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The antecedents of response strategies in strategic alliances

Brian Tjemkes (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Olivier Furrer (Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 3 August 2010




Strategic alliances involve uncertainty, interdependence, and vulnerability, which often create adverse situations. This paper seeks to understand how alliance managers respond to these adverse situations by examining the influence of four exchange variables on response strategies.


A scenario‐based experiment provides empirical support for a typology consisting of seven conceptually and empirically distinct response strategies: exit, opportunism, aggressive voice, creative voice, considerate voice, patience, and neglect.


The results indicate that economic satisfaction, social satisfaction, alliance‐specific investments, and the availability of attractive alternatives differentially and interactively affect response strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The study offers two main contributions to alliance literature. First, the seven response strategies accurately represent reactions that alliance managers use to deal with adverse situations. Second, the study findings validate and extend previous alliance research by highlighting that a comprehensive response strategy typology is necessary to disentangle the effects of the four exchange conditions on response strategy use, which fosters theory development and managers' ability to manage their alliances effectively.


The study contributes to the process perspective on strategic alliances by highlighting the various response strategies that alliance managers use to deal with adverse situations and their antecedents.



Tjemkes, B. and Furrer, O. (2010), "The antecedents of response strategies in strategic alliances", Management Decision, Vol. 48 No. 7, pp. 1103-1133.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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