Making connections: Social networks in international business

Ilya R.P. Cuypers, Gokhan Ertug, John Cantwell, Akbar Zaheer, Martin Kilduff

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialpeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Insights from social network research have generated significant advancements in disciplines such as sociology, economics, and psychology. In comparison, the incorporation of social network ideas into international business (IB) research remains more limited. The purpose of this special issue is to foster further research on social networks in IB. In our introductory essay, we provide a brief overview of network research in the IB domain to give a sense of some of the major ongoing themes and to illustrate how the social network approach can provide fresh insights and add substantive value to the field. To emphasize the considerable potential of using social network theories and ideas to advance research and understanding in IB, we also indicate some future directions. We follow these with a summary of the five articles in the special issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-736
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Academy of International Business.


  • inter-location ties
  • inter-organizational ties
  • inter-personal ties
  • literature review
  • multinational firms
  • network analysis
  • network theory
  • social networks
  • subsidiary–HQ relationships


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