Special Issue "Sustainability in International Business: Talent Management, Market Entry Strategies, Competitiveness"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Anna Visvizi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. School of Business & Economics, Deree—The American College of Greece, 6 Gravias Street GR-153 42 Aghia Paraskevi Athens, Greece
2. Effat College of Business, Effat University, Jeddah 21551, Saudi Arabia
Interests: smart cities; migration; innovation networks; international business; political economy; economic integration; politics; EU; Central Europe; China
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing velocity of international transactions; the technology-enhanced growing interconnectedness of people, business, and societies; and, finally, the escalating density of the day-to-day business interactions are the key sources of challenges that organizations, both in public and private sectors, are facing today. The opportunities inherent in these processes as well as the side effects that they generate have an impact on all stakeholders involved, including employees, investors, and society. As a result, the same processes have a direct impact on key managerial decisions pertaining to business performance, growth and development strategies, forms of market entry, and sources of competitive advantage. The most recent advances in economic collaboration and integration around the world and their implications for the business sector add several new layers to the already complex environment in which international business sustainability has to be mastered. This Special Issue seeks to tap into this.

The Guest Editor of this Special Issue welcomes submissions that address, but are not limited to, the following issues:

  • Technology-enhanced tools and strategies for sustainability in international business;
  • Talent management as a function of business sustainability, competitiveness, and success;
  • Navigating challenges and opportunities in international business: from business strategy to day-to-day business operation;
  • Employees turnover and sustainability in context of international business;
  • Managing cultural diversity in international business as a function of sustainability;
  • Novel, sustainable, green, and tech-enhanced business development strategies;
  • ICT-enhanced tools and applications and international business;
  • Sophisticated technology, including AI, 5G, block chain and other, and business development strategies in an international context;
  • Case-studies, including Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China, EU, Asia etc.;
  • Comparative insights;
  • Covid-19 inflicted implications.

Prof. Anna Visvizi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • AI
  • 5G
  • B2B
  • BMI
  • Talent management
  • Technology diffusion
  • International business

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Article
The Enhancement of Sustainable Competitiveness of the CEE Regions at the Time of the COVID-19 Pandemic Instability
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 12958; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132312958 (registering DOI) - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 161
Abstract
The promotion of competitiveness of regions is a key issue nowadays. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of territorial dimension it caused, the approach towards the concept of regional competitiveness needs to be reformulated in which the sustainability perspective is [...] Read more.
The promotion of competitiveness of regions is a key issue nowadays. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequences of territorial dimension it caused, the approach towards the concept of regional competitiveness needs to be reformulated in which the sustainability perspective is underlined. Thus, the composition of factors that determine regional competitiveness should be redefined in a way that not only economic but to a greater degree social and concurrently environmental factors need to be considered. The objective of the paper is to discuss the concept of sustainable regional competitiveness and to identify factors that are of utmost importance for this regional competitiveness. The position of particular CEE regions in light of the selected indicators that could determine sustainable competitiveness has been examined. The analysis has allowed us to identify some factors that are crucial for sustainable regional competitiveness in the regions of CEE countries to enable achieving long-term growth in the sustainable manner. This study contributes to the research through proposing some factors that could reflect particular dimensions of sustainable competitiveness in CEE regions, by providing a measure of sustainable competitiveness and through identifying the position of CEE regions in terms of sustainable competitiveness. The support of these key factors may be taken into consideration while planning the interventions within the regional policy. Full article
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Article
Managerial Competencies & Polish SMEs’ Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Insight
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11864; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su132111864 - 27 Oct 2021
Viewed by 325
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic and its implications have had a devastating impact on the business sector worldwide, especially on the SMEs’ sector. By highlighting the evolution, and so the specificity, of the Polish SMEs’ sector, by reference to the concept of learning organization, this [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its implications have had a devastating impact on the business sector worldwide, especially on the SMEs’ sector. By highlighting the evolution, and so the specificity, of the Polish SMEs’ sector, by reference to the concept of learning organization, this paper queried the sources of the Polish SMEs’ unsatisfactory response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its implications. A survey (n = 147) conducted among a sample of Polish SMEs revealed that the Polish SMEs, in general, did not recognize the salience of managerial skills in building their capacity to withstand a crisis. Creating growth opportunities, rather than accumulating and operationalizing their organization’s knowledge, were stressed as the way of navigating challenges. This paper offers an insight into selected factors that influenced Polish SMEs’ sector during the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggests some ways of addressing problems thus identified. Full article
Article
Performance Dissimilarities in European Union Manufacturing: The Effect of Ownership and Technological Intensity
Sustainability 2021, 13(18), 10407; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131810407 - 18 Sep 2021
Viewed by 409
Abstract
Our paper addresses the relevance of a set of continuous and categorical variables that describe industry characteristics to differences in performance between foreign versus locally owned companies in industries with dissimilar levels of technological intensity. Including data on manufacturing sector performance from 20 [...] Read more.
