Strategic Alliance Success Factors: A Literature Review on Alliance Lifecycle

Margherita Russo, Maurizio Cesarani


Objectives. The research aims to investigate how firms can achieve alliance success. In global markets, the alliance failure rate is very high. This study will try to understand why, facing with such a high failure rate, more and more firms decide to enter or form strategic alliances. It appears necessary to identify key factors and show how firms can successfully manage them in each phase of alliance lifecycle.
Methodology. For this study, a qualitative approach was adopted, in order to explore and understand the research problem. The issues of alliance success factors is investigated through the analysis of the existing literature, focusing in particular on the last two decades.
Findings. By reviewing several theoretical perspectives, we identified alliance success factors and showed what kind of relevance they have in each phase of alliance lifecycle. It was found that strategic alliances develop through three phases. Alliance success lies on successful management of key factors, involved in each phase.
Research Limits. Research deals with the issues of alliance success factors at the level of a single alliance and not at the level of an alliance portfolio. Further research should extend the analysis perspective.
Managerial Implications. Firms involved in a strategic alliance should consider several critical aspects. For the entire alliance lifecycle, they have to look for a high degree of fit with their own partners. Another important aspect is related to the risk of opportunistic behavior, which could be reduced through the choice of an appropriate governance form and the development of social capital.

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International Journal of Business Administration
ISSN 1923-4007(Print) ISSN 1923-4015(Online)


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