The Influence of Culture on Successful Cooperation
Edited by Jan Ulijn, Geert Duysters and Elise Meijer
Rajesh Kumar and T.K. Das INTRODUCTION Alliance instability is an endemic feature of organizational life and scholars have offered various explanations for its causes (for example, Das and Teng, 1998, 2000, 2003; Doz, 1996; Kumar and Nti, 1998, 2004; Ring and Van de Ven, 1994). Alliance instability has been linked to internal tensions that characterize an alliance (Das and Teng, 2000), lack of confidence in partner cooperation (Das and Teng, 1998), the existence of process and outcome discrepancies (Kumar and Nti, 1998), and the failure of alliance partners to achieve equity and efficiency (Ring and Van de Ven, 1994). Yet many of these frameworks, barring a few exceptions (for example, Kumar and Nti, 2004), are silent on how national culture may impact upon alliance evolution. The debate among scholars has tended to be about the importance of national culture in shaping alliance evolution. Many studies have held that national culture is important (for example, Barkema and Vermeulen, 1997; Kumar and Nti, 2004; Li and Guisinger, 1991; Meschi and Riccio, 2008; Steensma et al., 2000), whereas others have challenged this importance relative to corporate and professional culture (for example, Pothukuchi et al., 2002; Sirmon and Lane, 2004). In our view, the relative importance of national, corporate or professional cultural differences remains an empirical matter, and not one that is amenable to clear-cut generalizations. While corporate and professional cultures may well influence some aspects of alliance evolution, they do so in the context of the national cultural distance that separates the partners....