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Modified total interpretive structural modelling (TISM) of asymmetric motives and its drivers in Indian bilateral CBJV

Zuby Hasan (Amity Institute of Psychology and Allied Sciences, Amity University, Noida, India)
Sanjay Dhir (Department of Management Studies (DMS), Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India)
Swati Dhir (Department of Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management, International Management Institute New Delhi, New Delhi, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 13 February 2019

Issue publication date: 22 February 2019



The purpose of this paper is to examine the elements of asymmetric motives, i.e., initial cross-border joint venture (CBJV) conditions and relative partner characteristics in emerging nations. The two main objectives of the present research are to identify the elements affecting asymmetric motives in Indian bilateral CBJV and to construct modified total interpretive structural modelling (TISM) for the identified elements of asymmetric motives.


For the current study, the qualitative technique named total interpretive structural modelling was used. The TISM (Sushil, 2012) is a novel extension of interpretive structural modelling (ISM) where ISM helps to understand the “what” and “how” of research (Warfield, 1974) and TISM answers the third question, i.e., “why” in the form of TISM; further checks for the correctness of TISM are given in Sushil (2016). TISM provides a hierarchical model of the elements selected for study and the interpretation of each element by iterative process and also a digraph that systematically depicts the relationship among various elements. TISM is an innovative modelling technique used by researchers in varied fields (Srivastava and Sushil, 2013; Wasuja et al., 2012; Nasim, 2011; Prasad and Suri, 2011). Steps involved in TISM are shown in Figure 1. It uses reachability matrix and partitioning of elements similar to ISM. Also, along with traditional TISM, the modified TISM process was also used where both paired comparisons and transitivity checks were done simultaneously which helped in minimising the redundant comparisons being made in the original process. Furthermore, for identifying the elements of study, SDC Platinum database was used, which was taken from research papers of major journals namely British Journal of Management, Administrative Science Quarterly, Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Academy of Management Journal and Organization Science (Schilling, 2009). The database included all joint ventures that were formed in India, having India as one of the partner firms during fiscal year April 2000 and March 2010. From these, 361 CBJVs and 76 domestic joint ventures were identified. Although 54 CBJVs were excluded from these, a total number of 307 CBJVs were studied in the current research. Among these 307 CBJVs, 201 were from super-advanced nations (G7), 40 CBJVs from developing nations and 66 CBJVs from other developed nations. As 65 per cent of the CBJVs came from G7 nations (France, Italy, Japan, Canada, Germany, USA and UK), in the current study, we tried to examine Indian CBJVs with G7 partners only for a period of ten years as mentioned above.


The results of the study indicate that asymmetric motives are directly affected by critical activity alignment and interdependency. Thus, we can conclude that critical activity alignment of partners in CBJV is an antecedent of CBJV motive and thereby minimises the number of asymmetric motives. Bottom level variables such as culture difference and relative capital structure are considered as strong drivers of asymmetric motives. Diversification, resource heterogeneity and inter-partner conflict are middle level elements. Effect of these elements on asymmetric motives can only be improved and enhanced when improvement in bottom level variables is found. It has been believed that as the relative capital structure among firm increases, CBJVs’ asymmetric motives also increase, the reason being that as the difference in capital structure occurs, gradual change in bargaining power will also occur.


TISM used in the present study provides valuable insights into the interrelationship between identified elements through a systematic framework. The methodology of TISM used has its implications for researchers, academicians as well for practitioners. Further study also examines driver-dependent relationship among elements of interest, i.e., relative partner characteristics and initial CBJV conditions by using MICMAC analysis, which can be viewed as a significant step in research related to bilateral CBJV.



Hasan, Z., Dhir, S. and Dhir, S. (2019), "Modified total interpretive structural modelling (TISM) of asymmetric motives and its drivers in Indian bilateral CBJV", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 614-637.



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