Thanks to the RSA travel grant and the support from my home institution I was able to attend the Academy of International Business (AIB) 2013 meeting this year, the leading association of scholars and specialists in the field of international business. The academy was established in 1959 and has over 3000 members in 87 different countries around the world.
The annual event was held in Istanbul, Turkey on July 3-6, 2013 and was hosted by Sabanci University, Koç University and Őzyeğin University. With the central theme of “Bridging the Divide: Linking IB to Complementary Disciplines and Practice”, the conference was attended by just over 1200 international participants and included 195 sessions with more than 700 papers for discussions.
Along with new theories and perspectives of international business there was a significant number of opportunities to discuss, present as well as debate the understanding of business across national borders at both national and regional levels. This is somehow relevant, if not crucial, because the understanding of place and space amongst international business scholars remains relatively underdeveloped as location is repeatedly conceptualised and operationalised as a country-specific characteristic. However, as special heterogeneity clearly exists amongst countries, international business scholars (e.g. Buckley and Ghauri,2004; McCann and Mudambi, 2005; Beugelsdijk et al., 2010) work towards significantly improving their understanding of the spatial dimension of multinational enterprises’ activities by building on insights from economic geography and regional science.
A number of sessions during the event were dedicated for such advancements where scholars with multi-disciplinary backgrounds and at different career stages had the opportunity to exchange their knowledge and experiences on the topic. In addition to formal gatherings a number of informal events were also available to all participants in order to simulate further discussions and to either build or extend their research networks.
I believe the tremendous value of attending the AIB for me lies in its interdisciplinary research area, in the people you meet and form future co-operations and friendships as well as the fact that you can do comparative research with. The generous enlightenment of getting feedback and ideas from eminent scholars coming from international business and geography is invaluable. The AIB is truly forward-looking and innovative research community.
Related documents: Travel Grant Report (Agnieszka Chidlow) (pdf)