Collaborating to Compete: Using Strategic Alliances and Acquisitions in the Global Marketplace
Joel Bleeke, David Ernst, Ernst Ernst
Wiley, Jan 19, 1993 - Business & Economics - 284 pages
Some companies discover the value of cross-border collaborations only after fighting long, head-to-head battles that leave them financially exhausted, intellectually depleted, and vulnerable to the next wave of competition and innovation. Grudgingly they come to recognize the benefits of sharing and trading control, costs, skills, capital, information, technology and access to markets - but only after a heavy price. Now companies can begin to learn the value of collaboration and how to capitalize on strong, flexible alliances by reading Collaborating to Compete. Written by McKinsey & Company's leading international management consultants, this strategic and operational guide provides practical information on how to design effective cross-border alliances-based on hundreds of case studies worldwide that illustrate the common factors that go into winning alliances. The authors argue that successful companies are transferring competence across borders by retaining key managers from acquired companies and by employing other strategies designed to reap the best from both companies in the consolidation. The authors also argue that effective collaboration is based on a long-term sequence of actions and that alliances fail when they're driven by hasty shortsighted goals. The authors highlight key steps in putting together a powerful alliance including: overcoming the resistance to alliances from executives and managers; finding the best structure and partner to meet a given set of goals; building flexibility into your collaboration to permit changes in legal and financial structures; ensuring good, frequent communication between you and your partners; setting up internal mechanisms to resolveconflicts quickly; and rescuing poorly conceived alliances. In reading about the activity of leading companies in the U.S., Japan, and Europe, readers will discover that even acquisitions - once a strictly predatory enterprise - are now taking on a more collaborative color. Drawing on McKinsey's strategies from the Triad, Collaborating to Compete goes on to show why cross-border strategy approaches need to account for the unique regulatory structural, and cultural barriers presented by individual countries and regions. The book shows that by following through on the basic prescription: U.S. companies can "ally for advantage" to open up the once impenetrable Japanese market; Japanese MNCs can successfully move into those complex U.S. markets; U.S., Japan, and other countries can crack the European Economic Community; and European companies can transcend obstacles and make successful U.S. acquisitions. Collaborating to Compete also looks hard at the dramatic restructuring of Europe and Asia and points out how European companies will have to use cross-border acquisitions and alliances to respond to new threats from global and Pan-European competitors.
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