Business Strategy and Public Policy
Edited by Yannis Caloghirou, Nicholas S. Vonortas and Stavros Ioannides
to Part I The proliferation of a wide variety of inter-organizational cooperative agreements since the early 1980s has created the need for new deﬁnitions of cooperation (Hagedoorn and Schakenraad, 1990; Nooteboom, 1999). The term ‘strategic alliance’ was thus invented to encompass the multitude of forms these agreements have taken. According to one deﬁnition, a strategic alliance is a web of agreements whereby two or more partners share the commitment to reach a common goal by pooling their resources together and coordinating their activities (Teece, 1992). An alliance denotes some degree of strategic and operational coordination and may also include things such as technology exchanges, exclusionary market and manufacturing rights, and co-marketing agreements. Collaborative arrangements can take many forms (Hagedoorn, Link and Vonortas, 2000; Littler, Leverick and Wilson, 1998): from formal collaboration, founded on an explicit, common purpose agreed by the parties and based on explicit contracts, to informal collaborations involving more tacit and casual relationships. It may take place between and among customers, suppliers, competitors, or even between organizations that just share some common expertise. An increase in the joint projects launched by companies with public research institutes and universities has been pointed out by many scholars (Caloghirou, Tsakanikas and Vonortas, 2001; Georghiou, 1998), along with a steady growth of interﬁrm alliances during the 1980s (Contractor and Lorange, 1988; Mytelka, 1991; Chesnais, 1988; Hagedoorn, 2001). We focus in this book on collaboration on technological issues (Dodgson, 1993), and especially on Research Joint Ventures. RJVs are deﬁned...