Geographies of Organization, Networks and Management

Businesses are operating in an increasingly complex and ever-changing external environment, which can be attributed to shifting geopolitical forces as well as altering priorities, habits and activities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapid globalisation since the 1980s gave rise to geographically spread enterprises characterised by disaggregated value chains, whereby location choice was often based on efficiency, resource and market seeking opportunities. The past decade and a half has seen the shifting locus of economic activity to emerging economies and particularly to China, the framing of climate change, the global financial crisis of 2008, the rise of populism and nationalism, and BREXIT. Against this back-drop, the COVID-19 pandemic hit and exposed the vulnerabilities of geographically extended supply chains and the weaknesses of cost efficiency strategies often pursued by multinational enterprises (MNEs) in location choice decisions. This led to more attention being placed recently on near-shoring and reshoring of business activities. At the same time, the pandemic accentuated the significance of digitalisation impacting where customers buy and employees work. Now, as businesses try to navigate the transformation that is occurring in the environment, they must rethink and address questions of where to produce, where and how to organise their network of activities worldwide, and how to achieve and manage a balance between resilience and efficiency within their organisation and the networks to which they belong. The answers to these questions and the strategies pursued by businesses will impact how global and regional networks, such as value chains and entrepreneurial ecosystems, are configured.

Given this context, this theme welcomes submissions on topics where businesses, networks and management strategies are the focus of analysis, including but not limited to: