The phenomenon of inter-firm alliances represents an important shift in the organisational practices of companies. Increasingly firms are focusing on their core competencies, which has meant that complementary competencies must now be obtained from other firms. Today, the art of managing such alliances is a condition for survival and success. This volume examines the factors which influence the nature and extent of inter-firm alliances. The discussion takes in alliances between buyers and suppliers, between competitors, between firms in different industries, against the background of developments in international business. On the basis of an inventory of different forms of alliance, the author develops rigorous criteria for choosing one. A set of tools is then developed for the design and analysis of governance of relations, as well as for the setting-up, development and termination of an alliance. Inter-Firm Alliances combines resource-based views, transaction-cost analysis and institutional economics to develop an original and comprehensive theory of inter-firm alliances and a coherent method for managing them.
The theory is illustrated and elaborated with real-life detail from a variety of international case studies. Both as a theoretical guide to evolving organisational practice and a manual for successfully governing inter-firm alliances, this volume will be a precious resource for students and researchers in business and international management studies.
Bart Nooteboom is Professor of Industrial Organisation in the Faculty of Management and Organisation, Groningen University, The Netherlands. He has published widely in the fields of industrial and business economics.