Managing Strategic Alliances: What Do We Know Now, and Where Do We Go From Here?

Kale, Prashant; Singh, Harbir
August 2009
Academy of Management Perspectives;Aug2009, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p45
Academic Journal
Alliances present a paradox for firms. On the one hand, firms engage in a large number of alliances to secure and extend their competitive advantage and growth; on the other hand, their alliances exhibit surprisingly low success rates. In this paper, we discuss how firms can address these failures by identifying some of the primary drivers of alliance success. First, we discuss how firms can achieve success with any individual alliance by considering critical factors at each phase of the alliance life cycle. Second, we show how firms can increase their overall alliance success by developing and institutionalizing firm-level capabilities to manage alliances. Third, we highlight emerging issues in the alliance context, including the need to recognize a new class of alliances between firms and not-for-profit organizations or individuals, the benefits of taking a "portfolio approach" to alliance strategy and management, and the opportunity to transfer one's alliance capabilities to the effective management of other interfirm relationships, including acquisitions.


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