The impact of cultural differences in U.S. business-to-business export marketing channel strategic alliances

Rajiv Mehta, Trina Larsen, Bert Rosenbloom, Joseph Ganitsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Given slower growth and fierce competition in the domestic market, combined with increasing opportunities in many overseas markets, more and more U.S. companies are going international. While many doing so may initially use a direct exporting approach that relies on foreign channel members to distribute the product in the host country, over time, strategic alliances among distribution partners may form based on trust, commitment, and cooperation. For these alliances to succeed, the partners' perceptions of these variables need to be congruent so that expectations on each side of the dyad are reasonably similar. However, what happens when the cultural backgrounds of each channel partner are substantially different? This study empirically examines whether cultural differences do affect trust, commitment, and cooperation in international marketing channel alliances between U.S. exporters and their foreign distribution partners. Based on the survey responses from 149 U.S. exporters with marketing alliances abroad, cultural differences do affect trust, commitment, and cooperation. The greater the cultural differences between channel partners, the lower the levels of trust, commitment, and cooperation. Managerial implications are discussed, and study limitations are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-165
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Commitment
  • Cooperation
  • Export
  • Marketing channels
  • Strategic alliances
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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