Putting the Firm Back Into Alliance
The formal study of alliances has struggled to catch up with developments in the practice of alliance management. Even though competition is almost solely between groups in some industries, we do not fully understand how alliances compete, or how to measure whether or not they are successful. In other areas, despite the fact that increasing numbers of partnerships involve multiple firms, much of the research focus remains on bilateral ties. But, because multiparty alliances have more complex relationships, we cannot simply extrapolate from the existing findings and apply it to the new setting. Management research has yet to come to grips with the fact that multiparty alliances have evolved to the point of creating institutions with permanent staff. The lessons of bureaucratic politics, from political science, suggest that there is a danger that bureaucracies will end up pursuing objectives which perpetuate the organization or lose sight of the fact that the firm’s first loyalty is to its shareholders, creating larger fissures between alliance- and firm-level interests. These types of developments have ramifications for intra-alliance dynamics, and may threaten the stability of some groups.
KeywordsTrench Stake Lopment Alliance
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