Many people think strategic alliances are another quick‐fix management toy that will soon be put away in the executive closet. That is far from the truth. A strategic alliance makes it possible for two companies to reach out together for a mutual objective and create more value together than is ever possible in an over‐the‐fence, commercial transaction. Companies that succeed with strategic alliances build powerful positions in the marketplace and force their competitors to try to catch up. In every industry, the most powerful firms are the leaders in the use of successful alliances. In pharmaceuticals it is Merck and Glaxo; in telecommunications, Motorola and Northern Telecom. In sector after sector, the best firms are sweeping past their rivals with strategic alliances.
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