Compositional gaps and downward spirals in international joint venture management groups

Donald C. Hambrick, Jiatao Li, Katherine Xin, Anne S. Tsui

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


We argue that compositional gaps in international joint venture (IJV) management groups, along parent company lines, will accentuate distinct managerial coalitions. Such gaps can occur on dimensions of observable demography, less apparent demography, or psychological characteristics. While compositional gaps in IJV management groups can provide the basis for healthy substantive conflict, such gaps - particularly if they are large - also tend to induce relationship conflict and heighten substantive conflict beyond its beneficial range. This can set off a downward spiral of relationship conflict, substantive conflict, and behavioral disintegration in the group. These harmful group processes further interact reciprocally with any tensions that might exist between the IJV parents, engendering a second downward spiral. Our model has implications for the performance of international joint ventures, and it serves as a foundation for designing interventions to avoid the downward spirals we portray.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1033-1053
Number of pages21
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • International organization
  • Joint ventures
  • Management groups

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Compositional gaps and downward spirals in international joint venture management groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this