IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Coalition Formation in Standard-Setting Alliances


  • Robert Axelrod

    (University of Michigan School of Public Policy, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1220)

  • Will Mitchell

    (University of Michigan School of Business Administration, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1234)

  • Robert E. Thomas

    (University of Florida College of Business Administration, Business Building, Gainesville, Florida 32611)

  • D. Scott Bennett

    (SUNY at Buffalo, Department of Political Science, Buffalo, New York 14260)

  • Erhard Bruderer

    (University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, Management Building, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455)


We present a theory for predicting how business firms form alliances to develop and sponsor technical standards. Our basic assumptions are that the utility of a firm for joining a particular standard-setting alliance increases with the size of the alliance and decreases with the presence of rivals in the alliance, especially close rivals. The predicted alliance configurations are simply the Nash equilibria, i.e., those sets of alliances for which no single firm has an incentive to switch to another alliance. We illustrate our theory by estimating the choices of nine computer companies to join one of two alliances sponsoring competing Unix operating system standards in 1988.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Axelrod & Will Mitchell & Robert E. Thomas & D. Scott Bennett & Erhard Bruderer, 1995. "Coalition Formation in Standard-Setting Alliances," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(9), pages 1493-1508, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:41:y:1995:i:9:p:1493-1508

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    standardization; alliance; computer industry; Unix;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:41:y:1995:i:9:p:1493-1508. 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: (Mirko Janc). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.