Our discussions in the academic panels will concentrate around following broadly defined conference tracks. We hope that within the below mentioned tracks everybody will find an appropriate topic that will suit his/her interests and/or needs. We invite all interested parties to submit paper and panel proposals accordingly.
 IB theory: from going international to designing international business models
Poznań University of Economics, Poland
The transformation process which started in Central and Eastern Europe back in the 1990s has led to a wave of FDI which resulted in knowledge spillovers and thus a transfer of innovations to the region. However, the region has recently witnessed an increasing shift from being a recipient of innovations to becoming an actual source of innovations. These can be related not only to products or services, but also to organisational designs, processes or models of business expansion. Also the ongoing evolution on the consumer side, including such trends as the spectacular growth of mobile applications in the CEE region, clearly demonstrates new opportunities.
Not surprisingly, therefore, the region is currently witnessing an emergence of firms driven by innovations which also expand beyond their home markets. These phenomena, which are not only relevant to the CEE region, open ground to a discussion of extant explanations of firm internationalisation, since relevant questions reach beyond the issues of location or entry mode choice. More importantly, it becomes increasingly important to investigate internationalisation from the perspective of business models, as well as to examine how the latter is affected by the former. The track welcomes submissions related to business model re-engineering, internationalisation of firms in innovative service and manufacturing sectors, as well as new models of internationalisation and marketing for foreign markets using online tools.
Keywords: business models, business models of internationalisation, disruptive models, IB theory, concepts of firm internationalisation, strategy adaptation
 Internationalization theory and practice: from rethinking MNEs, to SMEs and BGs
This track focuses on internationalization, including exports, foreign investments and other foreign entry and/or foreign operation modes. Qualitative, quantitative and conceptual papers on internationalization processes of SMEs and born globals – for instance, on factors leading to or affecting their initial internationalization and further growth, but also factors leading to their de- and re-internationalization (complete and/or partial exits and re-entries) and foreign operation mode changes – are welcome to this track. Papers focused on differences between born globals and other internationalizers (for instance, slow internationalizers and born-again globals) and those on positive and/or negative consequences of internationalization for different firms are also suitable for this track. Papers on CEE firms entering CEE and other regions or other firms entering CEE, but also those comparing CEE firms’ internationalization with internationalization of other firms are especially welcome.
Keywords: SMEs, international business, internationalization process, international expansion, de- and re-internationalization, born globals, MNEs.
 International entrepreneurship, strategy, innovation and international family firms
This track seeks to extend our knowledge about entrepreneurial internationalization of firms. Currently international entrepreneurship (IE) as an area of research is only 25-30 years old, nevertheless IE has been developing very intensively. This track seeks papers that discuss and analyse such issues as: international entrepreneurship as a new field of research, traditional versus rapid internationalisation of firms, role of the entrepreneur in the process of internationalisation of firms, internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs vs. LEs), internationalisation of family businesses, recognising and exploring international business opportunities, international strategies of businesses (SMEs vs. LEs), international competitiveness of businesses (SMEs vs. LEs).
We encourage submissions of all kind of papers, i.e. papers based on quantitative and qualitative methods as well as mixed method papers are welcome.
Keywords: international business; international entrepreneurship; internationalization of firms; internationalisation of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises); international new ventures (INVs), born globals (BGs), international startups, clusters, innovation, international strategies, internationalization of family firms, international entrepreneurial orientation (IEO)
 Regional cooperation, development and competitiveness
Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary
Conceptual and empirical papers devoted to both current state and changes of the international competitive position of the CEE region, its countries, selected industries, and firms, are expected for this track. Contributions on theoretical foundations of competitiveness, particularly interrelatedness of national-, industry- and firm-level concepts are welcome. Moreover, attention will also be paid to studies addressing the sources of competitive advantage of CEE countries and firms, given the recent debates about the threat of the middle-income trap and the potential solutions to it, and the essence, impacts and potential of so called unconventional economic policies to boost the competitiveness at national levels in some CEE countries. However, other contributions broadly related to the aforesaid aspects are also welcome.
