Disasters and International Business: Insights and Recommendations from a Systematic Review

Bo Bernhard Nielsen, Heidi Wechtler*, Linglin (Gloria) Zheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Disasters – natural or manmade – are on the rise with far-reaching implications for international business (IB) actors and transactions. While the Covid-19 pandemic has generated much academic interest for its impact on business in general, little effort has been made to consolidate the fragmented research on disasters more broadly in the field of international business. Therefore, it is important and urgent to consolidate the existing knowledge to provide a solid basis for future research. We systematically review 132 articles published between 1991 and 2022 and critically evaluate the nascent but rapidly growing literature at the intersection of disasters and IB. Our examination of the different types of disasters (natural and manmade) shows two separate streams: (1) a dominant MNE-centric stream of strategic IB research which regards disaster as an exogenous shock impacting MNE strategies, responses, and resilience, and (2) an emergent stream which places disaster as a more central, embedded phenomenon of investigation impacted by MNEs and other global actors. Our systematic review highlights the gaps in this literature and concludes with a discussion of the intersection of IB-disasters in relation to the 17 United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to suggest directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101458
JournalJournal of World Business
Issue number4
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • International business
  • Disasters
  • MNE
  • 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs)
  • Systematic review

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