My research investigates the influence of contextual factors, such as the cultural and political environment, on multinational enterprise strategies that include cross-border acquisitions and international joint ventures. Please find below a list of my publications (with a corresponding short summary).


Li., C., & Haleblian, J. forthcoming. The influence of nation-level institutions on acquisition premiums: A cross-country comparative study, Journal of Management.

“Overpaying in the iron cage.” In this article, we build on neo-institutional theory to examine the effect of nation-level institutions on domestic acquisitions. Specifically, we study in what way premiums are influenced through cognitive, normative, and regulatory forces. We theorize that prior premium decisions of industry peers, the cultural values uncertainty avoidance, future orientation, and in-group collectivism, and a country’s disclosure requirements influence premiums, and we find support for several of the hypotheses.

Li., C., & Reuer, J. R. forthcoming. The impact of corruption on market reactions to international strategic alliances, Journal of International Business Studies.

"Corruption does not pay." Drawing on institutional theory, we argue that the level of corruption in an alliance partner’s country negatively affects the market reaction to a focal firm’s international strategic alliance announcement, as corruption creates uncertainty regarding the behavior of the partner firm. Analyses of over one thousand international strategic alliance announcements involving firms from 30 countries furnish evidence consistent with our theory and further reveal that the effect is influenced by anti-bribery laws and a firm's previous experience in corrupt countries.

Li., C., Shenkar, O., Newburry, W., & Tang, Y. forthcoming. How country reputation differentials influence market reaction to international acquisitions, Journal of Management Studies.

"Countries have reputations that affect your business." This study extends the reputation construct to countries. Building on social identity theory, we argue that a country's reputation affects market reaction to international acquisitions, as a country’s reputation imprints on its firms. Thus, firms from countries with better reputations are perceived as having superior capabilities and reputation differences suggest that the acquirer is able to identify undervalued targets and leverage synergies. We find support for a sample of 4,792 acquisitions.

Meyer, K. E., Li, C., & Schotter, A. P. J. 2020. Managing the MNE subsidiary: Advancing a multi-level and dynamic research agenda, Journal of International Business Studies, 51(4): 538–576.

"Subsidiaries are organizations too." In this literature review, we identify and organize theoretical and empirical research on subsidiary management based on over 600 articles in leading academic journals. We develop a conceptual framework that integrates complementary streams of theoretical and empirical research with the subsidiary as its focal unit of analysis. We further explore future research agendas that examine subsidiary management’s operations in the face of disruptions in the political and institutional environment.

Li, C., Arikan, I., Shenkar, O., & Arikan, A. 2020. The impact of country-dyadic conflicts on market reaction to cross-border acquisitions, Journal of International Business Studies, 51(3): 299–325.

"The past... it's not even past." This paper builds on intergroup relations research to examine the impact of the international relations context on market reaction to cross-border acquisitions. Drawing on a sample that comprises 7,321 acquisitions between 1988 and 2011, we find that past military conflicts reduce acquirer returns following acquisition announcements while factors such as cultural similarity, colonial ties, and a country’s national pride affect the relationship between prior military conflicts and market reaction to acquisitions.

Gelfand, M. J., Gordon, S., Li, C., Choi, V., & Prokopowicz, P. 2018. One reason mergers fail: The two cultures aren’t compatible, Harvard Business Review, October.

"Beware of culture in M&As." This article uses the cultural tightness-looseness concept to discuss Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, which was met with a lot of fanfare. The deal would allow Amazon to grow beyond e-commerce and sell groceries in hundreds of stores while collecting significant shopper data. Meanwhile, Whole Foods could lower its prices and scale up after its recent declines in sales. However, differences in cultural tightness-looseness have caused friction following the acquisition.

Li, C., Isidor, R., Dau, L., & Kabst, R. 2018. The more the merrier? Immigrant share and entrepreneurial activities, Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 42(5): 698–733.

"Immigrants, what are they good for?" This paper examines the relationship between immigrants and entrepreneurial activities in a country. Building on knowledge spillover theory of entrepreneurship, we theorize that immigrant share positively relates to the creation, growth, and export activities of new firms through knowledge spillover between immigrant and native communities. We further propose that favorable attitudes of natives toward immigrants positively moderate this relationship. Using data for 32 countries, we find support for the hypotheses.

Li, C., Brodbeck, F. C., Shenkar, O., Ponzi, L., & Fisch, J. H. 2017. Embracing the foreign: Cultural attractiveness and international strategy. Strategic Management Journal, 38(4): 950–971.

"Being different can be attractive." In this article, we draw on interpersonal attraction research to develop a positive approach to cross‐cultural interaction with the novel cultural attractiveness construct. We create an attractiveness measure and establish its predictive validity with country reputation data. Using foreign direct investment data for 41 nations and performance data for 8,519 cross‐border acquisitions, we find that cultural attractiveness predicts foreign direct investment inflows and acquisition outcomes, more so than cultural difference measures.

Li, C., & Parboteeah, K. P. 2015. The effect of culture on the responsiveness of firms to mimetic forces: Imitative foreign joint venture entries into China, 1985-2003. Journal of World Business, 50(3): 465–476.

"How much you imitate others depends on your culture." This paper draws on institutional theory to examine the effect of the cultural environment on mimetic foreign joint venture entries into China. Based on a sample of 1,361 international joint venture entries in the 1985–2003 period, we find that the cultural dimensions individualism–collectivism and power distance significantly affect the responsiveness of firms to mimetic forces.

Schneid, M., Isidor, R., Li, C., & Kabst, R. 2015. The influence of cultural context on the relationship between gender diversity and team performance: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(6): 733–756.

"When does diversity matter?" This meta-analysis examines the relationship between gender diversity and team performance. Grounded in the categorization-elaboration model, we examine the effect of cultural context as a moderator on the relationship between gender diversity and team performance. Based on 71 independent samples from 68 studies published between 1996 and 2013, we find that the cultural dimensions gender egalitarianism and collectivism significantly moderate the relationship between gender diversity and task performance.