Strategic Alliances

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Strategic Alliances Although some theorists suggest that the resource-based view could be a new theory of the firm, it is still part of a developing paradigm in strategy research (Amit & Schoemaker, 1993; Barney, 1991; Conner, 1991; Conner & Prahalad, 1996; Grant, 1996; Mahoney & Pandian, 1992; Mehra, 1996; Miller & Shamsie, 1996; Roth, 1995). The usefulness and richness of the paradigm need to be demonstrated in a variety of strategy areas. Indeed, researchers are still in the phase of accumulating applications of the resource-based view. For example, Peteraf (1993) shows that sustainable differences in firm profitability that cannot be attributed to industrial differences can be better explained by the resourcebased view. Our understanding of diversification strategy is also enhanced because the resource-based view strongly argues for strategic relatedness within a conglomerate (Chatterjee & Wernerfelt, 1991). Harrison, Hitt, Hoskisson, and Ireland (1991) examined the performance of mergers and acquisitions through a resource -based perspective. Global strategy, technological strategy, and strategic regulation have also been studied by applying the resource-based view (Collis, 1991; Leonard-Barton, 1992; Maijoor & Van Witteloostuijn, 1996). One area that remains under-explored in the literature is the resource-based view of strategic alliances, even though such alliances are rapidly increasing in importance in today's competitive landscape (Das & Teng, in press; Doz & Hamel, 1998; Gomes-Casseres, 1996; Yoshino & Rangan, 1995). A resource-based view seems particularly appropriate for examining strategic alliances because firms essentially use alliances to gain access to other firms' valuable resources. Thus, firm resources provide a relevant basis for studying alliances. The few studies that have applied the resource-based perspective to strategic alliances cover only limited aspects (e.g., Blodgett, 1991; Eisenhardt & Schoonhoven, 1996; Kogut, 1988; Mowery, Oxley, & Silverman, 1998; Rouse & Daellenbach, 1999; Tyler & Steensma, 1995, 1998; Varadarajan & Cunningham, 1995). Focusing exclusively on the resource-based view of strategic alliances, Eisenhardt and Schoonhoven (1996) found essentially that alliances are more likely to be formed when bot h firms are in vulnerable strategic positions (i.e., in need of resources) or when they are in strong social positions (i.e., possess valuable resources to share). Other researchers have tackled only selected aspects of alliances, such as organizational knowledge (Kogut, 1988) and international business (Blodgett, 1991; Lyles & Salk, 1997). Thus, a general resource-based theory of strategic alliances has yet to emerge. Our purpose here is to develop a more encompassing resource-based theory of strategic alliances than is available in the extant literature.
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