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Managing the cooperative dilemma of joint ventures: the role of structural factors

  • Zeng, Ming

This paper first argues that joint venture partners face a "cooperative dilemma" in managing the inherent tension between cooperation and competition, and then, drawing from the game theory literature, explores various structural factors that improve partner cooperation. Empirical analysis shows that better protection of one's own contribution to joint ventures, similarity in partners' organizational cultures or management styles, and continuous reliance on future contribution from partners led to a higher degree of cooperation among partners, while the difficulties in evaluating partner's performance and the higher degree of asymmetry in partners' specialized investments in joint ventures led to a lower degree of cooperation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

Volume (Year): 9 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 95-113

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Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:9:y:2003:i:2:p:95-113
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  1. Kogut, Bruce, 1989. "The Stability of Joint Ventures: Reciprocity and Competitive Rivalry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(2), pages 183-98, December.
  2. Aimin Yan & Ming Zeng, 1999. "International Joint Venture Instability: A Critique of Previous Research, A Reconceptualization, and Directions for Future Research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 30(2), pages 397-414, June.
  3. Baughn, C. Christopher & Denekamp, Johannes G. & Stevens, John H. & Osborn, Richard N., 1997. "Protecting intellectual capital in international alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 103-117, July.
  4. James Andreoni & John H Miller, 1997. "Rational Cooperation in the finitely repeated prisoner's dilemma: experimental evidence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 670, David K. Levine.
  5. Dilip Abreu & Paul Milgrom & David Pearce, 1997. "Information and timing in repeated partnerships," Levine's Working Paper Archive 636, David K. Levine.
  6. William T. Ross, Jr. & Erin Anderson & Barton Weitz, 1997. "Performance in Principal-Agent Dyads: The Causes and Consequences of Perceived Asymmetry of Commitment to the Relationship," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(5), pages 680-704, May.
  7. Seung Ho Park & Michael V. Russo, 1996. "When Competition Eclipses Cooperation: An Event History Analysis of Joint Venture Failure," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(6), pages 875-890, June.
  8. J Michael Geringer & Louis Hebert, 1991. "Measuring Performance of International Joint Ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(2), pages 249-263, June.
  9. Mody, Ashoka, 1993. "Learning through alliances," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 151-170, February.
  10. Dacin, M. Tina & Hitt, Michael A. & Levitas, Edward, 1997. "Selecting partners for successful international alliances: Examination of U.S. and Korean firms," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 3-16, April.
  11. Telser, L G, 1980. "A Theory of Self-enforcing Agreements," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(1), pages 27-44, January.
  12. Parkhe, Arvind, 1998. "Building trust in international alliances," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 417-437, January.
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