Cooperative strategies, both domestic and foreign, have become an important component of the strategic repertoire of firms. Various forms of interfirm alliances are redefining and transforming the very nature of competition. Considering their importance, a solid understanding of their fundamental dynamics is necessary. Different forms of alliances exist: from those that emerge because partners have some preexisting advantages such as geographic proximity or shared history to those that arise because third parties such as governments have created the enabling environment. Looking at the context and operational dynamics of various alliance configurations may help our understanding of how to manage them. This paper presents four configurations or clusters of alliances based on their origins and link the context to operational dynamics. The policy and research implications of the paper are also presented.
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