In the last decade, we have witnessed the contribution of emerging countries such as Brazil, China, India and South Africa to the global economy, signalling the narrowing the gap between income and wealth between emerging and developed countries. Their contribution can also be shown by the fact that about half of the G-20 members come from emerging countries. In addition, the relatively high population growth and the fast growth of the middle-class group in emerging countries have attracted significant capital inflow to these countries. Considering the evidence, it is reasonable to think of emerging countries as highly attractive, becoming potential markets for investors to start and establish their business.
Nevertheless, penetrating emerging countries comes with uncertainties that could affect business prospects. For example, the World Bank report in 2015 (please see the following article for more details: http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/04/13/south-asia-cheap-oil-reform-energy-pricing) shows that the GDP growth of emerging countries had declined by about 1.8% on average from 2010 to 2013. It is argued that this decline is caused by the slow GDP growth of countries such as Brazil, China, India, and South Africa by about 3%. Moreover, the report also shows that South Asian countries have recorded the highest inflation rate in 2013 of about 7.6%. Other aspects that make investing in emerging countries challenging include declining prices of oil and commodity, uncertain currency fluctuation, contagious effects of regional and global crises, capital market volatility, corruption, transparency, corporate governance, ethics, and unstable legal and political conditions.
Low income and education level of the majority of the population in the emerging markets may suggest that the speed of market penetration and technology adoption are arguably slow. However, based on the facts, the high population growth and the fast growing number of the middle class in the emerging markets has made the adoption of ICT among those middle class is high. Take Indonesia as an example. Twitter and Facebook users in Indonesia is the third and fourth largest in the world, consequently (Statista, 2016a; Statista, 2016b). The number of mobile phones in Indonesia in 2016 is more than 326 million out of 259 million Indonesian citizens. Active internet users and social media users are around 88 million and 79 million, respectively (Techinasia, 2016). Those numbers indicate that market penetration and ICT adoption in the country are considerably high. Although off-line interactions are still important, studies (e.g. Vignali et al., 2014; Presti and Raj, 2014) have shown increasing importance of ICT (social media) in facilitating interactions between producers and customers.
In shaping business opportunities in emerging markets, firms may also face of uncertainties related to less known articulated needs of local customers, unclear government policies, a high speed of technological changes, dramatic changes of customers’ expectations, unclear mechanism or platforms for collaborations, latent consumer behaviours, unpredictable global economic conditions, global competition and market penetration from multinational companies. In short, opportunities and uncertainties may be caused both by local and global factors.
This special issue is aimed at encouraging academics and scholars worldwide to participate in providing solutions and ideas for businesses, governments, and investors on how to shape business opportunities in emerging markets under the challenge of global and local uncertainties. With the complexity and uncertainty involved, we urge scholars to employ different types of research methods (qualitative, quantitative, experimentation and simulation) or a mixed method by using a combination of those different types of methods (Bryman, A., 2013). We invite both a high quality of conceptual and empirically grounded papers on topics related to the context of emerging markets. Furthermore, we also encourage scholars to conduct multi levels of analysis which can be at: a firm, an interaction among collaborating and/ or competing actors, and a system level (e.g., ecosystem, industry, sector or national level) as long as they are well grounded in the literature.
The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the International Conference of Management in Emerging Market (ICMEM) 2016, but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Emerging economies
- Competition in a global economy
- Localisation/globalisation strategies within contemporary globalisation
- Business Strategy and Marketing
- Cross-cultural business
- Internationalisation of SMEs
- Sustainable development
Submission of manuscripts: 31 January, 2017