Inderscience Publishers

Alliance enigmas

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The development of inter-organisational relations or alliances that in themselves embrace a range of structures is firmly on the agenda of many organisations that are involved in technological innovation. There is a basic paradox between, on the one hand, the managerial prescription for effective alliances that emphasises the importance of extensive preplanning and agreement in order to ensure inter alia there are no asymmetries in goals, strategies, contributions and the modus operandi of the different parties; and, on the other hand, the apparent need for freedom, flexibility, and 'room for learning' that experience suggests are necessary for the development of such relationships. The paper analyses the issues associated with the effective management of alliances and suggests propositions for further analysis.

Keywords: strategic alliances, technological development, collaboration risks, collaboration management, alliance function, trust, technological innovation, alliance management, organisational collaboration, strategic partnerships, organisational cooperation

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