinal, and symmetrical effects.” QCA and configurational thinking are
flexible and can accommodate inductive, deductive, and abductive inquiry. Such as
approach enables IM scholars to critically evaluate existing IM theories as well as
formulate new ones, particularly regarding IM issues for which existing theories do
not provide satisfactory explanations. Second, although management scholars
increasingly apply QCA to study organizational phenomena (Furnari et al., 2020),
there are ongoing methodological debates and advancements that could inform and
benefit from the IM community. Accordingly, we see opportunities for IM scholars to
engage with the evolution of QCA, including through novel, cutting-edge applications
and the process of refining best practices particularly in the context of IM research.

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