Creating Value from Alliance Portfolios: Connecting Internal Structures and External Knowledge Recombination

Bos, B., 2016, [Groningen]: University of Groningen, SOM research school. 162 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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  • Brenda Bos
Nowadays many firms are simultaneously engaged in multiple alliances with different partners. Alliance scholars have therefore started to develop a portfolio perspective, which analyzes the performance implications of the total collection of firms’ alliances. In this dissertation, we point to an important gap in the existing alliance portfolio literature, which has implicitly conceptualized the firm as black box by ignoring its internal structure. Instead we develop an alternative approach by framing firms as polylithic entities and acknowledging that firms often consist of different subsidiaries that each can engage in strategic alliance activities.

To advance our understanding of the creation of value from alliance portfolios, this dissertation focuses on three different, but related research questions. First, we identify patterns in the extent to which alliances are relatively concentrated or dispersed across different subsidiaries and investigate their influence on firm performance. Second, we examine conditions that explain why some subsidiaries form strategic alliances and others do not. Finally, we demonstrate that an alliance does not only influence the performance of the subsidiary that initially formed the alliance but also provides indirect benefits to sister subsidiaries. Together, the findings of this dissertation increase our insights in the internal recombination of externally accessed knowledge, the changing relationship between headquarters and subsidiaries, and the interaction between internal and external networks.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Faems, Dries, Supervisor
  • Noseleit, Florian, Co-supervisor
  • Beugelsdijk, Sjoerd, Assessment committee
  • Hagedoorn, J. (John), Assessment committee, External person
  • Reuer, J.J. (Jeffrey), Assessment committee, External person
Award date28-Apr-2016
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-8626-3
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8625-6
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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