When Does Guanxi Hurt Interfirm Cooperation? The Moderating Effects of Institutional Development and IT Infrastructure Capability
Relying on the resource-based view, this study tests the moderating effects of the region’s institutional development and the firm’s IT (information technology) infrastructure capability, and examine how and when interpersonal and government-firm (GF) guanxi influence the distributor’s opportunism and cooperative performance. Using both survey data from 550 industrial manufacturers and secondary data, the study shows that both types of guanxi can mitigate the distributor’s opportunism and facilitate cooperative performance. However, the region’s institutional development strengthens the effects of interpersonal guanxi while weakening the effects of GF guanxi, and the firm’s IT infrastructure capability weakens the effects of interpersonal guanxi while strengthening the effects of GF guanxi. These findings enrich both the literature on guanxi in the emerging economy by distinguishing two types of guanxi and RBV by testing the moderating effects of institutional development and IT infrastructure capability. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.