International strategic alliances have grown increasingly popular in recent decades, yet their failure rate is extremely high. Poor management of adverse situations contributes significantly to such high failure rates. Moreover, the international environments in which international strategic alliances operate exacerbate the adverse situations and make their management more critical. However, extant research does not specify how people from different national cultures respond to these adverse situations. In order to better understand cross-national differences, this study investigates future managers' preferences for specific response strategies in an international strategic alliance experimental context. Using a scenario-based experiment with 1379 business students in five countries-Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom-the authors assess whether preferences for seven response strategies-exit, opportunism, aggressive voice, creative voice, considerate voice, patience, and neglect-vary across countries. The results indicate that national culture, both directly and interactively through relationship-level exchange variables that characterize the adversity of the situation, influences response strategy preference. This study advances literature on response strategies by explaining that when faced with the same adverse situation, future managers from different countries likely prefer different response strategies, depending on which response strategies they believe are most adequate in their cultural environment. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.