In This Article International Strategic Alliances

  • Introduction
  • Management and Control
  • Evolution

Management International Strategic Alliances
by
Dan Li
  • LAST MODIFIED: 31 August 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0063

Introduction

International strategic alliance is typically defined as a collaborative arrangement between firms headquartered in different countries. Partnering firms remain legally independent after the formation of alliance and the alliance relationship is relatively enduring. International strategic alliances can be categorized along multiple dimensions. First, based on the type of activities of collaboration, international strategic alliances can be categorized into licensing, franchising, management service, supply, research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and others. An international strategic alliance can engage in one activity or a combination of activities. Second, based on the number of partners involved, an international strategic alliance can be bilateral or multilateral; the existing body of literature on international strategic alliances has largely focused on bilateral alliances. Third, based on the nationalities involved, an international strategic alliance can be broadly defined as a collaborative arrangement between firms one of which is headquartered outside the country of alliance; therefore an international strategic alliance can be categorized as home-home, home-host, or home-third country alliance. The majority of existing studies are about international strategic alliances formed between a foreign firm and a local firm (i.e., home-host). Fourth, based on the involvement of equity investment, international strategic alliances can be categorized into non-equity-based and equity-based alliances. Non-equity-based international strategic alliances are also called contract-based; equity-based international strategic alliances are often referred to as international joint ventures. While the intention is to be as comprehensive as possible, this bibliography cannot cover all articles because of the multidisciplinary nature of the literature on international strategic alliances and the enormous research output on this organizational form.

Formation

The existing literature has examined two important aspects of the formation of international strategic alliances: motivations of formation (which is closely related to partner selection) and ownership structure.

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