Session 123

The Configuration of Alliance Portfolios: Antecedents and Consequences

Track B

Date: Monday, October 12, 2009


Time: 12:45 – 14:00


Room: Meeting Room 14

Session Chair:
Werner Hoffmann, WU-Vienna

Title: Balancing Knowledge Configurations in the Alliance Portfolio Internationalization


  • Rangga Almahendra, Gadjah Mada University
  • Shalini Rogbeer, WU-Vienna
  • Björn Ambos, University of St. Gallen

Abstract: When forming portfolios of alliances, firms are confronted with two strategic trade-offs. First, while knowledge diversified portfolios of alliances bear considerable risks; they also produce superior combinations of added value. Second, the more international the portfolio of alliances, greater the potential to reach geographically scattered knowledge, but also the higher the costs of managing these internationally distant partners. In this paper we investigate these two trade-offs by building on the notion that firms need to reconcile the paradoxical demands of exploitation and exploration in their alliance portfolios to maximize knowledge acquisition. Further, we elucidate the contingent effect of alliance portfolio internationalization on the relationship between the explorative and exploitative balance and knowledge acquisition. We test our hypotheses on firms operating in the biotech-pharmaceutical sector.

Title: Dynamics of Strategic Alliance Portfolio Management: An International Business Perspective


  • Markus Paukku, University of Amsterdam
  • Terhi Johanna Vapola, Nokia

Abstract: This paper investigates the dynamics of alliance management strategies of MNCs as they manage ever growing strategic alliance portfolios. By extending the Integration – Responsiveness (Prahalad and Doz, 1987) framework beyond firm boundaries we assess the alliancing patterns of five case MNCs over a period of 10 years. The results of the longitudinal analysis show that alliance portfolios of MNCs differ significantly with respect to partner integration and partner heterogeneity. The MNCs alliancing strategies are seen to evolve over time in accordance with the MNCs international business strategic orientation. The preliminary empirical results indicate that as MNCs seek to become more global or transnational (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1989) the firms increase the number of integrated alliance partners and the degree of heterogeneity within their alliance portfolios, respectively.

Title: How Alliance Portfolio Complexity Affects Firm Performance


  • Werner Hoffmann, WU-Vienna
  • Florian Heitzenberger, WU Vienna
  • Katharina Wratschko, WU Vienna

Abstract: Our study aims at analyzing the interaction between alliance portfolio configuration -- in particular the complexity (diversity) of the alliance portfolio -- on the one hand and firm strategy and the firm´s alliance capability on the other hand and at clarifying how these interactions influence firm performance.

Title: You Have to Start Early: Alliance Portfolio Emergence and its Consequences in New Organizations


  • Claudia Schoonhoven, University of California-Irvine
  • Christine Beckman, University of California-Irvine
  • Renee Rottner, University of California-Santa Barbara

Abstract: This paper addresses the origins and consequences of alliance portfolio variation in 105 new semiconductor organizations. In this proposal, we briefly describe hypotheses, research methods, measures, and results for pooled cross section GEE analyses predicting portfolio variation and hazard models predicting performance from portfolio variation. Initial results show that board of director prestige, and the presence of founders and their proportion of ownership have a significant impact on alliance portfolio variation. We then show that alliance portfolio variation has a significant positive effect on the likelihood a new organization will reach revenue milestone events of $10, $20, and $50 million. We finish with a brief discussion of the theoretical significance of this study and these initial results.

All Sessions in Track B...

Mon: 12:45 – 14:00
Session 123: The Configuration of Alliance Portfolios: Antecedents and Consequences
Mon: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 131: Managing External Relationships: Perception, Judgement and Action
Session 132: Uncertainty and the Leveraging of Relational Mechanisms in Alliances
Mon: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 126: Getting It Right: Buyer-Supplier Relationships
Tue: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 124: License to Deal: Technology Licensing, Innovation, and Corporate Investment
Tue: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 127: Law and Order: Alliance Governance Decisions
Session 134: Organizational Design and Networking Strategies under Uncertainty
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 128: Is He The One? Partner Selection and Tie Formation
Session 133: The Dynamics of Interorganizational Networks and Their Performance Implications
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 129: Putting Things in Context: Competition and Network Dynamics
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 130: Alliances, Knowledge Transfer, and Performance
Session 135: The Good, the Bad and the Not so Bad: Enhancing Performance by Discerning External Relationships

Strategic Management Society

Washington DC