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Does alliance orientation matter for new product success? An empirical study of Taiwanese electronics firms

Yen-Chun Chen (Department of International Business Administration, College of Business, Chinese Culture University, Taipei, Taiwan)
Todd Arnold (Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 28 September 2022

Issue publication date: 30 November 2022

79

Abstract

Purpose

Firms report varied levels of success in relation to using alliances to aid in new product development (NPD). This study aims to investigate internal processes that might influence the experience of alliance success. Specifically, this study investigates the role of mediating and moderating mechanisms underlying the alliance orientation (AO)–new product success relationship, while also investigating the impact of the level and consistency of AO. The primary goal is to understand the importance of a firm’s maintaining a consistent focus upon alliance scanning, coordination and learning.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted to collect data from 141 Taiwanese electronics companies. The proposed model and hypotheses were tested using path analysis in analysis of moment structures.

Findings

AO improves the success of new products indirectly through the enhancement of product program innovativeness and NPD decision-making flexibility. The positive effect of AO on product program innovativeness and NPD decision-making flexibility is heightened when a firm consistently carries out a series of alliance management activities, including alliance scanning, coordination and learning. Market turbulence and the intensity of competition differentially affect the association between product program innovativeness and NPD decision-making flexibility and new product success.

Research limitations/implications

The measures were self-reported and may result in the threat of common method bias. While this study focused upon protecting against and assessing this bias, collecting data from multiple sources would have helped to eliminate the bias. Further, the sample consisted of Taiwanese electronics firms. This makes it difficult to generalize this study’s findings to other industrial contexts.

Practical implications

While AO may be viewed as a dynamic capability, product program innovativeness and NPD decision-making flexibility represent competitive advantage in NPD program and process, respectively. Managers should not focus only on competitive advantage in NPD while overlooking the development of dynamic capabilities, as this study’s results demonstrate that both elements must work in tandem. AO is relevant at higher levels of the organizational hierarchy, while product program innovativeness and decision-making flexibility are operational, demanding cross-functional coordination and involvement within a firm. Senior executives ought to not only confirm the appropriate provision of their resources to activities and actions associated with product program innovativeness and decision-making flexibility in NPD but also continually monitor and assess whether the inputs of AO lead to desirable competitive advantage in the context of NPD.

Originality/value

This study sheds light on the underlying mechanism through which AO improves new product success. This research proposes two different aspects of AO, level and consistency, and empirically identifies their interactive effect in the context of NPD. The findings offer specific guidelines for the assessment and implementation of AO to improve new product success. Consistency, especially, has not been investigated in relation to alliance-generated new product success.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan [grant numbers 104–2410-H-034–025-].

Citation

Chen, Y.-C. and Arnold, T. (2022), "Does alliance orientation matter for new product success? An empirical study of Taiwanese electronics firms", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 56 No. 12, pp. 3347-3380. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-07-2021-0540

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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