Research methods in international business: The challenge of complexity. Academic Article uri icon


  • International business (IB) research is designed to explore and explain the inherent complexity of international business, which arises from the multiplicity of entities, multiplexity of interactions, and dynamism of the global economic system. To analyze this complexity, IB scholars have developed four research lenses: difference, distance, diversity, and disparity. These four lenses on complexity have created not only unique research opportunities for IB scholarship but also unique research methodological challenges. We therefore view complexity as the underlying cause of the unique methodological challenges facing international business research. We offer several recommendations to help IB scholars embrace this complexity and conduct reliable, interesting, and practically relevant research.

published proceedings

  • J Int Bus Stud

altmetric score

  • 2.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Eden, L., & Nielsen, B. B.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Eden, Lorraine||Nielsen, Bo Bernhard

publication date

  • October 2020