Regional stickiness of novel ideas in the scholarly international business community

Richard Franciscus Johannes Haans*, Arjen van Witteloostuijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the geographic dissemination of work in International Business (IB) by investigating the extent to which research topics tend to see mostly local use – with authors from the same geographic region as the article identified by the topic model as the first article in JIBS building on the topic – vs global use – where topics are used by authors across the world. Design/methodology/approach: Topic modeling is applied to all articles published in the Journal of International Business Studies between 1970 and 2015. The identified topics are traced from introduction until the end of the sampling period using negative binomial regression. These analyses are supplemented by comparing patterns over time. Findings: The analyses show strong path dependency between the geographic origin of topics and their spread across the world. This suggests the existence of geographically narrow mental maps in the field, which the authors find have remained constant in North America, widened yet are still present in East Asia, and disappeared in Europe and other regions of the world over time. These results contribute to the study of globalization in the field of IB, and suggest that neither a true globalization nor North American hegemony has occurred in recent decades. Originality/value: The application of topic modeling allows investigation of deeper cognitive structures and patterns underpinning the field, as compared to alternative methodologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-165
Number of pages21
JournalCross Cultural and Strategic Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019


  • Cross-cultural comparisons
  • International business
  • Knowledge diffusion
  • Mental maps
  • Topic modelling


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