International relations in international business research: A review and research agenda

Xia Han (Lead), Tatiana Lukoianove, Shasha Zhao, Xiaohui Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The increasing dynamism of the international business (IB) environment has drawn greater scholarly attention to the implications of international politics for MNEs’ cross-border activities. However, a systematic overview of International Relations (IR) research which has been applied in IB studies is absent. To analyse this void, we propose a conceptual framework of the broader international context to delineate the research boundaries of the emerging IR in IB research domain and offer a critically synthesized review of the studies that have drawn on IR scholarship to explain MNEs’ behaviour. We conduct bibliometric and content analyses to understand the state of knowledge of IR in IB research and examine the main approaches to study the impact of IR factors on MNEs’ location choices, entry strategies, legitimacy and post-entry performance. By illuminating knowledge frontier issues, we derive important directions for deepening the integration of IR scholarship to advance IB research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number114536
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date25 Jan 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024


  • International business
  • International relations
  • Literature review
  • Multinational enterprises


Dive into the research topics of 'International relations in international business research: A review and research agenda'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this