Alliance Advantage: The Art of Creating Value Through Partnering

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Harvard Business Press, 1998 - Business & Economics - 316 pages
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After a decade of reeningeering and downsizing, many companies are leaner, more efficient, and acutely focused on their core business. Yet today's growth opportunities in global markets and new technologies demand a wider range of skills. More and more, firms must turn to alliances-often with their rivals-to meld the right resources for pursuing new opportunities. However, few managers are accustomed to working with undefined boundaries between collaboration and competition, with the need to combine unfamiliar skills, with networks of interdependent alliances, and with complex value creation strategies. Nor has their experience with traditional joint ventures prepared them for this world of intricate alliance webs. Alliance Advantage aims to help today's managers and their companies be more successful in their efforts to create, guide, and thrive with alliance strategies.

Most conventional wisdom about alliances has focused on the formal design of bilateral alliances, devoting too little attention to the strategic underpinnings and too little commitment to building relationships. With Alliance Advantage, strategy experts Yves Doz and Gary Hamel convincingly argue that it is the strength of alliance strategies and the frequently overlooked internal processes that play the decisive role in shaping eventual outcomes. In a fundamentally new perspective on the way alliances are formed and managed, the authors reveal the analysis, processes, and partner interactions that enable allies to meet their strategic goals. Drawing on principles of strategy, organizational design, organizational learning, and collaborative management, this is the definitive resource for both understanding and leveraging the powerful advantages of alliances.

Alliance Advantage provides both conceptual and practical tools for analyzing the design and performance of alliances. Here, for the first time, is a comprehensive guide that will help managers build new collaborations and improve existing ones. Each chapter examines a different aspect of an alliance, from selecting the right partners to minimizing conflicts to determining further commitments. Companies such as Xerox, Boeing, Honda, and Corning, among others, provide examples of successful and unsuccessful partnerships, painting a vivid picture of the conditions that can make or break an alliance.

Successful alliances, say Doz and Hamel, require constant attention. With Alliance Advantage, they offer today's best opportunity to study, understand, and increase the effectiveness of strategic alliances.


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The New Alliance Game
Discovering Value in Alliances
Conceiving the Alliance for Value Creation
Securing Strategic Compatibility
Managing Learning and Adjustment over Time
Managing the Balance of Power and Dependence
Managing Multiple Alliances
o Building Collaborative Advantage
Assessing a Strategic Alliance 2 63
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About the author (1998)

Yves L. Doz is the Timken Professor of Strategy and Management at INSEAD, France. Gary Hamel is the coauthor, with C.K. Prahalad, of Competing for the Future (HBS Press), an international bestseller with more than 300,000 copies sold.

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