Louis Hebert

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The control exercised by parent firms over joint ventures (JVs) has been suggested to be a critical element for the effective management and the performance of these organizations. In this context, this study addressed the following questions: (1) How is control divided in JVs? (2) How does the division of control affect the performance and relationship dynamics of JVs? (3) Does the division of control affect international JVs (IJVs) differently compared to domestic JVs (DJVs)? To examine these questions, the study proposed a theoretical framework combining elements of transaction cost analysis and social exchange theory. A multi-method and multi-source methodology was used to investigate these questions in 2-parent, manufacturing JVs in operation in Canada. Hypotheses were tested using regression analysis, and both individual and aggregated self-report data.;The study found that the division of control, defined in terms of control sharing and autonomy, could be examined according to three groups of activities: operational, technological and strategic. In fact, the extent of control sharing and autonomy tended to vary significantly across these three dimensions. In addition, the study found that not all of these dimensions of control sharing and autonomy were similarly related with the performance and relationship dynamics of JVs. Specifically, control sharing and autonomy structures were more important determinants of performance in recently-formed JVs, compared to older, more established ventures. Furthermore, analyses suggested that some dimensions of control sharing and autonomy affected the performance of IJVs differently compared to DJVs. In sum, the study provided evidence that the age and the international versus domestic nature of a JV mattered in the division of control-performance relationship. Yet, because of their limited explanatory power, control sharing and autonomy did not prove to be the important factors of performance and relationship dynamics suggested in the literature.;Finally, regarding the management of JVs, the study suggested that the division of control structure of a JV should be adapted to its age and international nature. It also emphasized the importance for managers to invest the time and effort required to support the development of mutual trust and to avoid conflict.



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