DEEP Insight

Knowledge Beyond Borders Premium

The resources you need may lie outside your firm. Before stepping out, know what it takes to make alliances work.

This executive dossier includes the following articles:

Building Blocks for Healthy Alliance Coordination Premium

A Micro Framework for Macro Efficiency

Ariño, Africa; Andreu i Civit, Rafael

The case of a healthcare alliance serves to illustrate how partners can better coordinate their activities to improve their joint performance. Building on the knowledge-based view of the firm, the authors distill the microcomponents that underpin coordination at the intrafirm level, and they extend that framework to the alliance level. By knowing which individual-level capabilities, knowledge pieces, routines and coordination schemes to adjust, the alliance's structure can be fine-tuned, and participants given the training and support they need, to create value and boost the chances of successful interorganizational collaborations.

Does My Partnership Need a Joint Steering Committee? Premium

Governance in Non-Equity Alliances

Reuer, Jeffrey J.; Devarakonda, Shivaram V.

Non-equity alliances have become important vehicles to collaborate with external partners, particularly in the biopharmaceutical industry. To guide these collaborations effectively, partners are using contracts to custom-build jointly staffed managerial units with clearly demarcated decision-making responsibilities. In this article, the authors discuss their research on the conditions that most often favor setting up a steering committee. They suggest that joint administrative control through these committees provides distinct benefits for companies that might otherwise run up against high levels of uncertainty and put proprietary knowledge at risk.

How to Hook Knowledge When Angling for Innovation Premium

Learning Through Licensing

Moreira, Solon

To innovate today, there's no escaping the fact that firms will have to learn how to locate and extract valuable knowledge from beyond the boundaries of their own firm, sector or industry. But how do you venture outside your firm's boundaries, perhaps even allying with rivals, without giving away your own competitive advantage? Licensing knowledge through strategic alliances is one way to do it. But the author sees at least three necessary preconditions for making such arrangements work. Licensing may avoid some of the downsides of M&As, but you need to protect yourself from getting taken advantage of by partners. In a world of disruption, R&D alliances may hold the key to long-term growth and survival.


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