Global Strategy Journal Special Issue Call for Papers

Call for Papers for a Special Issue


Submission Deadline: October 15, 2013

Guest Editors:
Giovanni Battista Dagnino, University of Catania
Luiz Mesquita, Arizona State University

Supervising Editor:
Steve Tallman, University of Richmond

Background and Purpose:
Research on locational advantages represents today one of the most exciting opportunities for scholars, strategists, and policy makers to discuss global perspectives for firms, industries, and society in general. Such locational advantages accrue to global and international firms that play a key role in one or more local concentrations of related businesses and institutions.
Much research has been done to date on the advantages of location to firms and business activity. For instance, the spatial organization of economic activity, the availability of rich infrastructure as well as the possibility of market advantages of concentration are known to influence regional development and the competitiveness of local firms. Moreover, dense social networks are known to facilitate local transactions within specific geographies, since they offer broader sets of opportunities for knowledge spillover to occur and enable faster innovation development cycles.

Despite the importance of geography and network density demonstrated in the extant literature, much remains unknown regarding the pertinence of location to global organizations (MNCs) and markets. This broad area of research includes an encompassing set of themes. For instance, location can represent a significantly munificent environment for MNCs to seek unique resources and capabilities, as well as local ventures that leverage local sources of advantage when competing globally. Location research opens avenues for understanding institutional as well as competitive processes, such as the anchoring MNCs provide to local related businesses, or the role of local governments and institutions in creating national champions to compete abroad, as well as the unique qualities of competitive and cooperative dynamics among MNCs that are contingent on specific location characteristics. Additionally, this area of research begs for a more thorough understanding of multinational organizations themselves, such as the integration and diffusion of capabilities captured across global subsidiaries and the role of local talent to the competitive stance of MNCs. Our intent is to provide scholars interested in global strategy and global organizational management with a collection of rigorous and robust theory-building and theory-testing efforts that will pave the way to a new level of understanding of the role of location in achieving and maintaining global competitiveness.

Research Questions:
To tackle this intriguing area of investigation, we invite contributions to the special issue of the Global Strategy Journal on “The Role of Location in Achieving Global Competitiveness”. Our focus is on breaking new scholarly ground in understanding the synergies and challenges that reside in regional agglomeration and global organizations and markets. Strict preference will be given to theory-building papers, that is, to those rigorous works that offer discipline-grounded theory development and to empirical work that challenges existing theory or that enables testing of existing theories, but highlights previously unexplored theoretical aspects. To this endeavor, interested researchers should not draw only from traditional strategy related theories such as resource and knowledge-based views, competitive and cooperative dynamics, strategic positioning, institutions, network theory, upper echelons and other related organizational theories – but also are encouraged to bring in new theoretical perspectives from other disciplines, such as economics, sociology, public policy or others that may help contribute to the strategy-based debate above in novel ways.

The following are illustrative questions that would fit well within the special issue’s domain. The list below aims at providing a limited set of hints to topics that are relevant to the theme described above, and interested scholars should not feel discouraged from taking intriguing different views from this proposed list:

Unique resources, collective assets, and local sources of competitive advantage for global firms:

  • What types of exclusive organizational resources and capabilities can firms leverage locally to compete globally?
  • What types and how collective resources and capabilities possessed by various firms regionally can impact
    these firms’ competitiveness abroad?
  • What specific advantages do local labor pools offer to firms competing abroad?
  • As globalization facilitates the exchange of resources (e.g. virtual networks flourish, transportation costs fall,
    and transaction costs shrink) are there any specific sources of advantage firms can tap locally to leverage their
    global interests?

Competitive and cooperative dynamics, institutional forces:

  • What specific synergies, external scale economies, or network advantages do MNCs and location dwellers have
    vis-à-vis one another in competing for shares of global and local markets?
  • How do institutions and institutional processes influence the development of global firms in multiple regional
    networks and geographical agglomerations?
  • Should governments foster national champions? If so, how would this affect global and local competition?
  • What institutional roles do large MNC subsidiaries play regionally in anchoring or organizing the networks
    structure of the local firms?
  • What are the driving factors behind the decline and decay of regional districts and what is the role of MNC
    subsidiaries in this process?

Organizational design, and the integration of subsidiaries across locations:

  • As MNCs open more subsidiaries to tap into location advantages, what structural issues does it face, and how
    can it best operate to solve them?
  • In what contexts are ‘hierarchies’ better than ‘markets’ for firms to leverage location advantages in global
  • What organizational benefits and costs do MNCs have vis-à-vis local rivals?
  • As unique location advantages require demand unique management approaches, how can MNCs cope with
    increasing bureaucratic challenges, and remain cost competitive?

Deadline and Submission Instructions
The deadline for submissions is October 15, 2013. To learn more about the Global Strategy Journal, including additional information on the submission process, please visit the Global Strategy Journal website at:

More Information:
To nominate a reviewer, volunteer to review, or obtain additional information, please contact the special issue editors:

Or, the Managing Editor of the GSJ, Lois Gast (

Relevant web site: