Session 127

Law and Order: Alliance Governance Decisions

Track B

Date: Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Time: 11:30 – 12:45


Room: Meeting Room 14

Session Chair:
Stephen B Tallman, University of Richmond

Title: How Do Firms Select an Alliance Governance Mechanism: The Effects of Industry Characteristics and Flexibility


  • Anupama Phene, George Washington University
  • Stephen B Tallman, University of Richmond

Abstract: How do firms select a governance mechanism for alliances in the context of flexibility demands imposed by the industry context? Our study identifies three industry characteristics, munificence, dynamism and concentration that influence the need for flexibility and therefore determine alliance governance choice. Institutional alliances demonstrate a greater proximity to a hierarchy, and consequently lower flexibility in contrast to contractual alliances. We propose that industry munificence, represented by growth as well as new business formation in the industry, and industry concentration reduce the likelihood of an institutional alliance. We also posit that industry dynamism, reflected by volatility and the mortality rate of firms, leads to a decreased likelihood of an institutional alliance.

Title: The Choice of Project Team Structure in R&D Alliances: The Antecedents of Project Team Complexity


  • Mahmut N. Ozdemir, Koc University
  • Jan Van den Ende, Erasmus University-Rotterdam

Abstract: In this study we contribute to research on strategic R&D alliances by examining how contractual complexity, equity and technical uncertainty influence the alliance project team structure, particularly, its complexity. Data on 181 strategic R&D alliances indicate that complex project team structures are adopted when the contract of the partnership is complex and when technically uncertain projects are conducted in equity alliances. Our findings have implications for understanding the emergence and role of complex project team structures in strategic R&D alliances.

Title: The Project Performance Consequences of Collaborative vs. Autonomous Product Development


  • Xavier Castaner, University of Lausanne
  • Louis Mulotte, Tilburg University
  • Bernard Garrette, HEC-Paris
  • Pierre Dussauge, HEC-Paris

Abstract: This paper investigates the performance impact of undertaking activities through horizontal alliances rather than undertaking these activities autonomously. First, we claim that firms that align their governance choice with both the project resource requirements and their resource endowment achieve greater success than other firms. However, we also argue that governance mode choices have a significant performance effect, even when endogeneity and governance fit are taken into account. We test our predictions on a sample of 334 aircraft projects undertaken either through horizontal alliances or on a single-firm basis. We find that firms forming horizontal alliances achieve greater commercial success than if they had chosen to launch the same projects autonomously but they incur higher up-front costs than similar firms undertaking similar projects on their own.

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