Exploring the missing links between international business and domestic migration: the case of China

Mingqiong Mike Zhang, Jiuhua Cherrie Zhu, Peter J. Dowling, Di Fan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


International business (IB) scholars are increasingly emphasizing the importance of migration for international operations. However, extant IB studies on migration mainly focus on international migration, few studies have systematically explored the relationship between IB and domestic migration. Academic discussions on international business and domestic migration have remained separate. To close the gaps in the literature, this study takes the unprecedented rural-urban migration in China as an example to examine how foreign direct investment and domestic migration have influenced each other, and how multinational enterprises (MNEs) have exerted influence on and responded to local institutional environments such as the discriminatory human resource management practices against rural migrants over the past decades. It also develops a future research agenda for further examining the relationship between IB and domestic migration in China. Our study reveals that domestic migration matters for international business, especially in developing countries, constituting an important research area for future IB studies.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Global Migration in International Business
EditorsAudra I. Mockaitis
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783031388866
ISBN (Print)9783031388859
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • China
  • FDI
  • Hukou-based HRM
  • Institutional environment
  • MNEs
  • Rural-urban migration

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