Session 424

Partnering Experience, Alliance Governance, and Performance

Track N

Date: Monday, September 22, 2014


Time: 14:45 – 16:00


Room: Estancia 311

Session Chair:

  • Hans Frankort, City University London

Title: Adaptive Governance: Prior Ties, Learning and Contract Change


  • Zhe Xing, University of Southern California
  • Kyle J. Mayer, University of Southern California
  • Xuanli Xie, Peking University
  • Jeffrey Reuer, University of Colorado, Boulder

Abstract: This paper explores how alliance partners adapt during the execution of the contract. TCE suggests that higher alliance performance is achieved when firms design effective governance structures. However, we know little about how alliance partners “use” those governance mechanisms to smooth their collaborations and when and why they change the initial governance structure. Incorporating insights from organizational learning to complement TCE, we argue that partners are more likely to change their contracts the more they have worked together prior to the current transaction. More detailed initial contracts positively moderate this effect. In addition, prior ties also make firms more inclined to make changes that involve enforcement clauses rather than coordination clauses. Using a sample of 128 international joint ventures, we find support for our hypotheses.

Title: Performance Feedback and Alliance Portfolio Reconfiguration


  • Korcan Kavusan, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Hans Frankort, City University London

Abstract: We develop performance feedback models to examine when and how firms simultaneously reconfigure the technological scope and partner mix of their alliance portfolios following an assessment of firm performance relative to aspirations. Analysis of panel data on U.S. biotechnology firms, 1981-2000, shows that below-aspiration performance is associated with the formation of alliances with novel partners within the technological scope of the existing alliance portfolio. In contrast, above-aspiration performance is associated with the formation of alliances with existing partners outside the technological scope of the existing alliance portfolio. Finally, results show evidence of inertia below aspirations, in that firms’ greater commitment to their portfolio of existing alliances diminishes their propensity to form alliances with novel partners within the technological scope of the existing alliance portfolio.

Title: The “Dilution” of Partner-Specific Experience at High Levels of General Alliance Experience


  • Tobias Langenberg, Lancaster University

Abstract: This study in the global biopharmaceutical industry investigates to what extent the effect of partner-specific experience on alliance performance is reduced ('diluted') at high levels of general alliance experience. By drawing on organizational learning and organizational psychology, we find strong support for this. Furthermore, we find some evidence that differences in the 'dilution effect' can be found for contractual alliances and licensing agreements.

Title: The Effects of Different Types of Partnering Experience on Interfirm Performance


  • Bart Bruin, VU University Amsterdam

Abstract: We test how sequence of partnering experience influences interfirm performance over time. Participants initially interacted repetitively with the same or with different partners and then formed new relationships with different requirements for cooperative success with an unfamiliar partner. Some continued with the same type of partnering experience, the other half switched. We find that participants with partner specific experience initially perform better. When cooperative success is relatively easy to achieve, participants with initial partner specific experience can exploit this capability with an unfamiliar partner and show no difference in performance when subsequently interacting with a single or with different partners. When cooperative success is difficult to achieve, participants interacting with the same partner perform better and this effect is independent of initial experience.

All Sessions in Track N...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 408: Future Research Directions in Cooperative Strategy
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 427: Research Methods in Cooperative Strategy
Sun: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 422: Alliance Formation and Stakeholder Perceptions
Sun: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 610: Cooperative Strategies IG Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 418: The Structure and Evolution of Networks
Session 420: Relational Mechanisms and Governance Choice in Alliances
Mon: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 416: Resource Dependence, Power Relations and Cooperation
Session 423: Alliances and Innovation Performance
Mon: 14:45 – 16:00
Session 424: Partnering Experience, Alliance Governance, and Performance
Session 425: Tradeoffs and Opportunism in Cooperative Relations
Mon: 16:30 – 17:45
Session 419: Cognition and Learning in Alliances
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 409: Increasing the Relevance of Strategy Research
Session 417: Networks of Competition and Cooperation
Tue: 15:30 – 16:45
Session 421: Acquisitions, Alliances, and Contracts
Tue: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 454: Multipartner Cooperation and Third-Party Relations

Strategic Management Society