Doctoral thesis

Knowledge acquisition from foreign parents in international joint ventures in Vietnam


207 p

Thèse de doctorat: Université de Fribourg, 2007

English This research examines the relationships between International Joint Ventures’ (IJVs) knowledge acquisition from their foreign parents, factors determining knowledge acquisition, and IJV performance. Employing the knowledge-based theoretical perspective and drawing on previous research on knowledge and learning in IJVs, this research proposes an integrative conceptual model linking IJV knowledge acquisition, its antecedents, and performance. The model takes into account the most recent development of each construct. Specifically, an IJV knowledge acquisition from its foreign parent is hypothesized to be determined by: i) the IJV’s learning intent; ii) the IJV’s absorptive capacity which consists of the relatedness between the IJV and its foreign parent business, the IJV’s investment in training, its employees’ ability to learn, and joint participation between local and foreign personnel; iii) the foreign parent’s willingness to share knowledge; and iv) trust between two parents of the IJV which includes three types: calculation-based, knowledge-based, and identification-based trust. Knowledge acquisition is hypothesized to determine the IJV’s performance and serve as a mediating variable through which its antecedents have an indirect impact on performance. The model is tested using evidence from two studies conducted in Vietnam, a developing economy in transition. The first study involves a large-scale survey of 154 manufacturing IJVs and the second one involves four case studies. Results show that IJV learning intent, relatedness between the IJV and its foreign parent business, the IJV’s investment in training, its employees’ ability to learn, and the foreign parent’s willingness to share knowledge with the IJV contribute unique variance in knowledge acquisition. Trust between the parents is very important for the IJV knowledge acquisition but its role is alleviated when absorptive capacity, learning intent, and foreign parent’s willingness to share are present. Knowledge acquisition is significantly associated with IJV performance but fail to mediate the relationship between its antecedents and performance. Consequently, an improved conceptual model is proposed. The results help advance our understanding of the phenomenon in a comprehensive way and provide practical implications for managers as well as for policy makers in the country.
Faculté des sciences économiques et sociales et du management
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