مالکیت همزیستی، هم ترازی فرهنگی، و عملکرد شرکت: آزمون میان اتحاد استراتژیک بین المللی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|11467||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Business Review, Volume 21, Issue 6, December 2012, Pages 987–997
Based on a sample of 61 international firms in China with industry symbiosis, we examine the effects of cultural alignment on firm performance. We first predict that symbiosis will have a negative effect on firm performance. After that, focusing on the most dimension of culture, i.e., collectivism/individualism, we also predict that in a society with a high collectivistic value, organizational collectivism will be positively correlated with firm performance because of its alignment with the prevailing societal culture. Finally, we predict that this cultural value should have a moderating effect on the relationship between symbiosis and performance. Data are collected from multiple sources to test these predictions. The results of the data analyses show the benefits of building a collectivistic organizational culture for firms with a high level of industry symbiosis.
In this paper, industry symbiosis or symbiotic ownership refers to the joint ownership of firms established by international investors from different industries (Pfeffer & Nowak, 1976). It has become very popular among multinational enterprises (MNEs) forming strategic alliances for foreign expansion (Hutzschenreuter & Voll, 2008). Despite its popularity, however, it remains unclear how symbiotic ownership affects firm performance. Although previous studies (e.g., Beamish and Banks, 1987 and Burgers et al., 1993) explored different forms of strategic alliances, they did not address symbiotic ownership and its relation to firm performance. It also remains unclear whether specific organizational cultural values, such as organizational collectivism, moderate the relationship between symbiotic ownership and firm performance. Moreover, very few studies have dealt with the performance effects of the alignment of organizational and societal (national) culture. It thus remains unknown whether an MNE should select local strategic partner(s) from the same industry or different industries, and, if the MNE must select partners from other industries, then whether there is any managerial intervention that it can adopt in the alliance to improve its performance. Examining these issues will enrich the literature on international strategic alliances, such as equity joint ventures between firms from different industries. It should also extend our understanding of the relationship between organizational culture and international strategic alliances. For practitioners, our current paper should also be of significance. The results from our current study should help MNEs managers in decision-making when they are building joint ventures or other strategic alliances in their host countries. In other words, with better understanding of the effects of symbiotic ownership and other variables, MNEs managers should be able to make better decisions on such issues as what partners to select and what they should do to prevent potential problems. Moreover, after the joint ventures or strategic alliances were established, the findings from current study can also help them to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the firms. Specifically, our current study is actually testing the effects of some managerial interventions, such as the building of organizational cultural value, the results from this testing should be helpful to MNEs’ managers in running their international joint ventures or other strategic alliances. In this study, we not only take into consideration the relationship between symbiotic ownership and firm performance, but also place the relationship in the context of both organizational and societal culture. We also engage in high-quality empirical research by using both data from questionnaires and panel data.1 In this way, the study makes a significant contribution to the literature on international strategic alliances.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This study empirically examines issues that past research has seldom tested. First, it finds that symbiotic similarity has a significant and positive effect on firm performance. As symbiotic ownership is opposite to symbiotic similarity, a high level of ownership symbiosis will have a negative effect on firm performance. This is largely because symbiosis can increase the difference among partners from different industries. The finding thus supports the prediction of TCE that industrial differences among strategic partners increase problems with communication, understanding, and cooperation. As such, the firms involved will have greater difficulty with effective decision-making, which may negatively affect their performance. This may be especially true among strategic partners from different cultures, as found in this study. The findings from this study are also consistent with the RDP, although they do not indicate that intra-firm efficiency can be improved by building similar ownership symbiosis. High levels of symbiotic ownership or low levels of symbiotic similarity may not improve the efficiency or performance in firms jointly owned by investors from different industries. In this sense, our findings provide new knowledge that intra-firm efficiency or firm performance can be negatively affected by symbiotic ownership, especially when the investors are from different countries. This study also examined the performance effects of the alignment of organizational culture and societal culture on the dimension of collectivism/individualism. Our data suggest that, in addition to its direct effect, organizational collectivism also has a significant moderating effect on the relationship between symbiotic ownership and performance in societies with a collectivistic societal value. Specifically, in a collectivistic societal culture, a firm is more likely to reduce or even neutralize the negative effect of symbiotic ownership on both ROA and market growth when it has a high collectivistic cultural value at the organizational level. The moderating effect of organizational collectivism is also apparent for accounting performance. This finding was obtained unexpectedly from the differences identified between Model 2 and Model 3 (Table 2), with the significant effect of symbiotic similarity in Model 2 disappearing after the entry of collectivism in Model 3. In other words, the simultaneous inclusion of organizational collectivism and symbiotic similarity in Model 3 renders symbiotic similarity non-significant.6 However, this situation does not occur in the “market growth” case. We thus conclude that organizational collectivism mediates the relationship between symbiotic similarity and ROA, and serves as an important channel through which symbiotic similarity influences accounting performance. Future studies should explore the issue with a larger sample size. The results for the control variables also deserve attention. First, the accounting performance of a firm is found to vary negatively with its size. This may result from decreasing efficiency in the employment of strategic resources or in the management of business operations when firms grow larger. Second, the accounting performance of a firm is positively correlated with its age. This implies that firms that entered China's market earlier are more likely to yield a better ROA, because early entry gives a firm more experience to operate effectively. Third, the joint venture is an effective means by which to improve the efficiency of a firm as required by local government law. Finally, product type (i.e., whether life or property products