Journal of International Business Studies

, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 254–269 | Cite as

The performance implications of strategic fit of relational norm governance strategies in global supply chain relationships

  • David A GriffithEmail author
  • Matthew B Myers


The search for strategic fit has become a core concept in normative models of strategy formation. The issue of strategic fit is becoming increasingly important in global supply chain relationships as managers and academics examine the effectiveness of culturally founded relational governance strategies across multiple supply chain relationships. This study empirically examines the performance implications of strategic fit of relational norm governance strategies in global supply chain relationships between US firms and their primary Japanese and US partners. The performance implications of fitting relational norm governance strategies (i.e., information exchange, flexibility and solidarity) across culturally diverse partners are tested. Results indicate that firm performance is enhanced when the relational norms of information exchange and solidarity are fit to culturally founded norm expectations across culturally diverse relationships simultaneously. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


global supply chain governance relational norms 



We thank G Tomas M Hult, JIBS Departmental Editor, and Danielle Trojan, JIBS Managing Editor, for their thoughtful directions and assistant during the review processes, and the three anonymous JIBS reviewers for their detailed comments and suggestions for improving the manuscript.


  1. Armstrong, J.S. and Overton, T.S. (1977) ‘Estimating nonresponse bias in mail surveys’, Journal of Marketing Research 24(3): 396–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Artz, K.W. (1999) ‘Buyer–supplier performance: the role of asset specificity, reciprocal investments and relational exchange’, British Journal of Management 10(2): 13–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aulakh, P.S., Kotabe, M. and Sahay, A. (1996) ‘Trust and performance in cross-border marketing relationships: a behavioral approach’, Journal of International Business Studies 27(5): 1005–1032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bergen, M., Dutta, S. and Walker Jr, O.C. (1992) ‘Agency relationships in marketing: a review of the implications and applications of agency and related theories’, Journal of Marketing 56(3): 1–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bhawuk, D.P.S. (2001) ‘Evolution of cultural assimilators: toward they-based assimilators’, International Journal of Intercultural Relations 25: 141–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brett, J.M. and Okumura, T. (1998) ‘Inter- and intracultural negotiation: US and Japanese negotiators’, Academy of Management Journal 41(5): 495–510.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Casmir, F. (1999) ‘Foundations for the study of intercultural communications based on a third-culture building model’, International Journal of Intercultural Relations 23(1): 91–116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cohen, J. and Cohen, P.C. (1983) Applied Multiple Regression/Correlation Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences, Erlbaum Press: Hillsdale, NJ.Google Scholar
  9. Day, G.S. (1999) Market-driven Organization, Free Press: Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  10. Day, G.S. (2000) ‘Managing market relationships’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 28(1): 24–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dwyer, R.F., Schurr, P.H. and Oh, S. (1987) ‘Developing buyer–seller relationships’, Journal of Marketing 51(2): 11–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Edwards, J.R. (1993) ‘Alternatives to difference scores as dependent variables in the study of congruence in organizational research’, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 64(3): 307–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edwards, J.R. (1994) ‘Regression analysis as an alternative to difference scores’, Journal of Management 20(3): 683–689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Edwards, J.R. (1996) ‘An examination of competing versions of the person–environment fit approach to stress’, Academy of Management Journal 39(2): 292–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Edwards, J.R. and Parry, M.E. (1993) ‘The use of polynomial regression equations as an alternative to difference scores in organizational research’, Academy of Management Journal 36(6): 1577–1613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989) ‘Agency theory: an assessment and review’, Academy of Management Review 14(1): 57–74.Google Scholar
  17. Fiske, S.T. and Taylor, S.E. (1991) Social Cognition, Addison-Wesley: Reading, MA.Google Scholar
  18. Fontenot, R.J. and Wilson, E.J. (1997) ‘Relational exchange: a review of selected models for a prediction matrix of relationship activities’, Journal of Business Research 39(1): 5–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fornell, C. and Larker, D.F. (1981) ‘Evaluating structural equations models with unobserved variables and measurement error’, Journal of Marketing Research 18(February): 39–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gaski, J.F. (1984) ‘The theory of power and conflict in channels of distribution’, Journal of Marketing 48(3): 9–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gerbing, D.W. and Anderson, J.C. (1988) ‘An updated paradigm for scale development incorporating unidimensionality and assessment’, Journal of Marketing Research 25(2): 186–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ghemawat, P. and del Sol, P. (1998) ‘Commitment versus flexibility? California Management Review 40(4): 26–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Ginsberg, A. and Venkatraman, N. (1985) ‘Contingency perspectives of organizational strategy: a critical review of empirical research’, Academy of Management Review 10(3): 421–434.Google Scholar
