Success Factors for Managing International Joint Ventures in Saudi Arabia

Mushal Almasaad

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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This thesis examines the strategic motivation for international strategic alliance (ISA) formation and partner selection criteria, and the factors influencing knowledge acquisitions and performance, in a sample of 134 Saudi ISAs using questionnaire data obtained from Saudi partners. The highest-ranked strategic motives of the Saudi firms are to enable diversification of products or services, establish presence in the market, and enable faster entry to the market. Market entry and establishing business successfully in Saudi were the top foreign firms’ motives. Furthermore, the study’s findings show that the task-related selection criteria are determined by the strategic motives for ISA formation than are the partner-related selection criteria. Knowledge acquisition by Saudi partners is negatively related to the extent to which the knowledgeof foreign partners is tacit, and is positively related to the extent to which there is a higher level of communication between partners. Interestingly, expatriate number working in Saudi ISA partners and the levels of trust between top managers of Saudi
firms and foreign partners are found to have no impact on knowledge acquisition. The study also examines the effects of trust dimensions (trust, distrust, and competence trust) on the performance of ISAs within the Saudi context. The results show that personal and competence trust influence performance positively, while distrust has a negative influence. It was found that trust dimensions plays significant mediating and moderating role. This study finds that cultural distance has a positive effect on ISA performance, contrary to the general assumption of negative effect. Cultural distance reflects positively on learning, hence on performance. Understanding of a partner’s culture shows a positive relationship with ISA performance. It also explains the relationship between cultural understanding communication, and performance. It shows
that communication mediates the relationship between cultural understanding and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Dong, Li, Supervisor
Award date1 Nov 2014
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014

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