Jo Seldeslachts, Albert Banal-Estanol, Debrah Meloso
This paper proposes a theoretical framework of strategic alliances that includes two observable dimensions of participating partners which have been identiﬁed in the literature as critical for success or failure. In particular, we ﬁrst propose a simple static theory that links the degree of alliance partners' complementarities with the intensity of their competition in product markets. We show that the interrelationship of these factors leads to diﬀerent types of strategic interaction inside the alliance, where either cooperation or coordination problems are most prevalent. These diﬀerences, in turn, feed into diﬀerent predicted behaviors by partners, and can ultimately be linked to an alliance's performance. In a next step, we develop a dynamic version of our framework. However, while having the advantage of being more realistic, theoretical predictions become less clear. Therefore, to make further precise inference of alliances' dynamics over time, partners' evolving strategies and potential trust building, we present experimental results in which partners interact repeatedly and have the possibility to exit each period. We ﬁnd coordination alliances to do better than collaborations with problems of cooperation. This better performance can be traced back to partners' better initial commitment choices.