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Alliance Research: Less is More


  • Jean-François Hennart


Bell et al. (2006) express dissatisfaction with academic research on alliances and suggest ways in which it could be improved. While much of the literature has delved on alliance structure, they think it should analyse processes by which alliances evolve, what they call the dynamics of cooperation. Unfortunately, they find that this literature lacks coherence and is useless to managers. I agree with them that the present dynamics of cooperation literature leaves much to be desired, but I am pessimistic as to its chances of ever providing parsimonious and managerially useful theories. Re-visiting four cases of alliance evolution that have been featured in the dynamics of cooperation literature, I show that focusing instead on alliance structure, in the broad sense of the term, is likely to yield strong testable propositions and useful managerial prescriptions. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-François Hennart, 2006. "Alliance Research: Less is More," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(7), pages 1621-1628, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:43:y:2006:i:7:p:1621-1628

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    Cited by:

    1. Håvard Ness, 2009. "Governance, Negotiations, and Alliance Dynamics: Explaining the Evolution of Relational Practice," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 451-480, May.
    2. Laura Poppo & Kevin Zheng Zhou, 2014. "Managing contracts for fairness in buyer–supplier exchanges," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(10), pages 1508-1527, October.
    3. repec:spr:manint:v:53:y:2013:i:2:d:10.1007_s11575-012-0145-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jiang, Xu & Li, Yuan, 2008. "The relationship between organizational learning and firms' financial performance in strategic alliances: A contingency approach," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 365-379, July.
    5. Kennelly, Millicent & Toohey, Kristine, 2014. "Strategic alliances in sport tourism: National sport organisations and sport tour operators," Sport Management Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 407-418.
    6. Jiang, Xu & Li, Yuan & Gao, Shanxing, 2008. "The stability of strategic alliances: Characteristics, factors and stages," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 173-189, June.

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