Alliance Research: Less is More*
Journal of Management Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 7, 1621-1628
abstract Bell et al. (2006) express dissatisfaction with academic research on alliances and suggest ways in which it could be improved. While much of the literature has delved on alliance structure, they think it should analyse processes by which alliances evolve, what they call the dynamics of cooperation. Unfortunately, they find that this literature lacks coherence and is useless to managers. I agree with them that the present dynamics of cooperation literature leaves much to be desired, but I am pessimistic as to its chances of ever providing parsimonious and managerially useful theories. Re‐visiting four cases of alliance evolution that have been featured in the dynamics of cooperation literature, I show that focusing instead on alliance structure, in the broad sense of the term, is likely to yield strong testable propositions and useful managerial prescriptions.
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