Research Published in Management International Review from 2006 to 2020: A Bibliometric Analysis and Future Directions.

Date01 Octubre 2021
AuthorMukherjee, Debmalya

1 Introduction

Founded in 1960, Management International Review (MIR) is one of the leading journals in the field of international management (IM). MIR publishes cutting edge research focusing on the topics related to IM, cross-cultural management, comparative management, and related international business (IB) issues. Thus, for more than 60 years, MIR has served as a platform for rigorous intellectual conversations in the aforementioned domains. The journal publishes six issues per year, one of which, on average, is a focused or special issue. For its prolonged and high-level contributions to the field, MIR has been recognized by several peer-reviewed and citation-based metrics.

According to Scopus, the journal has a CiteScore of 4.5, indicating that the publications between 2017 and 2020 received an average of 4.5' citations, and the source normalized impact per paper (SNIP) is 1.535, indicating that the MIR publications have received, on average, 1.535 times more citations than the average citations in their subject areas. The Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) impact factor of MIR, as of 2020, is 3.721, (2) indicating that its publications in 2018 and 2019 received on average 3.721 citations in 2020 alone. The 5-year impact factor is 5.062, meaning that the publications between 2016 and 2020 received 5.062 citations, on average, in 2020. The peer-review-based rankings also position MIR highly, with Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) ranking the journal as A' (3) and Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS) (4) rating the journal as '3' in its Academic Journal Guide (AJG) 2021 list.

MIR's success can be attributed to its status as one of the first journals in the field of IM and IB and the most diverse in terms of its author base (Oesterle & Wolf, 2011). The journal was founded in Germany with Louis Perridon as its first editor in chief. He held the position until 1980, when Klaus Macharzina took over and remained at the helm until 2006. The current coeditors in chief, Michael Jorg Oesterle and Joachim Wolf, started in 2006. Under these editorial regimes, MIR has become one of the leading journals by becoming widely known outside the continental Europe and, in 2008, was listed on Social Science Citation Index by Clarivate Analytics.

In this paper, we attempt to take a stock of MIR's journey during 2006-2020. To this end, we use bibliometric analysis (Donthu et al., 2021a) to capture the evolution of MIR's intellectual structure, uncover emerging methodological and theoretical trends, better understand the nuances of MIR's impact on the field, and throw light on the journal's competitive positioning when compared to similar scientific outlets in its domain. Our attempt to present this MIR retrospective is pertinent and timely given the commemoration of its 60th anniversary. Indeed, it is not uncommon to publish studies such as this one on a journal's milestone year (Schwert, 1993), and many renowned journals, such as Journal of Business Research (Donthu et al., 2020), Journal of International Marketing (Donthu et al., 2021c), Journal of International Business Studies (Garcia-Lillo et al., 2019), International Business Review (Rialp et al., 2019), and International Marketing Review (Donthu et al., 2021d), have benefited from similar endeavors. To present a comprehensive retrospective, we ask several key questions framed as research questions (RQs).

First, we examine the collaboration and methodological choices of MIR's authors. Collaboration patterns enable understanding in the development of any field, as the contributing authors often form distinct groups across the institutional and intellectual lines, and studying such patterns help us to make sense of the underlying ties and emerging connections in a given field. Second, we explore authors' methodological choices because knowledge and practice of dominant methodologies are important for a scholar's success in academia (Hanson & Grimmer, 2007). Third, we evaluate the major themes in MIR corpus and identify the emerging ones, which helps us in paving the path for future scholars. Fourth, we investigate the drivers of MIR citations because citations, which indicate the impact of scientific publications, are a primary measure of a journal's quality (Mingers & Yang, 2017). Finally, we present a comparison of MIR with other leading journals in the field of IM and IB, which is useful in identifying growth opportunities for MIR in the coming decades. The RQs are answered using a range of tools, such as coauthorship analysis, bibliographic coupling, network examination, and regression analysis. The RQs are framed as follows.

Research Question 1: What are the different collaboration patterns of MIR authors?

Research Question 2: What methodologies do MIR authors use in their research?

Research Question 3: What are the major themes explored by MIR authors?