Our paper addresses the relevance of a set of continuous and categorical variables that describe industry characteristics to differences in performance between foreign versus locally owned companies in industries with dissimilar levels of technological intensity. Including data on manufacturing sector performance from 20 European Union member countries and covering the 2009–2016 period, we used the random forests methodology to identify the best predictors of EU manufacturing industries’ a priori classification based on two main attributes: ownership (foreign versus local) and technological intensity. We found that EU foreign-owned businesses dominate locally owned ones in terms of size, which gives them an edge in obtaining higher profits, cash flow and investments and coping with higher personnel costs. Furthermore, ownership is a more important differentiator of performance at the industry level than the industry’s technological level. The performance of foreign-owned high-tech manufacturing industry units across the EU is the most heterogeneous compared to the other four categories, indicating particularities linked to technological level, ownership, and even location. Our findings suggest that multinational enterprises in high-tech industries transfer to eastern EU countries’ activities and processes with lower technological intensity and higher labour intensity, but also that locally owned businesses, even within high-tech industries, have lower technological levels. Full article
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Article
51 Flavors: Regional Resource Configurations and Foreign Multinational Market Entry in the U.S. Biopharmaceutical Industry
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9763; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179763 - 31 Aug 2021
Viewed by 455
Abstract
Creating a sustainable regional economy requires not only attracting new local ventures, but also foreign multinationals. In this regard, understanding which resources are influential in market entry decisions is crucial given that there are different resource needs between developed (DMNE) and emerging market [...] Read more.
Creating a sustainable regional economy requires not only attracting new local ventures, but also foreign multinationals. In this regard, understanding which resources are influential in market entry decisions is crucial given that there are different resource needs between developed (DMNE) and emerging market (EMNE) multinationals. Answering calls for more neo-configurational studies in the literature, our study uses a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) approach to examine foreign multinational entry decisions in 51 regions of the U.S. We constructed a novel dataset comprised of 3287 foreign firms from 61 countries and territories operating in the biopharmaceutical industry. We find that there are substantial differences in the configuration of resources that attract DMNEs and EMNEs to regions. The resource configurations in our models account for over 80% of the factors influencing DMNE and EMNE market entry location decisions. Some resources played a more important role in these decisions, such as FDI stocks, cluster size, and manufacturing intensity. Our findings show that EMNEs seek out regions with a greater abundance of different resources than DMNEs. This study provides practical implications for firms entering foreign markets as well as for policy makers who want to attract these firms to bolster their regional economic development. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Competitiveness of Tourism in the Algarve Region. Critical Stakeholders’ Perception of the Supply Sector
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6072; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13116072 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1173
Abstract
The Algarve region, located in the south of Portugal, is a well-known tourism destination that seeks to be sustainable and competitive. The local administration looks to establish a collaborative network, where stakeholders take a crucial role. The research aims to appeal to the [...] Read more.
The Algarve region, located in the south of Portugal, is a well-known tourism destination that seeks to be sustainable and competitive. The local administration looks to establish a collaborative network, where stakeholders take a crucial role. The research aims to appeal to the accommodations and food services stakeholders to have a shared vision of the issues and priorities related to sustainable tourism development. Their perception is a critical factor in making decisions regarding the region’s competitiveness. Algarve’s two major and leading associations of the tourism supply sector AIHSA and AHETA were invited to participate in the study. Based on the responses of an online questionnaire, an artificial intelligence algorithm was applied to the data to identify the common and divergent aspects. The conceptual model developed is based on a simplified model of psychological ownership. The results highlight a convergent perspective regarding sustainability challenges, namely, natural resources and biodiversity, safety, and supply chain. However, hotels and restaurants do not reflect the same perception regarding sustainability initiatives, e-tourism, or free internet access. These divergences are essential results since they indicated which issues require local authorities’ priority intervention. Full article
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Article
The Gig Economy: Current Issues, the Debate, and the New Avenues of Research
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5023; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13095023 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1235
Abstract
In the context of the debate on platform economy, on the one hand, and the gig economy, on the other, this paper delineates the conceptual boundaries of both concepts to query the gig economy research included in the Web of Science database. The [...] Read more.
