Suggests that multi‐partner strategic alliances can give rise to intense competition, create new forms of rivalry within industries and also change industry structures. Comments on research with 140 managers in 40 companies over 5 years, from which 10 case studies were developed. Suggests three external pressures create waves of alliance building: first, mover advantage; avoiding risks by imitating rivals; and pre‐empting rivals. Uses a figure for explanatory and information issues. Concludes the alliance revolution requires us to extend and modify our traditional views of business economics and strategy.
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