Strategic Business Alliances
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Strategic Business Alliances

An Examination of the Core Dimensions

Keith W. Glaister, Rumy Husan and Peter J. Buckley

Strategic Business Alliances examines key issues in the analysis, management and performance of international joint ventures using a sample of UK–European equity joint ventures.
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Chapter 3: The Nature of Partner Selection

Keith W. Glaister, Rumy Husan and Peter J. Buckley


INTRODUCTION While the expected gains of inter-firm collaboration are well known, it is also the case that such collaboration is often short-lived and prone to failure (Bleeke and Ernst, 1993a; Lei and Slocum, 1991; Beamish and Delios, 1997b). It is clear that central to the international joint venture formation process is the quest for a suitable partner (Parkhe, 1993; Blodgett, 1991a; 1991b; Brown et al., 1989; Burton and Saelens, 1982; Harrigan, 1988b). According to Sorensen and Reve (1998: 159) ‘The selection of partners is one of the most important steps in forming strategic alliances’. Child and Faulkner (1998: 87) observe that ‘the choice of a partner is key to the ultimate success of a joint enterprise’. One of the most often cited reasons for alliance failure is the incompatibility of partners (Farr and Fischer, 1992; Dacin et al., 1997; Zahra and Elhagrasey, 1994). The choice of a particular partner is an important variable influencing IJV performance, since it influences the mix of skills and resources which will be available to the venture and thus the IJV’s ability to achieve its strategic objectives (Porter and Fuller, 1986). Chung et al. (2000: 1) note that researchers have focused on two explanations of what drives a firm to form a strategic alliance with a particular partner firm. Scholars of economics and business strategy have emphasized resource complementarity: two (or more) firms enter into an alliance when the pooled resources can create excess value relative to their value before the pooling (Nohria and Garcia-Pont,...

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