International Joint Ventures (IJVs) combine the resources of local and foreign firms to create independent business entities that are able to avoid the risks of cross-border transactions and gain access to new markets. Despite these advantages, the failure rate of IJVs is high. A game theoretical analysis of the IJV life cycle gives robust insights into the problems encountered in multi-person decision-making scenarios. A special typology of strategic and functional configurations is developed and embedded in an overall framework of co-operation and conflict. Solution concepts are then linked to the stages and asymmetries of an IJV.