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Alliance form: A test of the contractual and competence perspectives

Book or journal references : Strategic Management Journal, vol. 24, pp. 1209-1229 (2003).

Author(s) : Colombo , M. G.

Abstract :

This paper analyzes factors that influence firms' choice of the organizational form of strategic alliances. I consider arguments suggested by both the contractual and the competence perspectives. In older to distinguish empirically between them. I devote special attention to the role played by the similarity of partner firms' technological specialization. In the empirical section I consider a sample composed of 271 equity joint ventures, non-equity bilateral and unilateral agreements established between each other in the period 1983-86 by 67 North American, European, and Japanese enterprises from the world's largest firms in information technology industries. I examine the effects on the choice of alliance form of a measure of firms' technological proximity based on patents count, while controlling for other variables that are usually considered in the empirical literature. The estimates of binomial and multinomial logit models support the competence-based argument that in technological alliances divergence in partners' technological specialization results in a higher propensity to use equity forms. Overall, the findings suggest that both the contractual and competence perspectives provide valuable complementary insights into the determinants of alliance form. Copyright (C) 2003 John Wiley Sons, Ltd.


Keywords :

alliances; learning; transaction costs; real option theory RESEARCH-AND-DEVELOPMENT; INTERNATIONAL STRATEGIC ALLIANCES; JOINT VENTURES; TRANSACTION COST; INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES; BIOTECHNOLOGY INDUSTRY; COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE; DEVELOPMENT CONSORTIA; SECTORAL DIFFERENCES; KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER

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