Transnational Corporations Review
Current location:


Jarislowsky Chair in Cultural and Economic Transformation

Transnational Corporations Council of Studies


International Labor and Global Talent Issues for

Transnational Corporations in a New Era



Special Advisers

1.  Background and contexts

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing global crisis that has dramatically reshaped national and international policies, practices, and ways of life. Many countries have enforced social distancing policies and even lockdown measures in an attempt to slow down the spread of the highly contagious virus. The resulting social and economic impacts have been dramatic and have put the world’s governments and business leaders, especially the leaders of transnational corporations (TNCs), under immense pressure to determine the best course of action to ensure safety and prosperity.


At this time of unprecedented uncertainty, research regarding international labor mobility and global talent recruitment and reformation with respect to TNCs is more important than ever. We are calling on the academic and practitioner community to develop a better understanding of the international labor and talent issues and solve real-world problems from a variety of institutional settings. As scholars with a wide range of social science and interdisciplinary expertise, we strive to produce evidence-based research to advance theory and inform public policy at this critical junction in history.


We encourage researchers from all disciplines to contribute their unique perspectives, from labor economics, to industrial relations, from international business to human resource management. We also welcome scholars using a broad range of methods - quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, case studies, and experimental methods, as no one approach is sufficient to document and analyze the widespread changes that are occurring.


2.  Potential topics of research


Keeping all the elements discussed above in view, this is a call for papers for a proposed special issue at the Transnational Corporations Review (TNCR), a SCOPUS indexed journal published by Routledge, along with a planned international conference. It will offer the opportunity to authors to contribute to the dissemination of knowledge on international labor and global talent issues in a new era. Contributors for both the special issue and conference can propose research papers exploring the following relevant topics:


•  Strategies and policies initiated by governments and TNCs in response to the current crisis, and especially those likely to have lasting implications, such as: the reorganization of work and technology, the use of alternative work arrangements, domestic outsourcing, and global production networks.

•  Foreign direct investment (FDI) and outward foreign direct investment (OFDI): Motivations and performance, and the role of migrant networks.

•  Labor and talent mobility, technology transfer, global production involvement, and innovation performance (R&D, patents, etc.) in the contexts of COVID-19 and post pandemic.

•  Changes in global value chains and global supply chains, such as the case of PPE (personal protective equipment) and vaccine products.

•  Pandemic crisis, talent mobility, and innovation.

•  Substitute or complement between domestic talent and immigrant talent.

•  Determinants and outcomes of importing foreign work practices.

•  Impact of the pandemic on the reduction of business travel and prevalence of Zoom and other web meeting platforms.

•  Impact of working from home and remotely on careers.

•  International comparisons of intracompany transfers and their interaction with national temporary resident programs.

•  The treatment of spouses/families of permanent and/or temporary migrants who move because of international businesses and TNCs.

•  International recruiting of specialized and high-level talent.

•  The spinoffs for secondary/local companies when TNCs attract talents to particular locations.


3.  Important timelines  


We invite contributors to submit an abstract of about 300 words by May 31, 2021, together with each contributor’s email and affiliation. The subject line to submit an abstract should be “S.I. Global labor & talent”. The abstracts will be assessed by the guest editors of this special issue along with the Editors of the TNCR. Contributors will be notified with comments or suggestions, including the acceptance or rejection of the abstracts.


To prepare for this special issue, we are planning a conference (virtual or in-person) to take place on September 25, 2021 (more information will follow). We expect the final papers to be submitted no later than December 31, 2021.


The peer review process will start from January 2021. The publication is expected in March 2022. Please note that the acceptance of abstracts does not necessarily guarantee the acceptance of the final papers. All submissions will go through substantial review and revisions following the journal’s standard double-blind peer processes.


For questions, suggestions, and more information, please contact Tony Fang ( and/or Hugh Dang (

To download the conference flyer in English and Chinese