Cultural bridging and the performance of international joint ventures

Palitha Konara*, Alex Mohr

*Corresponding author for this work

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


The existing predictions and findings regarding the effect of cultural distance on the performance of international joint ventures (IJVs) remain inconsistent. We suggest that this inconsistency is due to the lack of conceptually differentiating the cultural distance between the firm's home country and its partner(s)’country (home-partner country cultural distance) from the cultural distance between the firm's home country and the location of the IJV (home-host cultural distance). We contribute to our understanding of IJVs by explicitly differentiating these two types of cultural distance, and by introducing the concept of cultural bridging. Cultural bridging relates to the proportion of home-host cultural distance that is compensated by having a joint venture partner, whose home country culture is more similar to the host country culture than the MNE's home country culture is to the host country culture. We theorize how cultural bridging affects IJV performance and how it interacts with home-partner country cultural distance and home-host cultural distance to influence IJV performance. We test our hypotheses using a sample of 1708 IJVs. We find that cultural bridging has a positive influence on IJV performance, strengthens the positive performance effect of home-host cultural distance, and reduces the negative performance effect of home-partner country cultural distance. Our findings help make sense of some of the inconsistent findings regarding the role that cultural distance plays for IJV performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102109
JournalInternational Business Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • Cultural distance
  • IJV performance
  • International joint ventures

Cite this