From horizontal knowledge sharing to vertical knowledge transfer: the role of boundary-spanning commitment in international joint ventures

Jiang, Fuming, Liu, Li Xian, and Li, Jizhong (2022) From horizontal knowledge sharing to vertical knowledge transfer: the role of boundary-spanning commitment in international joint ventures. Journal of International Business Studies. (In Press)

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Abstract

International joint ventures (IJVs) have become an important source of critical knowledge for multinational enterprises, but little is known about how knowledge can be effectively transferred to parent firms when the potential for interpartner opportunism still exists. Drawing on attachment theory, we study how boundary-spanning commitments to IJVs may help mitigate interpartner opportunism and facilitate effective knowledge transfer to parents. Specifically, we argue that knowledge transfer from IJVs to their parents is positively mediated by both boundary spanners’ organizational commitment to IJVs and parent firms’ resource commitment to IJVs. We test our arguments using survey data collected from 600 dyadic Chinese–foreign managers of 100 IJVs established in China. The results provide evidence that knowledge sharing between boundary spanners in IJVs positively affects their organizational commitment to these IJVs, which in turn positively affects knowledge transfer to parents. Similarly, knowledge sharing between such boundary spanners positively affects parent firms’ resource commitment to IJVs, which in turn positively affects knowledge transfer to parents. The mediating role of boundary spanners’ organizational commitment is stronger than that of parent firms’ resource commitment. Collectively, our findings suggest that commitment-based relational mechanisms are imperative for safeguarding effective knowledge transfer from IJVs to parent firms.

Item ID: 71393
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1478-6990
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Copyright Information: Published Version: © Springer. accepted version may be made open access in an Institutional Repository after a 12 month embargo.
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2022 02:05
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3507 Strategy, management and organisational behaviour > 350706 International business @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280106 Expanding knowledge in commerce, management, tourism and services @ 100%
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