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Title: Challenges in Sino-Western Joint Ventures : an approach to understanding and dealing with problems
Author: Päßler, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 1621
Awarding Body: University of Lincoln
Current Institution: University of Lincoln
Date of Award: 2014
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Despite high investments and low success rates for Joint Ventures of Western companies in China, there has been no systematic investigation into the problems which cause these alliances to not achieve their goals. For this reason, this work aims to provide academically researched insights while also addressing a business need. The objective of this research was to develop a classification of Sino-Western JV problem attributes according to their similarities in a hierarchical cluster structure. The classification enabled the generation of a better understanding of typical problem areas based on problem attributes. Further analysis and interpretation of the identified problem areas and problem patterns allowed for the identification of resolution measures and the examination of their potential effectiveness. This work classified a large number of multi-layered JV problems, varying widely in nature. For this purpose, problems derived from empirical case studies documented in the literature were arranged according to their subject-related similarities and a hierarchical structure consisting of problem attribute clusters was developed. The result is the establishment of a polythetic classification of approximately 700 Sino-Western Joint Venture problem attributes. Through the process of problem statement selection, problem attribute extraction and their clustering, the attributes were grouped and condensed. This reduced the initial complexity of the wide range of problems and enabled specific problem domains with related problem attribute clusters to be identified. The structuring of the problem elements showed how problem clusters are interrelated and helped to differentiate between complex and more easily resolved problems. The overall classification of attributes illustrates the domains in which problems occur. Eight problem domains are revealed and refer to: differences in the Western and Chinese cultures, business practices, business operations, JV expectations, Chinese history, Chinese government involvement, disparities between Western expatriated managers and local Chinese managers, and opposing fundamental concepts. Further, communication and culture challenges were identified as recurring themes among the problem attribute clusters. Based on an improved understanding of key problem areas, it is suggested to focus on strengthening communication capabilities and cultural awareness with the aim of increasing the success rate of Sino-Western Joint Ventures. It is recommended that Western companies concentrate on problem attribute clusters which are considered to be potentially solvable or reducible rather than those related to intrinsic differences in order to have the greatest effectiveness. This work exemplifies the important role which classifications play in social sciences research and demonstrates the problem solving capability of classifications. Consequently, a classification approach which is suitable to make new kinds of investigations in social phenomena has been suggested. An improved understanding has been achieved which enabled these phenomena to be reviewed and addressed from new angles. Further, the work both confirmed existing research results related to Sino-Western JV problems and gathered new insights by analysing these problems in a consolidated, structured form through the development of a classification.
Supervisor: Ardley, Barry Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: N100 Business studies ; N120 International Business studies