The Self-Organisation of Strategic Alliances
Strategic alliances form a vital part of today's business environment. The sheer variety of collaborative forms is notable - which include R&D coalitions, marketing and distribution agreements, franchising, co-production agreements, licensing, consortiums and joint ventures. Here we define a strategic alliance as a cooperative agreement between two or more autonomous firms pursuing common objectives or working towards solving common problems through a period of sustained interaction. A distinction is commonly made between 'formal' and 'informal' inter-firm alliances. Informal alliances involve voluntary contact and interaction while in formal alliances cooperation is governed by a contractual agreement. The advantage of formal alliances is the ability to put in place IPR clauses, confidentially agreements and other contractual measures designed to safeguard the firm against knowledge spill-over. However, these measures are costly to instigate and police. By contrast, a key attraction of informal relationships is their low co-ordination costs. Informal know-how trading is relatively simple, uncomplicated and more flexible, and has been observed in a number of industries. A number of factors affecting firms' decisions to cooperate or not cooperate within strategic alliances have been raised in the literature. In this paper we consider three factors in particular: the relative costs of coordinating activity through strategic alliances vis-a-vis the costs of coordinating activity in-house, the degree of uncertainty present in the competitive environment, and the feedback between individual decision-making and industry structure. Whereas discussion of the first two factors is well developed in the strategic alliance literature, the third factor has hitherto only been addressed indirectly. The contribution to this under-researched area represents an important contribution of this paper to the current discourse. In order to focus the discussion, the paper considers the formation of horizontal inter-firm strategic alliances in dynamic product markets. These markets are characterised by rapid rates of technological change, a high degree of market uncertainty, and high rewards (supernormal profits) for successful firms offset by shortening life cycles.
|Date of creation:||Oct 2001|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Universitaetsstrasse 16, D-86159 Augsburg, Germany|
Phone: +49 821 598 4060
Fax: +49 821 598 4217
Web page: http://www.wiwi.uni-augsburg.de/vwl/institut
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
- Winter, Sidney G., 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(3-4), pages 287-320.
- Artz, Kendall W. & Brush, Thomas H., 2000. "Asset specificity, uncertainty and relational norms: an examination of coordination costs in collaborative strategic alliances," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 337-362, April.
- Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
- Banerji, Kunal & Sambharya, Rakesh B., 1998. "Effect of network organization on alliance formation: A study of the Japanese automobile ancillary industry," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 41-57, July.
- Erin Anderson & Hubert Gatignon, 1986. "Modes of Foreign Entry: A Transaction Cost Analysis and Propositions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 17(3), pages 1-26, September.
- 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.
- Weisbuch, Gerard & Kirman, Alan & Herreiner, Dorothea, 2000.
"Market Organisation and Trading Relationships,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 411-436, April.
- Weisbuch, G. & Kirman, A. & Herreiner, D., 1998. "Market Organisation and Trading Relationships," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 98a32, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
- Farrell, Joseph & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "Standardization and variety," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 71-74.
- Crocker, Keith J & Masten, Scott E, 1991. "Pretia ex Machina? Prices and Process in Long-Term Contracts," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 69-99, April.
- Crocker, K.J. & Masten, S.E., 1988. "Pretia Ex Machina?: Prices And Process In Long-Term Contracts," Papers 10-88-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
- Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-1370, November.
- Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1982. "Executable program for "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations"," QM&RBC Codes 4, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Finn E. Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1982. "Web interface for "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations"," QM&RBC Codes 4a, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- A. Bassanini & G. Dosi, 1998. "Competing Technologies, International Diffusion and the Rate of Convergence to a Stable Market Structure," Working Papers ir98012, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.
- Paul W Beamish & John C Banks, 1987. "Equity Joint Ventures and Theory of the Multinational Enterprise," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 18(2), pages 1-16, June.
- Williamson, Oliver E, 1983. "Credible Commitments: Using Hostages to Support Exchange," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 519-540, September.
- Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
- David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
- Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1985. "Installed Base and Compatibility With Implications for Product Preannouncements," Working papers 385, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Joseph Farrell & Garth Saloner, 1986. "Installed Base and Compatibility, With Implications for Product Preannouncements," Working papers 411, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1994. "The changing technology of technological change: general and abstract knowledge and the division of innovative labour," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 523-532, September.
- Windrum, Paul & Birchenhall, Chris, 1998. "Is product life cycle theory a special case? Dominant designs and the emergence of market niches through coevolutionary-learning," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 109-134, March.
- Silverberg, Gerald & Dosi, Giovanni & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1988. "Innovation, Diversity and Diffusion: A Self-organisation Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(393), pages 1032-1054, December.
- Stephanie Forrest & Terry Jones, 1994. "Modeling Complex Adaptive Systems with Echo," Working Papers 94-12-064, Santa Fe Institute.
- Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
- Brian Arthur, W. & Ermoliev, Yu. M. & Kaniovski, Yu. M., 1987. "Path-dependent processes and the emergence of macro-structure," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 294-303, June.
- Rosenberg, Nathan, 1992. "Scientific instrumentation and university research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 381-390, August.
- Rosenberg, Nathan & Nelson, Richard R., 1994. "American universities and technical advance in industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 323-348, May.
- Kranton, Rachel E, 1996. "The Formation of Cooperative Relationships," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(1), pages 214-233, April.
- Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1997. "Technological Regimes and Sectoral Patterns of Innovative Activities," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 83-117.
- Masten, Scott E, 1984. "The Organization of Production: Evidence from the Aerospace Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 403-417, October.
- Deeds, David L. & Hill, Charles W. L., 1996. "Strategic alliances and the rate of new product development: An empirical study of entrepreneurial biotechnology firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 41-55, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)