Purpose: This study aims to investigate the relationship between trust and performance in international joint ventures (IJVs) with the moderating effects of the structural mechanisms from transaction cost approach. Design/methodology/approach: Using web-survey, data are collected from 89 IJVs of Northern European firms in Asia, Europe and America. Empirical data are analyzed with structural equation modeling and estimates moderating effects of symmetric dependence, symmetric equity share and resource complementarity. Findings: The findings offer some interesting insights for transaction cost and the social exchange theory. This study demonstrates that a symmetric equity share between IJV partners does not moderate the trust–performance relationship, while a symmetric dependence and resource complementarity between partners effect positively. Therefore, trust takes on greater importance in enhancing IJV performance under symmetric dependence and resource complementarity and symmetric equity share between IJV partners deprecates the importance of equity distribution. Practical implications: A symmetric dependence prevents the deceit from either partner in trusting relationships. Further, a trustful relationship enhances IJV performance regardless of the equity share in IJVs. IJVs with asymmetric equity share can also be successful, provided that IJV partners develop inter-partner trust. Originality/value: The extant research has not examined how the trust–performance relationship is contingent on structural mechanisms of IJVs that transaction cost economics deem necessary to prevent opportunistic behavior. Three structural mechanisms of symmetric dependence, symmetric equity share and resource complementarity moderate the trust–performance relationship in IJVs.
- International joint venture performance
- Social exchange theory
- Structural mechanisms
- Transaction cost economics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management