Keywords: competitiveness, regional cooperation, integration, development, international economics
 Global value chains and developments in FDI
Foreign direct investment (FDI) significantly influence competitiveness of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and its participation in GVC. Though CEE firms have been traditionally integrated in GVC through manufacturing industries they are recently rising their participation with services and services industries. What are the recent changes GVC, how do CEE firms participate in GVC and how (if) they develop into lead firms of global value chains? How has been the process of upgrading in GVC proceeding after global economic crises, what are structural changes and impacts of FDI in the region, are FDI and GVC seen as the key driver of national development and what are strategies of upgrading and value capturing in GVC? Are existing frameworks on GVC useful and sufficient to understand changes in CEE?
The track welcomes the papers analysing the changing nature, dynamics and structural impacts of GVC and FDI, both extra and intra-CEE FDI, case studies as well as papers related to government policies and investment promotion.
Kewords: global value chains (GVCs), foreign direct investment (FDI)
 International trade – rethinking convergence and fair trade
The significance of the international trade is driven by progressive globalization and integration processes which result in growing interdependence of countries and intensification of economic cooperation. Nowadays, almost every enterprise directly or indirectly cooperates with foreign partner. International trade influences the size of GDP and its structure, reduces costs, improves productivity, leads to specialization, facilitates innovation and eliminates technological gap between economies. Finally, the international trade is treated as a driving force for the economic development and consequently quality of life improvement. Thus, the track focuses on broadly understood international trade – its current state and future changes, convergence processes including its various types: social, economic, nominal, technological, productivity, as well as different aspects of fair trade.
Conceptual and empirical papers are expected to this track considering the cases of individual economies or group of countries, regions, industries as well as firms. The other issues related to the topic are also welcome.
Keywords: international trade, export competitiveness, convergence, economic convergence, social convergence, technological convergence, productivity convergence, catching up process, technological gap, fair trade, social responsibility, global value chains,
 Societies, markets and cultures in Europe and beyond
Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Bridging the “hostile worlds” divide between economics and sociology, this track address issues at the intersection of international business and society. Suitable papers for this track might examine the role of institutions, not as merely “game rules”, but from a broader and more social perspective. MNEs, firms and organizations are not just economic actors pursuing performance, but also spaces for social relationships. What kind of social mechanisms drive economic behavior in such spaces? NGOs, governments, civil society and other stakeholders play an equally important role in the international and local business environments, and interact with traditional international business actors. International markets are not merely “destinations” for FDIs and MNEs, or sources of comparative advantage, but can also be viewed as socially constructed spaces in which economic behavior is both socially constructed and constrained. Culture is not just a source of variation and distance in IB, but also a context giving meaning to economic actors and their behavior. All these perspectives and issues become particularly relevant for understanding the context richness beyond traditional Western markets.
Keywords: sociology, economic sociology, institutions, markets, networks, NGOs, cultures, interdisciplinarity, social mechanisms
 Global marketplace and international marketing around the globe
University of Nottingham in Ningbo, China
The development of technology coupled with socio-cultural changes result in consumers developing new shopping habits, discovering new forms of purchasing, and demanding new services. New generations of consumers manifest their values with their consumption, and cause some products and services to fade away, transform others, and let new ones flourish.
The global marketplace is changing also because of political and economic developments. Some nations rise barriers to their markets. At the same time others open up, and new regional markets emerge because of political initiatives such as China’s “One Belt – One Road” project – in which CEE countries are to play a key role. Within the European Union, crisis in the south of Europe, and the uncertainty related to Brexit, significantly influence the competitiveness of CEE markets, and causes international firms to revise their market strategies.
