The purpose of this paper is to establish a mechanism for partner selection via adapting relative weights of criteria according to the priority of motivations for establishing strategic alliance.
The analytic network process (ANP) approach derived from the idea of the Markov chain is employed to deal with this dynamic situation and to establish a partner selection mechanism. With this approach, the priority of motivations and the relative importance of criteria are determined simultaneously.
Although choosing an appropriate partner is an important variable influencing success of alliance, attempts to identify a universal list of criteria and their corresponding relative importance which enterprises should employ when seeking a proper partner would be futile since the objectives of forging alliances vary depending on specific motivations. Based on this iterative review approach proposed in this paper, a proper weight setting for these criteria is available and will comply with the original motivation for establishing the strategic alliance. This is essential for selecting an appropriate partner for establishing an alliance that matches the original motivation.
The limitation of this research is the neglect of the possible inner dependence among criteria and sub‐criteria, although that can be coped with by choosing them properly.
The content of motivations and criteria as well as their priority and weightings may vary with different kinds of alliances or situations. The partner evaluation and selection mechanism proposed in this paper can meet different situations by adapting the relative weights of criteria and attributes according to the relationship between the criteria and motivations for every particular situation, thus enabling decision‐makers to think more comprehensively before conducting a selection process. If the priority of the motivations obtained from the mechanism is consistent with that set initially, the relative weights of these criteria can then be employed to evaluate the candidate partners in the selection mechanism. If it is not, the decision maker should reconsider the weighting process or measure again the relative weights for the criteria before conducting the evaluation and selection processes to avoid selecting an inappropriate partner that runs contrary to the original motivations.
The emphasis is on the interdependence between motivations and criteria for partner selection. This paper systematically deals with the interdependence of these two factors. Based on this iterative review approach proposed in this paper, a proper weight setting for these criteria is available and will comply with the original motivation for establishing the strategic alliance.
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