Research Question 4: What factors drive MIR citations?

Research Question 5: How does MIR compare to other leading journals in the field?

The rest of the study is organized as follows. Section 2 provides an overview of bibliometric analysis as it pertains to the fields of IM and IB. Section 3 presents the overview of the study's bibliometric methodology and analytical strategy. Section 4 presents the analysis of collaboration and methodological choices of MIR authors. Section 5 presents the analysis of major themes, and Sect. 6 presents the analysis of citations drivers. Section 7 compares MIR with other leading IB journals in terms of rankings and themes. Finally, Sect. 8 concludes the study.

2 The IB/IM Field and Bibliometric Analysis

IB as a field emerged in the 1950s with research being almost exclusively done by scholars from United States (Oesterle & Wolf, 2011). The research output of IB has steadily grown over the years; the field now has multiple and thriving subdomains. This is in stark contrast with the early 1970s, when it was argued that the entire IB research area could be summarized in a single volume (Wright & Ricks, 1994). However, the past two decades have witnessed tremendous growth in IB activities and related research outputs. Thus, the use of advanced techniques, such as bibliometric analysis, has become more common and frequent in IB research (Calma & Suder, 2020; Zhao et al., 2018). The extant bibliometric analyses point toward two important issues. First, IB research has increasingly become more variegated in terms of subdomains, themes, theories, methodologies, and author's country of origin. Second, the corpus size in each of these areas is large enough to justify the application of bibliometric analysis (Donthu et al., 2021a).

Studies employing bibliometric techniques focusing on a single journal are becoming common. For instance, Rialp et al. (2019) examine International Business Review's development in terms of citation and publication while also presenting major themes using the analysis of author keywords. Donthu et al., (2021c, 2021d) throw light on the international marketing (a subfield of IB) by focusing on Journal of International Marketing and International Marketing Review, respectively. The major takeaway from the abovementioned studies is that the use of bibliometrics in the IB field is becoming prevalent.

3 Methodology

In simple terms, bibliometric analysis is the application of quantitative techniques on bibliographic data (Donthu et al., 2021a). The main advantage of the technique is its ability to handle large amounts of bibliographic data (Ramos-Rodrfgue & Ruiz-Navarro, 2004).

To identify the collaboration patterns, we conduct a coauthorship analysis of MIR, which includes study on the author team sizes in each period. In addition, we conduct a network analysis of the MIR country-level collaboration patterns to show how collaborative ties have developed in MIR.

To shed light on the methodological choices of MIR authors, we classified each article based on its methodology. The choice of methodology has been identified as one of the drivers of citations in previous research (Dang & Li, 2020; Stremersch et al., 2007; Valtakoski, 2019). Two of the authors independently read the full articles, coded them, and classified each article by its industrial focus, regional focus, research methods (i.e., empirical, conceptual, literature review, and modelling and analytical), (5) research design (i.e., qualitative, quantitative, or mixed), data collection (i.e., case study, interview, archival, survey, or experiment), and data analytics method. (6)

To identify major themes in MIR's corpus, we use bibliographic coupling. Bibliographic coupling assumes that the publications sharing literature references share common themes as well (Kessler, 1963), with a greater number of shared literature references indicating a higher degree of thematic similarity (Wallin, 2005). We use shared literature references to construct document clusters by using a variant of the algorithm by Newman and Girvan (2004). Here, each major cluster represents a major theme in the journal. The clusters were ordered based on the number of documents in them. We conduct cluster analyses of each major cluster to understand their major themes.

To analyze the drivers of MIR citations, we use negative binomial regression. As the chosen measure of article impact (i.e., the citation count) is a count variable with zero values and is over-dispersed, the negative binomial regression is a preferred method of analysis (Stremersch et al., 2007; Valtakoski, 2019). This is in line with the previous literature (Baker et al., 2020; Donthu et al., 2021b; Stremersch et al., 2007; Valtakoski, 2019) that has looked into identifying the major article attributes that drive future citations.

The search was conducted in May 2021 using the source search by name 'Management International Review' on Scopus, resulting in 503 documents between the years 2006 and 2020. After further cleaning the data by removing...

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