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Exploration of relational factors: Sino-foreign joint-venture partnering

Lau, V. M. Y. and Tovstiga, G. (2015) Exploration of relational factors: Sino-foreign joint-venture partnering. Journal of Strategy and Management, 8 (2). pp. 191-202. ISSN 1755-425X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1108/JSMA-08-2014-0069


Purpose – Despite recent threats of economic contraction, China still offers attractive opportunities for foreign companies seeking to expand their business activities through joint venturing (JV) partnering entry strategies. Recent research has indicated a growing recognition of the importance of relational factors in JV partnering. The purpose of this paper is to build on recent research findings that identify critical relation success factors in JVs and explores these in the context of a Hong Kong-based civil aviation services company seeking to expand business activities in Greater China. Design/methodology/approach – While the extant management literature focuses primarily on factors relevant to the inter-partner relationship between partners in the formation stage of a joint venture, this research takes a dynamic stakeholder perspective in respect of the relevant relational factors over the evolution of a partnership. The research described in this paper is based on a case-based study that identifies and examines the relevance and importance of uniquely Chinese factors such as guanxi, renqing and mianzi in the specific context of a strategic partnering relationship. Findings – This phenomenological study provides empirical evidence of critical linkages of these to intrinsically Chinese notions of guanxi, mianzi and renqing – it links these to key strategic partnering success factors identified to be trust, conflict resolution, commitment and cooperation. This study thereby reinforces the importance of the uniquely Chinese relational context in cross-border JVs. Moreover, the research findings suggest that these factors underpin the dynamic bi-directional stakeholder relationship in a Sino-foreign strategic partnership. Originality/value – This study conceptually links the uniquely Chinese relational factors (guanxi, mianzi and renqing) to key success factors supporting the establishment of a strategic partnership in a Sino-foreign context; moreover, it contributes empirical evidence substantiating the proposed conceptual linkage.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:40623
Uncontrolled Keywords:Joint venture, JVs, Relational factors, Sino-foreign, Stakeholder relations


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