  24. Heide, J.B. (1994) ‘Interorganizational governance in marketing channels’, Journal of Marketing 58(1): 71–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Heide, J.B. and John, G. (1992) ‘Do norms matter in marketing relationships? Journal of Marketing 56(2): 32–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hofstede, G. (1991) Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind, McGraw-Hill: New York.Google Scholar
  27. Hofstede, G. (2001) Culture's Consequences, 2nd edn., Sage Publications: Thousand Oaks, CA.Google Scholar
  28. Kim, Y.Y. (1988) Communication and Cross-cultural Adaptation: An Integrative Theory, Multilingual Matters: Clevedon, UK.Google Scholar
  29. Kumar, N., Stern, L. and Achrol, R. (1992) ‘Assessing reseller performance from the perspective of the supplier’, Journal of Marketing Research 29(2): 238–253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lindell, M.K. and Whitney, D.J. (2001) ‘Accounting for common method variance in cross-sectional research designs’, Journal of Applied Psychology 86(1): 114–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lu, J.W. (2002) ‘Intra- and inter-organizational imitative behavior: institutional influences on Japanese firms’ entry mode choice’, Journal of International Business Studies 33(1): 19–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lusch, R.F. and Brown, J.R. (1996) ‘Interdependency, contracting, and relational behavior in marketing channels’, Journal of Marketing 60(4): 19–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Martin, M.M. and Rubin, R.R. (1995) ‘A new measure of cognitive flexibility’, Psychological Reports 76: 623–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Miles, R. and Snow, C. (1994) Fit, Failure and the Hall of Fame, Macmillan: New York.Google Scholar
  35. Morgan, R.M. and Hunt, S.B. (1994) ‘The commitment–trust theory of relationship marketing’, Journal of Marketing 58(3): 20–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Myers, R.H. and Montgomery, D.C. (1995) Response Surface Methodology: Process and Product Optimization Using Designed Experiments, Wiley: New York.Google Scholar
  37. Nadler, D.A. and Tushman, M.L. (1980) ‘A model for diagnosing organizational behavior’, Organizational Dynamics 9(2): 35–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nickerson, J.A., Hamilton, B.H. and Wada, T. (2001) ‘Market position, resource profile, and governance: linking Porter and Williamson in the context of international courier and small package services in Japan’, Strategic Management Journal 22(3): 251–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Noordewier, T.G., John, G. and Nevin, J.R. (1990) ‘Performance outcomes of purchasing arrangements in industrial buyer–vendor relationships’, Journal of Marketing 54(4): 80–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Podsakoff, P.M., MacKenzie, S.B., Lee, J. and Podsakoff, N.P. (2003) ‘Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of the literature and recommended remedies’, Journal of Applied Psychology 88(5): 879–903.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rosenzweig, P.M. and Singh, J.V. (1991) ‘Organizational environments and the multinational enterprise’, Academy of Management Review 16(2): 340–361.Google Scholar
  42. Sharma, S., Durvasula, S. and Dillon, W.R. (1989) ‘Some results on the behavior of alternative covariance structure estimation procedures in the presence of non-normal data’, Journal of Marketing Research 26(2): 214–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Srivastava, R.K., Shervani, T.A. and Fahey, L. (1999) ‘Marketing, business processes, and shareholder value: an organizationally embedded view of marketing activities and the discipline of marketing’, Journal of Marketing 63(Special Issue): 168–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Teece, D., Pisano, G. and Shuen, A. (1997) ‘Dynamic capabilities and strategic management’, Strategic Management Journal 18(7): 509–533.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thompson, J.D. (1967) Organizations in Action, McGraw-Hill: New York.Google Scholar
  46. Triandis, H.C. (1987) ‘Collectivism vs individualism: a reconceptualization of a basic concept in cross-cultural social psychology’, in C. Bagley and G.K. Verma (eds.) Personality, Cognition and Values: Cross-cultural Perspectives of Childhood and Adolescence, Macmillan: London.Google Scholar
  47. Triandis, H.C. (1995) Individualism and Collectivism, Westview Press: Boulder, CO.Google Scholar
  48. Trompenaars, F. and Hampden-Turner, C. (1998) Riding the Waves of Culture, 2nd edn., McGraw-Hill: New York.Google Scholar
  49. Venkatraman, N. (1989) ‘The concept of fit in strategy research: toward verbal and statistical correspondence’, Academy of Management Review 14(3): 423–444.Google Scholar
  50. Wathne, K.H. and Heide, J.B. (2000) ‘Opportunism in interfirm relationships: forms, outcomes and solutions’, Journal of Marketing 64(4): 36–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wathne, K.H. and Heide, J.B. (2004) ‘Relationship governance in a supply chain network’, Journal of Marketing 68(1): 73–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Williamson, O. (1985) The Economic Institutions of Capitalism, Free Press: New York.Google Scholar
  53. Wright, P.M. and Snell, S.A. (1998) ‘Toward a unifying framework for exploring fit and flexibility in strategic human resource management’, Academy of Management Review 23(4): 756–772.Google Scholar
  54. Zajac, E.J., Kraatz, M.S. and Bresser, R.K.F. (2000) ‘Modeling the dynamics of strategic fit: a normative approach to strategic change’, Strategic Management Journal 21(4): 429–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhang, C., Cavusgil, S.T. and Roath, A.S. (2003) ‘Manufacturer governance of foreign distributor relationships: do relational norms enhance competitiveness in the export market? Journal of International Business Studies 34(6): 550–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Marketing and Supply Chain ManagementThe Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Marketing and LogisticsCollege of Business Administration, 310 Stokely Management Center, University of TennesseeKnoxvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations