Knowledge ﬂows in international
business: a JIBS citation analysis
School of Management and Economics,
The Academic College of Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Tel Aviv, Israel, and
Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Purpose – As an interdisciplinary, integrative ﬁeld, international business exchanges knowledge
with other academic areas. The inﬂow of theories, models, constructs and empirical ﬁndings infuses
the ﬁeld’s theoretical and methodological base, while outﬂow represents impact on other academic
areas. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the knowledge ﬂows into and from international
business, using journal citation counts as the primary indicator.
Design/methodology/approach – Following Salancik, the paper opted to use an index of
structural inﬂuence over the Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) impact factor, focusing on the
sub-area of management. It analyzed cross-citations between the Journal of International Business
Studies (JIBS) and a group of the leading management journals over a 13-year period.
Findings – Using cross citations method, JIBS was found to be a net importer, especially from
strategy; however in the most recent period the journal has become a net knowledge exporter.
Research limitations/implications – The present analysis conﬁrms that international business is
at a crossroads. While its outﬂow level can be explained in a narrow domain and its high import level
can be interpreted to be the result of a more open market than that of its competitors, the fact that its
largest deﬁcit is with a competing area that is itself integrative is not encouraging.
Originality/value – Implications for the network location of the ﬁeld, its content, impact and
competitive position are outlined in this paper. Suggestions for the future direction and development of
international business are drawn.
Keywords Serials, User studies, International business, Knowledge management
Paper type Conceptual paper
International business is a distinct academic area whose domain spans comparative
and cross-border environments and institutions and the business behavior of their
major players, be they ﬁrms, individuals, and governments, all anchored in a
knowledge base that is simultaneously global and country speciﬁc (Shenkar, 2004).
With the advent of globalization, the identity of international business has become the
subject of heated internal debate (e.g., Toyne and Nigh, 1997), its added value a
contention in the context of growing encroachment into its traditional territory by
functional areas. The perceived contribution of international business is, in turn,
signaled by the ﬂow of knowledge into and from the ﬁeld.
As an interdisciplinary area, international business relies on multiple academic
ﬁelds for much of its theoretical base and as a source of concepts, methodologies, and
empirical ﬁndings. The source, extent and nature of those imports is of great
importance since it determines the research questions undertaken by the ﬁeld, its
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EuroMed Journal of Business
Vol. 4 No. 2, 2009
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