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Published by: University of California, Berkeley
Published in: "California Management Review", 2001

Abstract

Strategic alliances continue to be important tools of competitive strategy. However, many alliances do not achieve their partners'' collaborative objectives and are terminated prematurely. As a result, alliances are often described as inherently unstable organizational forms that are subject to high rates of failure. In addition to the problems associated with not achieving collaborative objectives, a related issue has received limited attention. Although alliances are prone to failure, there are numerous examples of strategic alliances that continue for years despite failing to accomplish partner objectives. This article examines such strategic alliances. However, it does not focus on why failure occurs, but on the variables that contribute to firms'' persistence with failing alliances. It also provides measures that can effectively counter persistence.

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Abstract

Strategic alliances continue to be important tools of competitive strategy. However, many alliances do not achieve their partners'' collaborative objectives and are terminated prematurely. As a result, alliances are often described as inherently unstable organizational forms that are subject to high rates of failure. In addition to the problems associated with not achieving collaborative objectives, a related issue has received limited attention. Although alliances are prone to failure, there are numerous examples of strategic alliances that continue for years despite failing to accomplish partner objectives. This article examines such strategic alliances. However, it does not focus on why failure occurs, but on the variables that contribute to firms'' persistence with failing alliances. It also provides measures that can effectively counter persistence.

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