In the context of the debate on platform economy, on the one hand, and the gig economy, on the other, this paper delineates the conceptual boundaries of both concepts to query the gig economy research included in the Web of Science database. The initial search, cutoff date February 2020, targeting “gig economy” returned a sample of 378 papers dealing with the topic. The subsequent analysis, employing the science mapping method and relating software (SciMAT), allowed to query the body of research dealing with gig economy in detail. The value added by this paper is fourfold. First, the broad literature on gig economy is mapped and the nascent synergies relating both to research opportunities and economic implications are identified and highlighted. Second, the findings reveal that while research on gig economy proliferates, the distinction between “platform” and “gig” economy frequently remains blurred in the analysis. This paper elaborates on this issue. Third, it is highlighted that the discussion on gig economy is largely dispersed and a clearer research agenda is needed to streamline the discussion to improve its exploratory and explanatory potential. This paper suggests ways of navigating this issue. Fourth, by mapping the existing research on gig economy and highlighting its caveats, the way toward a comprehensive research agenda in the field is highlighted. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Market Entry Strategy under a Supply Chain Environment
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3046; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13063046 - 10 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 900
Abstract
Firms routinely face the challenging decision of whether and how to enter a new market. Inspired by the practice of Chinese household appliance firms sustainably entering the rural market from the urban market, Tesla and Topshop entered the Chinese market from their own. [...] Read more.
Firms routinely face the challenging decision of whether and how to enter a new market. Inspired by the practice of Chinese household appliance firms sustainably entering the rural market from the urban market, Tesla and Topshop entered the Chinese market from their own. We model a supply chain system composed of a manufacturer and a retailer to investigate entry strategies for facing a new market. These sustainable entry processes can help enterprises better achieve their own promotion and increase profits. The equilibrium solutions indicate that (1) the manufacturer’s exclusive entry mode is “market development” entry, while the retailer’s exclusive entry or joint entry mode can achieve “dual benefit” entry under certain conditions; and (2) both the manufacturer and the retailer prefer the joint entry mode. It is the only Nash equilibrium. Monopoly firms dominating the new market may not be profitable all the time. Appropriate competition can bring about a win-win situation. These results provide theoretical proof for the preference and rationality of the rural market entry mode in the Chinese household appliance industry and of the overseas market entry mode for international enterprises. Full article
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Article
Problem-Focused Coping Strategies, Workplace Bullying, and Sustainability of HEIs
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10565; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410565 - 17 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 764
Abstract
Amid the strain related to the necessity of distance learning and related organizational adjustments in higher education institutions (HEIs), this paper re-examines the problem-focused coping strategy and its efficiency in addressing work-related strain. A case for the centrality of a problem-focused coping strategy [...] Read more.
Amid the strain related to the necessity of distance learning and related organizational adjustments in higher education institutions (HEIs), this paper re-examines the problem-focused coping strategy and its efficiency in addressing work-related strain. A case for the centrality of a problem-focused coping strategy in maintaining sustainability and resilience of HEIs is made. To this end, the spotlight is directed at workplace bullying in HEIs, which—due to its implications for absenteeism, turnover, and productivity—represents one of the most challenging issues in talent management in HEIs. What is termed here “hidden cost of workplace bullying” constitutes a direct challenge for HEIs sustainability and resilience. The discussion and the findings elaborated in this paper are based on a survey (n = 400) conducted across HEIs in Pakistan. It is argued that the findings are generalizable, which makes this paper an important addition to the literature on sustainability and resilience in HEIs. Full article
Article
The Impact of Implementing Talent Management Practices on Sustainable Organizational Performance
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8372; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12208372 - 12 Oct 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2443
Abstract
As organizations operate in an inexorable marketplace, there are always new and unpredictable difficulties that make managerial roles harder and the achievement of organizational goals and objectives more critical. Recently, the implementation of talent management practices in achieving sustainable organizational performance that will [...] Read more.
