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Meta-analyses of International Joint Venture Performance Determinants

Evidence for Theory, Methodological Artifacts and the Unique Context of China

Abstract

  • While research on international joint ventures (IJVs) has intensified over the last few decades, numerous reviewers have criticized the field for lack of accumulation. We use meta-analytic techniques to quantitatively synthesize and evaluate agency theory and the behavioral perspective in their ability to explain IJV performance variance. Overall, we find support for these theories but moderator analyses unveil important effects of artifactual variables, and point to a unique character of IJVs in China.

  • Based on meta-analyses of 165 effect sizes from 61 independent samples and a total of 26,927 IJVs, the results offer overall support for a hypothesized path model grounded in agency theory and the behavioral perspective. However, only 19 percent of the variance in IJV performance is accounted for, indicating a need to explore other underexplored variables. We do not find evidence that hierarchical control is associated with partner conflict. Closer examination shows that for IJVs in China such control lowers partner conflict, while for IJVs in other countries it amplifies partner conflict. The effects of partner conflict on IJV performance are less harmful for Chinese joint ventures than for joint ventures in other countries. Furthermore, while objective measures of cultural distance show a weak positive effect on IJV performance, subjective measures show a negative effect.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Extending the meta-analyses we have reported in this study in an effort to assess the influence of complementarity, we searched for all empirical studies that considered this variable. We found 8 studies that considered partner complementarity, representing 728 IJVs. Analyses did indicate a positive true score correlation between complementarity and IJV performance \((\bar r=0.2774),\) and a negative true score correlation between complementarity and hierarchical control \((\bar r=-0.1331).\) None of these studies considered the role of commitment or partner conflict.

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Acknowledgements

We greatly appreciate valuable suggestions provided by David Ketchen, Jack Fiorito, Jim Combs and Russell Crook. We also would like to acknowledge the insightful comments we received during a paper session at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business in Beijing, China, and during a presentation session with our colleagues at Florida Atlantic University.

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Correspondence to Taco H. Reus.

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Reus, T., Rottig, D. Meta-analyses of International Joint Venture Performance Determinants. Manag Int Rev 49, 607 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11575-009-0009-4

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Keywords

  • International joint ventures
  • Performance
  • Agency theory
  • Behavioral theory
  • Meta analysis
  • China
  • Methodological artifacts