Cultural similarity as in-group favoritism: The impact of religious and ethnic similarities on alliance formation and announcement returns

Wei Shi, Yinuo Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Strategic alliance research has shown that national cultural similarity between partner firms can reduce transaction costs and positively influence cross-border alliance formation and performance. Yet, social identity research in psychology suggests that cultural similarity can give rise to in-group favoritism, which can lead partner firms sharing similar cultural backgrounds to cooperate with each other to defend their shared identity instead of pursuing economic efficiencies associated with cultural similarity. To investigate in-group favoritism associated with cultural similarity, we examine the influence of cross-regional religious similarity and ethnic similarity in the U.S. on domestic strategic alliance formation and alliance announcement returns. We find that cross-regional religious similarity and ethnic similarity in the U.S. positively affect the volume of interstate alliance activities, but are negatively associated with combined alliance announcement returns of partner firms. These findings suggest that cross-regional religious similarity and ethnic similarity facilitate interstate alliance activities between U.S. states, but investors seem to negatively interpret alliance decisions that can be potentially driven by in-group favoritism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-46
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Corporate Finance
Volume34
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Announcement returns
Favoritism
Alliance formation
Alliances
Strategic alliances
Social identity
Cross-border
Psychology
Alliance performance
Investors
Transaction costs
Economic efficiency
U.S. States

Keywords

  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Religion
  • Strategic alliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

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abstract = "Strategic alliance research has shown that national cultural similarity between partner firms can reduce transaction costs and positively influence cross-border alliance formation and performance. Yet, social identity research in psychology suggests that cultural similarity can give rise to in-group favoritism, which can lead partner firms sharing similar cultural backgrounds to cooperate with each other to defend their shared identity instead of pursuing economic efficiencies associated with cultural similarity. To investigate in-group favoritism associated with cultural similarity, we examine the influence of cross-regional religious similarity and ethnic similarity in the U.S. on domestic strategic alliance formation and alliance announcement returns. We find that cross-regional religious similarity and ethnic similarity in the U.S. positively affect the volume of interstate alliance activities, but are negatively associated with combined alliance announcement returns of partner firms. These findings suggest that cross-regional religious similarity and ethnic similarity facilitate interstate alliance activities between U.S. states, but investors seem to negatively interpret alliance decisions that can be potentially driven by in-group favoritism.",
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