As organizations operate in an inexorable marketplace, there are always new and unpredictable difficulties that make managerial roles harder and the achievement of organizational goals and objectives more critical. Recently, the implementation of talent management practices in achieving sustainable organizational performance that will match the firms’ operational and strategic goals have been the concern of both academics and practitioners, but the issue has not been exhaustively investigated. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the effect of talent management practices on the sustainable organizational performance in real estate companies located in the United Arab Emirates. This paper seeks to make contributions through an empirical evaluation of talent management in the United Arab Emirates. A structured questionnaire was distributed to collect data from a study sample of 306 managers working in real estate companies. The proposed hypotheses were verified by structural equation modeling (SEM). The results of this study show that talent attraction and talent retention had no impact on the sustainable organizational performance, whereas learning and development and career management were found to have significantly positive impacts. The study suggests that learning and development, and employee career management, should be leveraged on by the management by concentrating on the coaching and training programs and job rotation so that the firm can achieve sustainable organizational performance. Full article
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Article
Moderating Effect of the Continental Factor on the Business Strategy and M&A Performance in the Pharmaceutical Industry for Sustainable International Business
Sustainability 2020, 12(12), 4985; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12124985 - 18 Jun 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1125
Abstract
This research analyzed the moderating effects of the continental factor on the relation between the business strategies (cost advantage strategy and differentiation strategy) of the pharmaceutical industry and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) performance. A total of 1303 M&A cases were collected from the [...] Read more.
This research analyzed the moderating effects of the continental factor on the relation between the business strategies (cost advantage strategy and differentiation strategy) of the pharmaceutical industry and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) performance. A total of 1303 M&A cases were collected from the Bloomberg database between 1995 and 2016 for the sake of empirical analyses. The independent variables were represented by the cost advantage strategy and the differentiation strategy. The dependent variable was for the M&A performance, which was measured for the changes in ROA (return on assets). The results showed that the cost advantage strategy was advantageous when an Asian firm acquired one in either Asia or Europe. In contrast, when a European company received one in either Europe or Asia, M&A performance also was higher, although the cost was higher. On the other hand, the differentiation strategy was valid only when a European firm acquired one in Asia. The moderating effect of the continental factor was beneficial only in the relation between the cost advantage strategy and M&A performance. These results could help companies make decisions that maximize M&A performance based on continental factors from the perspective of the sustainable international business strategy establishment. Full article
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Article
The Moderating Effect of Institutional Quality on the Financial Development and Environmental Quality Nexus
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3805; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12093805 - 07 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1808
Abstract
Environmental sustainability is a major concern of contemporary societies, businesses, and governments. However, there is a lack of knowledge as to how countries can achieve the goal to end poverty, whilst protecting the planet. It is the objective of our study to examine [...] Read more.
Environmental sustainability is a major concern of contemporary societies, businesses, and governments. However, there is a lack of knowledge as to how countries can achieve the goal to end poverty, whilst protecting the planet. It is the objective of our study to examine the moderating role of institutional quality on the financial development and environmental quality nexus in South Asia. Our sample consists of panel data of five South Asian countries (India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan) from 1984 to 2018. We find that financial development increases CO2 emissions in this region, implying that countries in South Asia have utilized financial development for capitalization, instead of improving production technology. Institutional quality moderates the negative impact of financial development on environmental sustainability. An implication of our findings is that efforts to improve institutional quality may help to promote sustainable development in South Asia. Full article
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Article
Linking Work-Family Conflict (WFC) and Talent Management: Insights from a Developing Country
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2861; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su12072861 - 03 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1977
Abstract
Considering the profound societal change taking place in several developing countries, the objective of this paper is to reflect on work-family conflict (WFC) both as a concept and a social phenomenon. Given that WFC is a concept rooted in academic debate focusing on [...] Read more.
Considering the profound societal change taking place in several developing countries, the objective of this paper is to reflect on work-family conflict (WFC) both as a concept and a social phenomenon. Given that WFC is a concept rooted in academic debate focusing on developments in Western, largely individualistic, societies, this paper reconsiders WFC’s value added as applied in a context of a collectivist society in a developing country. The objective of this paper is thus threefold, i.e., (i) to assess WFC’s applicability in a context of a collectivist society in a developing country, where the position and role of women gradually changes; (ii) to develop a culturally adjusted/sensitive scale to measure the scope of WFC in Pakistan, whereby the latter is treated here as a case study; and (iii) to reflect on the possibility of devising a set of good practices that would allow a smooth inclusion of women in the formal workforce, while at the same time mitigating the scope and scale of WFC. The value added of this paper stems from these three objectives. Full article
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