We hope that presentations and discussions in this conference track will facilitate a renewed discussion of how changes in the international business environment affect the practice of marketing in the CEE region and around the world, and how scholars should respond to these changes. We welcome both theoretical and empirical papers that extend our understanding of the current marketing strategies of firms operating in CEE, as well as firms of the CEE origin around the globe. We are also open to papers based on personal insights of CEE marketing managers reporting on how do they respond to the shifts in the economic, cultural, and political, environment, and how do they adjust to the changes caused by technological developments, such as the availability of Big Data. We welcome papers that investigate these problems at various levels (individual, organizational, city/province, national, regional, or global) for different units of analysis, as well as in different industry contexts, as long as the work is significantly related to CEE.
Keywords: international marketing, global marketplace, foreign entrepreneurs in China
 International HRM and cross-cultural management
The importance of our track lies in the on-growing cooperation between companies from differing cultural backgrounds. Today’s manager increasingly has to work in international and cross cultural environments. The human aspect in the multinational context can be characterized by two important fields. The first approach of this track is cross-cultural management which investigates the influence of culture on management across countries. Coping with diverse cultural and institutional frameworks is just one of the challenges faced by an international venture planning to enter or expand its presence in Central and Eastern European (CEE) markets. Regarding this matter can be developed discussion around three major topic areas: (1) Introducing into similarities and differences of CEE environment; (2) Managing cultural differences in local subsidiaries of multinational firms from and emerging world (3) X-culture teaching program as cross-culture competency development tool and (4) Learning about the implementation of an international business plan in transitional environment. The second approach of this track is focused on Human Resource Management (HRM) in multinational firms. Topics to be explored include internationalization/globalization and its impacts on the personnel function, the different fields (staffing, pay and benefit, competency model, performance management, expat management, training and development, new training tools – e.g. e-learning etc. – and industrial relations) of IHRM in the international environment, and the debate over the transportability of specific HR tools into Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries of the world.
Key words: Cultural diversity, Cultural Similarities and Differences, Cultural Models, Cross-Cultural Communication, Team-Building within Virtual International Projects, Transportability of HR Tools, Cultural Aspects of Ethics, Comparative HRM, Internationalization and Globalization in HRM, Personal Function in Local Subsidiaries, Expatriates, Inpatriates, Role of Consultants and Trainers in HRM in International Ventures and Impacts of Migration on International Ventures.
 IB teaching and networking in the CEE region
CEE Region has gone through unprecedented changes since early 1990s of the previous century. Its transition to market economy opened new business opportunities and the global technological prowess brought new ways of doing business and new business models. This has created a window of opportunity for new research within the region and for comparative studies. Also the way that International Business is taught has changed over the years as new methods of teaching and learning were developed. This track is first of all about the methodologies used in IB research and teaching with a special focus on innovative and non-traditional methodological approaches. Another major topic that can be discussed here is business and academia collaboration both in research and teaching. These and also other related topics can be discussed in paper and panel proposals submitted to this track.
Keywords: IB teaching, research methodology, business-academia collaboration, networking
 International finance, risk, venture capital and investment
Cracow University of Economics, Poland
A good financial management is one of the key prerequisites for a high international competitiveness of the companies. Temporal or permanent lack or resources, excessive risk exposures, ineffective use of money, poor tax management etc. may cause serious damages to companies´ core businesses and thus weaken their competitive positions on international markets. Due to a relatively short history of their financial markets on one hand and because of a large part of business sector being in hand of foreign companies on the other hand CEE countries exhibit many specifics in terms of companies´ financial management. What are these specifics? What are the differences in financial management between domestically owned companies and subsidiaries of foreign multinational corporations? How do the companies in CEE countries manage their risk exposures? How do they optimize tax obligations? These are just few of many issues to be addressed in this track.
Keywords: international finance, international investment, venture capital and financing start-ups, corporate finance, real estate and construction economics, crowdfunding, international risk, risk management, international commodities exchanges, international stock exchanges, international business insurance, exchange rates, international monetary integration, international banking.
The conference will take place at the campus of Cracow University of Economics (Kraków, Poland). Please book your hotel accommodation in advance.