This paper attempts to bring a coherent structure into the fairly vast and growing alliance literature and to serve as a medium for a holistic understanding of the major life stages of strategic alliances.
Mayank Dhaundiyal, Professor & Dean, Jindal Global Business School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India
Joseph Coughlan, Professor, School of Business, Maynooth University, Ireland
Alliances are becoming increasingly critical for firm growth and even survival in the current competitive environment (Musarra et al., 2016). Firms are entering alliances for a variety of reasons (O’Dwyer & Gilmore, 2018; Panico, 2017) including entry to new markets (Lee, 2007), achieving economies of scale (Inkpen, 2001), getting access to skills and knowledge (Drewniak & Karaszewski, 2019; Hamel, 1991; O’Dwyer & Gilm-ore, 2018), gaining legitimacy (Hubbard et al., 2018; Lin et al., 2009) and mitigating risk (Inkpen, 2001). Therefore, strategic alliances can potentially provide a lot of value to partnering firms. However, a significant number of alliances fail to meet their stated objectives. It is therefore imperative for academics and practitioners alike to better understand the key issues in strategic alliances. In this context, this paper contributes in two primary ways. First, it provides a coherent structure to the vast alliance literature by dividing the literature into three distinct yet related life stages of an alliance, from the pre-alliance stage to the alliance performance measurement phase.
Second, the researchers also discuss the major issues faced by partner firms while going through each of these alliance life stages, thereby providing a big-picture understanding of the various important issues which need to be focussed upon to better understand alliances and thereby enhance the alliance success rate.
Given the enormity of the literature which deals with strategic alliances and its various issues individually or in groups, and the limited yet focussed aim and scope of this paper, the researchers employ the integrative literature review method for the literature review. While doing so, they focus on the leading management journals with a justified assumption that they publish manuscripts of the highest quality and rigour.
Published in: Business: Theory and Practice
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