Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

MNC-SME strategic alliances -- A model framing knowledge value as the primary predictor of governance modal choice


Author Info

  • O'Dwyer, Michèle
  • O'Flynn, Eamonn
Registered author(s):


    This paper addresses a deficit in research on strategic alliance formation which, as noted by Gulati (1998) [Gulati, R., 1998. Alliances and networks. Strategic Management Journal 19, 293-317], has resulted in little attention being given to transaction costs and knowledge-based imperatives for alliance formation. In addition, Contractor and Ra (2002) [Contractor, F.J., Ra, W., 2002. How knowledge attributes influence alliance governance choices: a theory development note. Journal of International Management 8, 11-27] illustrated that theory on governance modal choice from the perspective of transactions costs and knowledge characteristics is underdeveloped, thereby proposing an interactive model predicting governance modal choice in an attempt to redress this imbalance. Using a multiple case study methodology the present study examines the important aspects of governance mode and knowledge exchange in strategic alliances between a multi-national corporation (MNC) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). In doing so this paper qualifies the model proposed by Contractor and Ra (2002) [Contractor, F.J., Ra, W., 2002. How knowledge attributes influence alliance governance choices: a theory development note. Journal of International Management 8, 11-27], suggesting a model framing knowledge value as the primary predictor of governance modal choice as an appropriate framework to evaluate both the knowledge exchange relationships and governance modal choice relationships between MNCs and SMEs. Thus this paper advances theory on the motives for alliances, specifically, the effect on governance modal choice of a company's desire to acquire or access knowledge. In addition the paper furthers theory on organisational learning and absorptive capacity focusing on their influence on governance mode, in the context of management strategy.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Management.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 3 (September)
    Pages: 397-416

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:11:y:2005:i:3:p:397-416

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research

    Keywords: MNC-SME strategic alliances Governance mode Knowledge transfer Organisational learning Appropriation concern;


    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Contractor, Farok J. & Ra, Wonchan, 2002. "How knowledge attributes influence alliance governance choices: A theory development note," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 11-27.
    2. Hall, Richard & Andriani, Pierpaolo, 2003. "Managing knowledge associated with innovation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 145-152, February.
    3. Mowery, David C. & Oxley, Joanne E. & Silverman, Brian S., 1998. "Technological overlap and interfirm cooperation: implications for the resource-based view of the firm," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 507-523, September.
    4. Oxley, Joanne E, 1997. "Appropriability Hazards and Governance in Strategic Alliances: A Transaction Cost Approach," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(2), pages 387-409, October.
    5. Bruce Kogut & Udo Zander, 1993. "Knowledge of the Firm and the Evolutionary Theory of the Multinational Corporation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 24(4), pages 625-645, December.
    6. John Hagedoorn & Rajneesh Narula, 1996. "Choosing Organizational Modes of Strategic Technology Partnering: International and Sectoral Differences," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(2), pages 265-284, June.
    7. Nakamura, Masao & Shaver, J. Myles & Yeung, Bernard, 1996. "An empirical investigation of joint venture dynamics: Evidence from U.S.-Japan joint ventures," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 521-541, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Globerman, Steven & Nielsen, Bo Bernhard, 2007. "Equity versus non-equity international strategic alliances involving Danish firms: An empirical investigation of the relative importance of partner and host country determinants," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 449-471, December.
    2. Gnyawali, Devi R. & Singal, Manisha & Mu, Shaohua "Carolyn", 2009. "Knowledge ties among subsidiaries in MNCs: A multi-level conceptual model," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 387-400, December.
    3. Sylvaine Mercuri & Maha Raïs, 2010. "Alliance stratégique entre PME et Grande Firme Internationale : Quel rôle pour le middle manager ?," Post-Print halshs-00692411, HAL.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:intman:v:11:y:2005:i:3:p:397-416. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.