Management International Review

, Volume 54, Issue 5, pp 707–734 | Cite as

Practice Standardization in Cross-Border Activities of Multinational Corporations: A Resource Dependence Perspective

  • Xia Jun
  • Marshall S. JiangEmail author
  • Sali Li
  • Preet S. Aulakh
Research Article


This study examines the relationship between power dependence and practice standardization in the context of cross-border alliances. Existing studies have typically assumed that standardization or adaptation is a unilateral decision made by multinational corporations (MNCs) but ignored the influence of the relative power of multinational and local partners under conditions of government influence. Drawing on resource dependence theory (RDT), we argue that the power imbalance between multinational and local firms may shape the standardization of practices in their established alliances. The results, based on a sample of 243 Fortune 500 US companies, indicate that when the level of government influence is high, the positive effect of MNCs’ resource importance on practice standardization diminishes and the negative effect of local firms’ alternative resources becomes stronger. These findings suggest that RDT has important implications for understanding standardization versus adaptation in cross-border alliances.


Standardization Adaptation Power dependence Government influence Cross-border alliance 



We appreciates the support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (Project Number: 71332007) and Research Project of Ministry of Education of China (Project Number: 13JZD017).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xia Jun
    • 1
  • Marshall S. Jiang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sali Li
    • 3
  • Preet S. Aulakh
    • 4
  1. 1.Naveen Jindal School of ManagementUniversity of Texas at DallasRichardsonUSA
  2. 2.Goodman School of BusinessBrock UniversitySt. CatharinesCanada
  3. 3.Moore School of BusinessUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Schulich School of BusinessYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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