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The effects of absorptive and joint learning on the instability of international joint ventures in emerging economies


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  • Eric Fang

    (Department of Business Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA)

  • Shaoming Zou

    (Department of Marketing, University of Missouri – Columbia, USA)

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    The objective of this study is to advance a theoretical framework pertaining to how interpartner learning in international joint ventures (IJV) may affect IJV instability in emerging economies. The proposed framework expands the interpartner learning theory of IJV instability in the current literature, which is focused on absorptive learning of IJV partners, by incorporating IJV partners’ joint learning. Using longitudinal dyadic data from IJVs in China, we found that local and foreign IJV parties’ absorptive learning capacity decreases one party's dependence on the other, while joint learning capacity in IJV increases both parties’ dependence on each other. In addition, an IJV partner's absorptive learning capacity positively moderates the effect of joint learning capacity on its dependence on another partner. These findings lend support to the expanded interpartner learning perspective of IJV instability, and have important theoretical and managerial implications for IJVs in emerging economies. The results underscore the importance of the IJV actively developing organizational rules, procedures, and structures to create and embed new knowledge in order to maintain the stability of the IJV. Finally, we found that IJV partners’ dependence asymmetry increases IJV instability, whereas their total dependence decreases IJV instability.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan in its journal Journal of International Business Studies.

    Volume (Year): 41 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (June)
    Pages: 906-924

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    Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:41:y:2010:i:5:p:906-924

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    Postal: Palgrave Macmillan Journals, Subscription Department, Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS, UK

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    Cited by:
    1. Lin, Yini & Wu, Lei-Yu, 2014. "Exploring the role of dynamic capabilities in firm performance under the resource-based view framework," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 407-413.
    2. Yao, Zheng & Yang, Zhi & Fisher, Gregory J. & Ma, Chaoqun & (Er) Fang, Eric, 2013. "Knowledge complementarity, knowledge absorption effectiveness, and new product performance: The exploration of international joint ventures in China," International Business Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 216-227.
    3. Meschi, Pierre-Xavier & Wassmer, Ulrich, 2013. "The effect of foreign partner network embeddedness on international joint venture failure: Evidence from European firms’ investments in emerging economies," International Business Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 713-724.


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