The aim of this paper is to analyze the way in which organizational culture affects alliance performance. The literature has begun to focus on intra-firm antecedents of alliance success, but so far has mainly focused on structural aspects like the presence of an alliance department. This paper proposes that interrelated processes of sense-making in alliances and sense-making about alliances shape organizational culture to make it more supportive of alliances.
A survey was developed to operationalize an alliance supportive culture construct. Results from 179 alliance managers were analyzed to investigate the inter-relationship of alliance experience, alliance supportive culture and alliance performance.
Alliance supportive culture was found to fully mediate the relationship between alliance experience and performance. This finding suggests that experience with alliances leads to better alliance performance when this experience is translated into the organizational culture.
Further research may explore how alliance culture interacts with structural elements of alliance management as identified in the alliance capability literature. The interaction between alliance culture and alliance capability is as yet unexplored. In addition, research may take place to explore which elements determine sense-making about alliances.
Managers should not only focus on tools and processes to improve their alliance success. They should also augment the sense-making process about alliances and remove cultural impediments to working with alliances.
Many studies have found a relationship between alliance experience and success. This paper shows this is not a direct relationship, but that it operates via cultural change based on sense-making about alliance experience. This mediation effect has not been established before.
de Man, A. and Luvison, D. (2014), "Sense-making's role in creating alliance supportive organizational cultures", Management Decision, Vol. 52 No. 2, pp. 259-277. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-02-2013-0054Download as .RIS
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