How Does International Management Research Contribute to International Management Practice?

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How does International Management Research contribute to International Management practice? Abstract

This report looks at how International Management practices are benefiting from the research work done on International Management. It starts off by exploring the definitions and the categories of International Management, then looking at the phenomenon called the research – practice gap including the causes for this divide and a few suggestions to close the gap. Then we look at a couple of areas where research has benefited the practicing firms in those fields before concluding that there has to be an active collaboration between researchers and practitioners in order to ensure that both parties gain from the knowledge of each other towards their individual success.


International management is the concept of gathering various resources in managing the various aspects of trade, resource utilization, practical applicability and various concerns in the fields of Commerce and business. International management plays a vital role in determining the economic stability and development of corporate firms having cross country/cross border business activities. Its theoretical studies help in understanding the main ideas behind the whole issue clearly and give us a better visibility of management internationally. Management may be defined as the ability to resolve problems and gaining control over the stability and progress of a particular field. It helps in increasing the potential and credibility of practical implications and professional values. The theoretical concepts of international management provide various ways of improving the practice of it in the world of management.

What is International Management?

Before we start answering the main topic question, we should take a minute to understand and analyse the meaning of International Management. In simple practical terms, IM can be classified as the practice of managing business operations in more than one country. On the same lines, IM research can be termed as the study of IM practices & scope for future advancements. But on an academic perspective, the meaning of IM seems to be having various meanings. The main three definitions are as below

Werner (2002) categorizes the field into a) Pure IM research b) Comparative management studies and c) Foreign domestic studies. Kirkman & Law (2005) indicate that any one of the three criterias from 1) At least one author is a non-American scholar, 2) The sample is collected outside North America, or 3) The topic is related to IM or CCM issues. Tung & van Witteloostuijn (2008) argue that criteria 1) and 2) are inappropriate from JIBS’s perspective and only 3) is relevant.

In 2002, Werner concluded that International Management, in its research context consists of 12 categories (figure 01). Among them the top three researched categories such as Foreign Direct Investment, Internationalization and Entry Mode Decisions. They have been the hot topics for research among the top management journals and can be expected to continue in this trend in the near future too.

Though a lot of research is being done in the field of IM, there has been some criticism that the research being done is not sufficiently converted into practice. IM scholars have found ways to share their findings with fellow peers. Most of the knowledge sharing is done in classrooms, which contributes to the field of management practice indirectly. Another way of converting theory to practice is thorough publishing their findings in leading academic journals. This second method of knowledge transfer is drawing a lot of criticism and attention. There is evidence that many practitioners do not implement research findings into their management strategies and practices (Mowday, 1997). This trend is often referred to as the research-practice gap. Figure 01: Categories of International Management Articles. Source: Werner, S. (2002)....
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