This research investigates the antecedents and consequences of relational capabilities in the context of strategic alliance projects between MNE subsidiaries and local suppliers in the Thai manufacturing sector. The need to understand the relational capabilities approach is recognised in management literature, especially the ambiguous effects of the relational and economic dimensions, on relational capabilities in cross-cultural alliance projects. In particular, academics have highlighted the importance of relational capabilities, trust and transaction cost factors in that they play important roles in determining alliance success, especially in the context of cross-cultural alliances. A theoretical framework is developed which, first, explores the antecedents and barriers of relational capabilities and second, examines the multiple mediation effect of these on the link between inter-organizational conditions and alliance performance.The research design is aligned with quantitative methodology. The theoretical frameworks were tested using the data obtained from 156 strategic alliance projects between MNE subsidiaries and local suppliers in the Thai manufacturing sector with hierarchical regression analysis and the bootstrapping technique. The empirical results indicate that inter-personal trust, inter-organizational trust and asset specificity are antecedents of relational capabilities, while HR distance between alliance partners is not a barrier of these capabilities. Moreover, the empirical outcomes in relation to the indirect effect of the relational and economic dimensions on alliance performance through knowledge sharing routines and complementary capability are supported. However, the remaining hypotheses pertaining to the expectation that effective governance mechanisms are mediators on those relationships are rejected. This is explained by the fact that trust-based relationships are so deeply embedded in the Thai manufacturing sector that they predominate over such mechanisms. The contribution of this research is twofold: first, in terms of academic advancement, it combines the arguments of trust and TCE to provide a holistic view in explaining antecedents and consequences of relational capabilities. Second, in terms of practical contribution, it improves the understanding of practitioners both purchasing managers of MNE subsidiaries and sales managers, regarding the alignment of trust and asset specificity with relational capabilities to achieve better performance in cross-cultural strategic alliance projects.
|Date of Award||30 Sept 2014|
|Supervisor||Klaus Meyer (Supervisor) & Anthony Roath (Supervisor)|
- Relational capabilities
- Strategic alliance project
- transaction cost economics