The shopping center (SC) industry in emerging countries has grown fast over the past decade; however, recently, it is showing signs of slowing down. Nevertheless, some SC-companies perform well. As those firms operate in alliance networks, relational opportunities and risks should be considered in their strategic analyses. Although there is a significant amount of research on SC from a marketing perspective, there is a dearth of research on strategic alliances from an SC management perspective. This paper aims at answering the following question: How do characteristics of the alliance networks of leading SC-companies contribute to their success by mitigating the structural threats the SC-industry in Brazil is facing?
The case study method was adopted for analyzing two leading Brazilian SC-companies. Several data sources were used to allow for data triangulation. The lack of literature on strategic alliances and the SC-industry, as well as the research’s exploratory nature, justified this choice.
The research made evident that the SC-companies’ alliance network characteristics not only mitigate some of the structural industry threats but also enhance opportunities. It illustrated how firms can conduct a strategic analysis from a network perspective with the right tools. It also made evident how much more accurate the results of a comprehensive relational analysis are compared with traditional analyses that do not consider the strategic implications of relational factors.
The research contributed to SC management by highlighting the importance of taking into account the network characteristics of their relationships with key partners and of considering these as alliances and not merely contractual arrangements.
There is a dearth of research on the strategic implications of alliances of firms that own and manage a portfolio of SCs, as well as of their relationships with other actors in the industry, such as retailers and real estate owners, from a network perspective.
Gomes, R., Paula, F. and Macedo-Soares, T. (2017), "Strategic alliances of shopping centers in Brazil: network perspective", Management Research, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 167-186. https://doi.org/10.1108/MRJIAM-04-2016-0661Download as .RIS
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