are sold in the market) makes a difference to both accounting and market performance. The findings of our study have some useful implications for both academic researchers and managerial practitioners. For academic researchers, including those studying international business, our findings suggest that studying the structure of strategic alliances would be a useful exercise to gain a better understanding of their performance. Many past studies on strategic alliances have adopted a very simplistic approach of using a dummy variable to measure the presence or absence of a certain strategic alliance. Our study adopts a new approach that considers both the presence of strategic alliances and their ownership structure. The findings that we report show that this new approach is useful and can be applied to study not only the issue of joint ventures, but also other forms of strategic alliances. The major advantage of this approach is that it allows the more precise measurement of alliances formed in response to resources interdependences among business organizations. Our study also provides useful data for the study of organizational culture and its effect on performance at the organizational level. Organizational culture (i.e., organizational collectivistic value) takes effect within the context of societal culture. Organizational and societal cultures are intertwined, and each enhances the other's merits. Our finding indicates that the alignment of organizational culture and societal culture can bring positive benefits to firms with symbiotic ownership. For practitioners, especially those engaged in foreign operations, our findings also have important implications for building and running international joint ventures or other strategic alliances. First, a correct selection of strategic partners in host countries is important for international firms because it may affect the efficiency and effectiveness of the firms. For the first time, our findings provide empirical evidence suggesting that symbiotic ownership has a negative effect on firm performance because it increases the differences among strategic partners. For a given firm jointly owned by international investors from different countries, the larger the number of strategic partners from other industries relative to those from the same industry, the more likely it is that the firm will display poor performance. Accordingly, when establishing a strategic alliance in overseas host countries, it is more beneficial to select strategic partners from the same industry or improve symbiotic similarity. Second, our findings also have important implications for the running of international joint ventures or other strategic alliances. In other words, once the international enterprises were established, MNEs’ managers should understand how to run the firms efficiently and effectively. The findings from our current study should be helpful to improve the efficiency and effectiveness. Specifically, our results show that it is helpful to build an organizational culture that matches the societal culture in the host country. For instance, it is important to establish a collectivistic organizational culture in a society with a collectivistic societal culture. Our data suggest that the alignment of collectivism at the societal and organizational levels has a positive effect on firm performance. A collectivistic organizational culture also moderates the relationship between symbiotic ownership and firm performance. Although symbiotic ownership may increase the differences and thus raise the intra-organizational transaction costs, managers can reduce these costs by cultivating a collectivistic organizational culture within their firm. This may be especially true in Asian countries with a collectivistic societal culture. However, we stress that although our study identifies a positive effect of organizational collectivism on the relationship between strategic alliances and firm performance in China – a country with a highly collectivistic societal culture – the external validity of the findings remain to be established in societies with a low level of collectivistic cultural value. Future studies could test whether the same result is applicable to firms operating in an individualistic societal culture. With the globalization of firms’ activities and the increase in merger and acquisition activities, the effects of culture on symbiotic ownership structures is likely to become an increasingly important issue, and more studies on this topic are needed to better establish and manage international strategic alliances. 5.2. Limitations and future study Although our current paper has obtained empirical evidence contributing to the literature of international joint venture and strategic alliances, this paper still has some limitations that call for more efforts in future research. In this section, we discuss these issues. Firstly, because our current study have used data from multiple years, we have to adopt an approach from previous studies (e.g., Chari and Chang, 2009, Hutzschenreuter and Voll, 2008, Madhavan and Iriyama, 2009 and Vermeulen and Barkema, 2001) in controlling for the year effect caused by data from multiple years. Specifically, as mentioned above, the firms in our sample were set up in China in different years so that their available data differ in the number of years. For instance, some firms in our sample were established in the year 2000 so that we had their data (e.g., symbiotic ownership and firm performance) for over eight years. However, some other firms were established later in China, say, in the year 2005 or even 2007. Adopting the approach of the previous studies by including year dummies in the hierarchical regressions, we were able to make full use of all of the data of our sample firms, especially those that have data for multiple years, when testing the effects of symbiotic ownership and culture on firm performance. However, we understand that this approach is not perfect, and future study should try to collect data from a sample with large sample size in the same year so that we can avoid the year effect and re-test the relationships of the variables studied in our current study. Secondly, societal and corporate cultures consist of various dimensions, and we can test only one dimension, i.e., collectivism in our current study. According to our data, at least on this most important dimension of cultural value, the alliance between organizational culture and societal culture is critical. On the other hand, although past research never suggested that other cultural dimensions, such as the dimension of uncertainty avoidance or that of power distance, may also influence the relationship between symbiotic ownership and firm performance, it is still worth considering the effects of other cultural dimensions in future studies. In other words, future studies can collect data testing the effects of other dimensions of cultural value so that we can understand better the moderating effect of culture on the relationship between symbiotic ownership and firm performance. Moreover, because the cultural values are not equally important in terms of their effect (e.g., Hofstede, 1980), great efforts should be made to develop a reasonable approach to obtain the weighted average of the cultural dimensions before all the dimensions, as identified by past research, can be used as a single independent variable. Finally, our current study tests only the cultural congruence in a society with collectivistic cultural value. Future studies should also test the issues in societies with individualistic cultural value. Through doing this repeated testing, the external validities of our findings from this study can be understood better.