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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2010

Noushi Rahman and Helaine J. Korn

Further understanding of structural hierarchy is critically needed to assess the usefulness of different alliance structures. This study goes beyond transaction cost…

Abstract

Purpose

Further understanding of structural hierarchy is critically needed to assess the usefulness of different alliance structures. This study goes beyond transaction cost reasoning and incorporates social exchange theoretic perspective with the aim of capturing the concurrent relationships of alliance type and specific alliance experience with hierarchy of alliance structure.

Design/methodology/approach

Logistic regression analysis of data on 402 strategic alliances is used to test the two hypotheses advanced in the paper.

Findings

The social‐exchange‐based hypothesis is supported – specific alliance experience is negatively related to hierarchy of alliance structure. The transaction‐cost‐based hypothesis is not supported – hierarchy of alliance structure is not greater in horizontal alliances than in vertical alliances.

Research limitations/implications

Strategic alliances with different purposes, such as R&D, supply procurement, marketing, co‐production, and co‐development, may have different industry norms of structuring alliances. This study does not account for these underlying differences within strategic alliances.

Practical implications

The social exchange theory‐based variable (i.e. specific alliance experience) has a more salient influence on alliance structure than does the transaction cost‐based variable (i.e. alliance type). The findings signal the relative importance of communal harmony compared to competitive rivalry.

Originality/value

The paper shows that results suggest that high bureaucratic costs of more hierarchical structures diminish the transaction cost economizing benefits of such structures. This is especially the case when alliances are not expected to experience very high levels of relational hazards (usually in vertical alliances). It appears that partnering firms' concerns with high bureaucratic costs may at times exceed the marginal benefits of control and coordination of exceedingly hierarchical alliance structures.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 48 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Alan B. Eisner, Noushi Rahman and Helaine J. Korn

This paper aims to focus on formation motivations and processes of R&D consortia to appreciate their differential innovative and learning capabilities.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on formation motivations and processes of R&D consortia to appreciate their differential innovative and learning capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents its argument in two separate steps. First, a two‐by‐two framework, comprising four consortium types, is developed based on two formation motivations (i.e. risk sharing and networking) and two formation processes (i.e. emergent and engineered). Four case vignettes are used to demonstrate the practical relevance of the two‐by‐two consortium typology framework. Second, the innovative and learning capabilities of each of these consortia are explored and eight propositions are advanced.

Findings

The paper introduces four types of consortia: community builders, gamblers, visible hands, and opportunists. It is argued that visible hands generate greater innovation than community builders and opportunists, and community builders and opportunists generate greater innovation than gamblers. It is also argued that government involvement moderates the relationship between consortia type and innovative capabilities in an inverted U shape. Lastly, relative appropriateness of frequency, outcome, and trait imitations to facilitate organization‐level learning among consortium members is explored.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper lies in its two‐by‐two typology of consortium formation contextual conditions. Instead of focusing on evolutionary cycles and performance issues of consortia, this paper draws research attention to contextual conditions surrounding consortia formation. Consortium formation contextual conditions are critically important because they predetermine the life cycle and performance trajectory of consortia. This paper also links innovation and learning dynamics in consortia.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 47 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

Thomas C. Powell, Noushi Rahman and William H. Starbuck

This chapter explores the origins of the theme of competitive advantage in 19th and early 20th century economics. This theme, which forms the core of modern Strategic…

Abstract

This chapter explores the origins of the theme of competitive advantage in 19th and early 20th century economics. This theme, which forms the core of modern Strategic Management, was a battleground for debates about the value of abstract theory versus observations about real-life events. Intellectual genealogies, citations, and other sources show the central roles played by the University of Vienna and Harvard University. These two institutions strongly influenced the theory of monopolistic competition as well as all three modern views of competitive advantage – the industrial as expressed by Porter, the resource-based as expressed by Penrose, and the evolutionary as expressed by Schumpeter.

Details

The Globalization of Strategy Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-898-8

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2010

Abstract

Details

The Globalization of Strategy Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-898-8

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