Advanced digital technologies and international business: A multidisciplinary analysis of the literature

Ali Ahi* (Corresponding Author), Noemi Sinkovics, Y Shildibekov, Rudolf Sinkovics, N Mehandjiev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


Advanced digital technologies, such as the Internet of Things, blockchain, big data analytics and augmented reality, are gradually transforming the way multinational firms do business. Due to the extent of this transformation many scholars argue that the integration of these technologies marks the commencement of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). However, the question how these advanced technologies impact international business activities needs further attention. To this end, we adopt a multidisciplinary approach to review the related literature in international business (IB), general management, information systems, and operations research. We include the two latter fields, because advanced technologies have received more attention in these bodies of literature. Based on our analysis, we discuss the implications of these technologies for international business. Further, we highlight the drivers of technology utilisation by multinational firms and likely outcomes. We also provide future research avenues.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101967
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number4
Early online date24 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Nikolay Mehandjiev (PhD, The University of Hull) is a Professor of Enterprise Information Systems at the Alliance Manchester Business School, the University of Manchester. He researches digital technology and its transforming role for the industry, and the role of end users in customizing and adapting technology. His most recent collaborative project on demand-driven supply networks within Industry 4.0 is funded by the EC H2020 program and involves Airbus and Comau. Mehandjiev has published more than 150 peer-reviewed research outputs and has edited three special issues of international journals. He has held visiting positions with SAP Research Lab, Atos Origin SAE, BT Research Labs. Email:

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support that the first author received from the Foundation for Economic Education (Liikesivistysrahasto), Finland. Grant number: 20-11513 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


  • 3D printing
  • Advanced technology
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Digitalization
  • Global value chains
  • Industry 4.0
  • Information and communication technology (ICT)
  • International business
  • Internet


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