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Surviving learning races: An analysis of strategic alliance evolution capabilities

  • Autori: MOCCIARO LI DESTRI, A.; Dagnino, G.; Filippas, V.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2014
  • Tipologia: Proceedings (TIPOLOGIA NON ATTIVA)
  • Parole Chiave: Alliance, learning race, survival
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This paper is aimed to identify and understand the main dimensions and processes that underlie the capacity of weaker firms in an initially unbalanced strategic alliance to purposefully channel the fruitful evolution of the alliance by creating, extending or modifying its scope in order to perceive and grasp new value creating opportunities which they would not be able to seize on their own. We call this capacity an alliance evolution capability and intend it as a particular type of dynamic capability of the firm (Teece, Pisano & Schuen, 1997; Helfat et al., 2007). The motivation for this paper is threefold: (1) to understand how weaker firms may survive learning race alliances (Hamel, 1991) and leverage them to gain increasing benefits; (2) to contribute to the comprehension of the role of purposeful action for the fruitful evolution of inter-firm alliances and alliance portfolios; and (3) to describe and analyze a specific type of dynamic capability which refers to alliances through a multilevel longitudinal study of firm and inter-firm changes within relatively traditional industries. The empirical analysis focuses on three in depth case studies regarding alliances between large multinational or international firms and firms from emerging markets. In sharp contrast to other empirically grounded studies on alliance evolution (Doz, 1996; Arino & De La Torre, 1998), our unit of analysis is the set of projects that are initiated and developed between two given firms. The unit of analysis chosen differentiates this paper also from the other studies conducted regarding the constituent elements of alliance capabilities, which have either focused on the whole portfolio of firm alliances or on single projects (for a review, Schreiner, Kale & Corsten, 2009).