Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


This study focuses on: (1) the motivations for international joint venture (IJV) formation in the United States; (2) the bases and outcomes of bargaining between partners; and (3) the relationship between the outcomes of bargaining and joint venture performance. Forty U.S.-based joint ventures formed by U.S. firms with Japanese (22) and European (18) partners were studied. These IJVs operated in the manufacturing sector of the economy. The results of the study show that both U.S. government regulations and/or attitudes (GRA) and business-related factors were significant motivators for IJV formation. However, business-related factors were much stronger motivators than GRA for the whole sample. Further, GRA was a stronger motivational factor for Japanese multinationals (MNCs) than for European (MNCs). The findings also indicated that high relative bargaining power (RBP) led to the use of appropriate partner selection criteria and to high equity ownership in the IJV. However, the level of RBP did not determine the exercise of management control or the level of cooperation between the partners. The results on the determinants of IJV performance revealed that: (1) the level of control exercised significantly impacted IJV performance; (2) the level of cooperation between partners significantly impacted performance; (3) no relationship was found between selection of partner in the same business as the IJV and IJV performance; and (4) no relationship was found between equity ownership and IJV performance. Additionally, there was evidence of differential control over the IJV's functions. Specifically, the U.S. firm, the foreign partner and IJV management generally exercised control over different functional areas. The study has a number of implications for strategy research and practice: (1) it provides an empirical base for explaining the motivations of U.S. firms and foreign MNCs that set up joint ventures in the U.S.; (2) it provides an integrated model that, it is hoped, will guide future research on joint ventures: (3) it provides an empirical case for assessing the performance of joint ventures; and finally, (4) it suggests to those who run joint ventures factors that should receive emphasis in order to enhance joint venture performance.