Session 135

The Good, the Bad and the Not so Bad: Enhancing Performance by Discerning External Relationships

Track B

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Time: 11:30 – 12:45

Common Ground

Room: Meeting Room 11

Pierre Dussauge, HEC-Paris

Title: Organizations’ Coexistence in Crowded Markets: The Role of Collaborative Relationships


  • Samira Dias dos Reis, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Abstract: This article investigates the impact of concentration among generalist organizations on collaboration. I propose that concentration among generalists affects the number of collaborations in the industry. There are at least two ways in which organizations decide to collaborate to manage resources when the competition is high. On the one hand, specialist organizations collaborate among themselves to use the resources left by generalist organizations. On the other hand, generalist organizations decide to collaborate with specialist organizations to compete against other generalist organizations. Analyzing organizations from the TV production in the United States from its inception until mid-80s, I find that the number of new collaborations increase with concentration among generalist organizations. This finding has important implications for competitive and collaborative dynamics in uncertain environments.

Title: Overt Marginalization of External Stakeholders in an Uncertain World


  • Jonathan Raelin, George Washington University
  • Pete Tashman, Portland State University

Abstract: In an uncertain world where national governments find it increasingly difficult to regulate markets, the relationships between firms and their external stakeholders are becoming more complex. Stakeholder theory positions management of stakeholder expectations as the central unit of business analysis, suggesting that firms should prioritize external stakeholders based on salience. Yet, recent corporate activities reveal a darker possibility in which a group of unaware stakeholders, labeled “marginalized stakeholders”, have information asymmetries used against them to ensure they remain unaware of relevant organizational strategies. Given marginalization’s ability to limit resistance and increase financial gains, we suggest that many organizations are incentivized to pursue this strategy. We propose to examine marginalized stakeholders and the organizational rationale for maintaining their lack of awareness via a critical ethnography.

Title: The Complementary Effect of Partner Selection and Alliance Scope on the Innovative Performance of R&D Alliances


  • Antonio Capaldo, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
  • Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli, Polytechnic University of Bari
  • Daniele Rotolo, Polytechnic University of Bari

Abstract: This paper investigates how the scope of technological search performed by allied firms complements the effect of two major partner selection criteria on the innovative performance of strategic alliances. Based on the empirical analysis of 1,912 R&D alliances in the EEE industry, we show that the selection of both: (1) distant partners, and (2) partners belonging to the same industrial group as the selecting firm, exert a negative impact on innovation. However, the impact of the two selection criteria on the alliance innovative performance is positive when the alliance is aimed at searching widely. We argue that the wider search scope the more knowledge diversity between partners and the existence of strong control mechanisms within the relationship enhance innovation in R&D alliances.

Title: Enhancing Profitability via Entering Strategic Alliances: Effects of Alliance Types and Co-Alignment Factors


  • Chiung-Hui Tseng, National Cheng Kung University

Abstract: Firms enter strategic alliances generally for two purposes and, based on the two motives, alliances can be identified as either scale or link alliances. In scale alliances, allying firms pursue scale economies and contribute similar resources and skills to the collaboration. On the other hand, firms participating in link alliances look for learning opportunities and each partner makes complementary contributions to the joint activities. Different from extant literature paying most attention to the alliance dynamics of these two types of alliances, this paper attempts to investigate two under-explored while prominent research questions: (1) how do these alliance types influence focal firms’ profitability enhancement? and (2) how does this performance impact vary with different conditions, in particular different governance forms and partner attributes? A theoretical framework linking the alliance types and their co-alignments with governance structures as well as partner attributes to participating firms’ profitability enhancement is developed.

Title: Inter-Organizational Relationships and Negative Effects on a Firm’s Growth


  • Konstantinos Poulis, University of Essex
  • Efthimios Poulis, University of East Anglia

Abstract: Inter-organizational relationships (IORs) have been credited with offering benefits to participating firms such as enhanced innovation skills, accelerated internationalisation processes and expansion of firms’ resource bases. Such value-adding partnerships often account for the enhanced levels of growth a firm enjoys as partner in relevant relationships. This paper, without denying the positive side of IORs, also stresses that such formations often turn out to become detrimental to a focal firm’s further growth. The growth-related flipside of IORs is illustrated through an exploratory study of four cases.

Title: Do Managerial Ties Affect Firm Performance? A Meta-Analysis


  • Natalia Lorinkova, University of Maryland
  • R. Scott Livengood, Ohio State University

Abstract: Are external managerial ties useful to firm performance? This meta-analysis of 31 studies suggests that there is a significant relationship between managers’ personal ties to external stakeholders and firm performance. More specifically, we found that overall managerial ties, as well as specific ties to business partners or government officials, positively predict firm performance. We also examined the moderating effect of macro-economic setting and type of ties on the described relationships. Results suggest that it is important for firms and their managers to implement policies and strategies that allow for the development, maintenance, and utilization of external managerial ties.

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