Trade Offs in Alliance Capabilities: Case Studies of Pharmaceutical Firms in Japan
Organizational capability is an important factor in sustaining competitive advantage. As yet, there have been no studies comparing organizational capabilities. This paper will examine the relationship between two capabilities: alliance partner selection and alliance implementation capabilities. Field research was conducted to examine the process of alliance partner selection and implementation with six pharmaceutical companies in Japan. This paper focuses on two companies reputed to have high alliance capabilities. One had a reputation for good partner selection, but a below-average capability for implementation. The other had the opposite - a below-average partner selection capability, with strong implementation capabilities. Based on a series of extensive interviews, it may be posited that there is an inverse relationship between partner selection and alliance implementation capabilities, involving a trade off of sorts.
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