The role of alliance capabilities in alliance portfolio management
Panfilii, Victoria (2009)
Pro gradu -tutkielma
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The question of why some firms perform better in managing their alliances has raised interest among scholars and managers. Whereas inter-firm factors influencing the alliance performance such as strategic fit between partners and the existence of complementarities have been studied extensively, research on firm-level antecedents is rather scarce. Therefore this study investigates the role of firm’s alliance capability in the alliance success equation. Particularly it analyses the specialized mechanisms and processes set up by firm in order to facilitate alliancerelated know-how leverage organization-wise. Evidence from a cross-industry sample of R&D intensive Finnish companies supports the fact that firms which have invested in institutionalizing alliance capabilities outperform their counterparts in alliance portfolio management. Results also suggest that firms need to adjust alliance management tools depending on the alliance portfolio size, prior experience with inter-firm partnerships and the strategic importance of alliances. Furthermore, absorptive capacity is found to be crucial for successful alliance management, its role being complementary to that of alliance capability. Finally, firms that have successful alliances also enjoy higher financial, market and innovation performance.