We examine collaborative complexity arising from strategic alliances among competitors. In high technology industries, rapidly evolving and modular technologies increase the likelihood that collaborative alliances will develop between partners who also compete with one another. Partnering under these conditions involves choosing collaborative structures that foster the transfer and integration of some resources, while simultaneously protecting other resources from unintended transfer. Using resource-based, transaction cost, and industrial organization economic theories we develop a model to depict the risks and rewards of collaboration under different modes of competitive interdependence. Two dimensions underlie our conceptual model: resource interdependence and competitive interdependence. Resource interdependence is the degree of integration needed for the resources contributed by alliance partners as reflected in the nature of the resources and their co-specialization. Competitive interdependence gauges the similarity between partners in their overall strategic capabilities and customer markets. We conclude with a discussion of the contingent use of inter-organizational structures to enable partners to balance resource contributions and resource protection in collaborative-competitive relationships.
McGill, J. and Santoro, M. (2004), "MANAGING VALUE AND VULNERABILITY IN COMPLEX COLLABORATIONS: ALLYING WITH COMPETITORS", Beyerlein, M., Johnson, D. and Beyerlein, S. (Ed.) Complex Collaboration: Building the Capabilities for Working Across Boundaries (Advances in Interdisciplinary Studies of Work Teams, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 263-286. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1572-0977(04)10010-1Download as .RIS
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