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Interorganizational Routines and Performance in Strategic Alliances

Author

Listed:
  • Maurizio Zollo

    () (Strategy and Management Department, INSEAD, Boulevard de Constance, 77305 Fontainebleau Cedex, France)

  • Jeffrey J. Reuer

    () (Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University, 2100 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210)

  • Harbir Singh

    () (Management Department, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104)

Abstract

This paper applies evolutionary economics reasoning to the strategic alliance context and examines whether and how routinization processes at the partnering-firm level influence the performance of the cooperative agreement. In doing so, it introduces the concept of interorganizational routines, defined as stable patterns of interaction among two firms developed and refined in the course of repeated collaborations, and suggests that partner-specific, technology-specific, and general experience accumulation at the partnering-firm level influence the extent to which alliances result in knowledge accumulation, create new growth opportunities, and enable partnering firms to achieve their strategic objectives. We also consider how governance design choices at the transaction level shape the effectiveness of interorganizational routizination processes. Based on a sample of 145 biotechnology alliances, we find that only partner-specific experience has a positive impact on alliance performance, and that this effect is stronger in the absence of equity-based governance mechanisms. We interpret these results to support the role of interfirm coordination and cooperation routines in enhancing the effectiveness of collaborative agreements.

Suggested Citation

  • Maurizio Zollo & Jeffrey J. Reuer & Harbir Singh, 2002. "Interorganizational Routines and Performance in Strategic Alliances," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(6), pages 701-713, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ororsc:v:13:y:2002:i:6:p:701-713
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.13.6.701.503
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    References listed on IDEAS

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