The effect of distance on firms' performance when entering, operating in and across foreign markets is a central issue in international management. However, our understanding of the impact of distance has long been constrained by flawed conceptualizations and unreliable measures. The papers in this issue break new ground both by advancing our theoretical understanding and by introducing new and potentially more useful measures. In this introduction, we provide a brief overview of the evolution of the distance concept before introducing the individual papers. We end by offering observations for future research based on the issues they raise.