Local Partnering in Foreign Ventures: Uncertainty, Experiential Learning, and Syndication in Cross-Border Venture Capital Investments

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If partnering with local firms is an intuitive strategy with which to mitigate uncertainty in foreign ventures, then why don’t organizations always partner with local firms, especially in uncertain settings? We address this question by unbundling the effects of uncertainty in foreign ventures at the venture and country levels. We contend that, while both levels increase the need for partnering with local firms in foreign ventures, country-level uncertainty increases the difficulty of partnering with local firms and decreases the likelihood of such partnerships. We also posit that experiential learning helps firms manage the two types of uncertainty, and thereby reduces the need for partnering—yet, experience in the host country makes partnering more feasible and increases the likelihood of such partnerships. To test our hypotheses, we conceptualize the decision to partner with a local firm in a foreign venture as a multilayered decision, and model it accordingly. Using a global sample of venture capital investments made between 1984 and 2011, we find support for the distinct effects of venture- and country-level uncertainty as well as for corresponding levels of experiential learning. These findings have implications for the literature on cross-border venture capital investment and international business in general.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1429
Number of pages23
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

ID: 2040546