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The Institutional Effects on Strategic Alliance Partner Selection in Transition Economies: China vs. Russia


  • Michael A. Hitt

    () (Mays Business School, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843-4221)

  • David Ahlstrom

    () (Department of Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT Hong Kong)

  • M. Tina Dacin

    () (Queen's School of Business, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6)

  • Edward Levitas

    () (School of Business, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53211)

  • Lilia Svobodina

    () (St. Petersburg University of Economics and Finance, 21 Sadovaya Str., St. Petersburg 191023, Russia)


China and Russia represent major economies in transition from command economies, yet their paths to the market have differed greatly. Their divergent approaches have helped create distinct institutional environments. This study focuses on a particularly important strategic decision firms face—alliance partner selection. The study's results suggest that China's more stable and supportive institutional environment has helped Chinese firms take a longer-term view of alliance partner selection, focusing more on the potential partner's intangible assets along with technological and managerial capabilities. In contrast, the less stable Russian institutional environment has influenced Russian managers to focus more on the short term, selecting partners that provide access to financial capital and complementary capabilities so as to enhance their firms—ability to weather that nation's turbulent environment. This study contributes to knowledge about the influence of the institutional environment on alliance partner selection decisions for firms domiciled in transition (and emerging) economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael A. Hitt & David Ahlstrom & M. Tina Dacin & Edward Levitas & Lilia Svobodina, 2004. "The Institutional Effects on Strategic Alliance Partner Selection in Transition Economies: China vs. Russia," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(2), pages 173-185, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:15:y:2004:i:2:p:173-185

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Wright, Mike & Filatotchev, Igor & Buck, Trevor & Bishop, Kate, 2002. "Foreign partners in the Former Soviet Union," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 165-179, October.
    2. Prakash Loungani & Paolo Mauro, 2001. "Capital Flight from Russia," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 689-706, May.
    3. Buck, Trevor & Filatotchev, Igor & Nolan, Peter & Wright, Mike, 2000. "Different paths to economic reform in Russia and China: causes and consequences," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 379-400, January.
    4. Chung-Ming Lau & David K Tse & Nan Zhou, 2002. "Institutional Forces and Organizational Culture in China: Effects on Change Schemas, Firm Commitment and Job Satisfaction," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 33(3), pages 533-550, September.
    5. Witold J. Henisz & Bennet A. Zelner, 2001. "The Institutional Environment for Telecommunications Investment," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 123-147, March.
    6. Klaus Uhlenbruck & Klaus E. Meyer & Michael A. Hitt, 2003. "Organizational Transformation in Transition Economies: Resource-based and Organizational Learning Perspectives," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 257-282, March.
    7. Oded Shenkar & Jiatao Li, 1999. "Knowledge Search in International Cooperative Ventures," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 134-143, April.
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