روابط بین ویژگی های معاملاتی، اعتماد و ریسک در مرحله راه اندازی یک ائتلاف مشترک
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16608||2008||21 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Management Accounting Research, Volume 19, Issue 4, December 2008, Pages 344–364
The aims of this paper are to, first, explain how managers’ perceptions of trust in partners and alliance risk, at the start-up phase of an alliance, may influence the choice of governance structure and control mechanisms, and second, to study how processes and activities may enhance levels of trust between partners, mitigate risk and complement formal controls to form an effective control package. A case study of a collaborative alliance in the construction industry is drawn on to examine these relationships and processes. The alliance was characterised by high asset specificity, high environmental and behavioural uncertainty, and high transaction frequency. Activities that were undertaken in the period leading up the formation of the alliance (the pre-alliance phase) and during the interim alliance, led to an increase in goodwill trust and reduced managers’ perceptions of both relational and performance risk. Alliance governance structures, as well as behaviour controls, output controls and social controls, and processes that led to the development of trust and mitigation of risk, formed part of the control package.
Strategic alliances are not new. They have been with us for many decades. However, there is renewed interest and awareness of these types of ventures among managers and researchers, partially due to increased opportunities provided by developments in global markets and technology (Nooteboom, 2004). Also, pressures for organizations to improve their competitiveness have encouraged collaborations with other organizations, to access complementary competencies that would be too difficult or too time consuming to develop alone (Groot and Merchant, 2000 and Inkpen and Ross, 2001). One way of achieving collaboration is through the formation of strategic alliances. Strategic alliances are inter-firm cooperative arrangements aimed at achieving the strategic objectives of the partners (Das and Teng, 2002). These voluntary organizational relationships involve meaningful and durable exchange, sharing, or co-development of new knowledge, products, services or technologies (de Rond, 2003, p. 90). There are many types of strategic alliances, including horizontal alliances between competitors, vertical alliances between buyers and suppliers, and diagonal alliances between firms in different industries (Nooteboom, 1999, p. 1).1 They can take many forms, including outsourcing, franchises, joint ventures, joint product development, joint research and development and joint marketing arrangements. While strategic alliances are said to be a source of competitive advantage there is also a growing body of evidence of high failure rates (Gerwin, 2004 and de Rond, 2003). One cause is the high level of risk associated with alliances, compared to “in-house” activities (Das and Teng, 2001a). This risk is associated with differences in partners’ objectives and orientations, and the potential for partners to opportunistically exploit the dependence relationship (Groot and Merchant, 2000 and Dekker, 2004). It has been argued that appropriate governance structures,2 management control systems (MCS) and trust work together to reduce alliance risk and decrease the probability of failure in strategic alliances (Das and Teng, 2001a, Speklé, 2001, Dyer et al., 2001 and Nooteboom, 2004). Since the 1980s, strategic alliances have been of research interest across a variety of disciplines, including engineering, management, marketing, accounting and international business. The relationship between MCS and trust has been the subject of several case studies that have focused largely on outsourcing and strategic supplier relationships (Seal and Vincent-Jones, 1997, van der Meer-Kooistra and Vosselman, 2000, Das and Teng, 2001a, Das and Teng, 2001b, Mouritsen et al., 2001, Langfield-Smith and Smith, 2003, Dekker, 2003, Dekker, 2004, Cooper and Slagmulder, 2004 and Kamminga and van der Meer-Kooistra, 2006) or on joint ventures (Yan and Gray, 1994, Groot and Merchant, 2000 and Chalos and O’Connor, 2004). There are also theoretical papers that have focused on risk, trust and control in strategic alliances (Das and Teng, 1996, Das and Teng, 2001b, McCutchen et al., 2004 and Nooteboom, 2004), which have drawn mainly on transaction cost economics. However, few empirical studies have considered how managers’ perceptions of trust and risk may influence the choice of governance structure and other aspects of the control package and how processes can lead to the development trust, mitigation of risk and hence enhanced control. Also, few papers have studied MCS in alliances beyond outsourcing and supplier relationships, or at the formation stage of an alliance. Compared to stand-alone organizations, the formation stage of an alliance is considered particularly challenging due to the initial negotiation processes between potential partners, and the complex interactions between an alliance and its environment, which is complicated by the involvement of multiple partners ( Das and Teng, 2002, Ring and Van de Ven, 1994 and Brouthers et al., 1997). Even if some of the partners of a prospective alliance have prior shared work histories, the formation of a new alliance new dynamics creates new alliance conditions. Three alliance conditions have been described as relevant to the formation (and development) of an alliance: the collective strengths of the alliance; inter-partner conflicts arising from divergence in preferences, interests and practices, and; interdependencies which arise when the partners deal with each other ( Das and Teng, 2002). The aims of this paper are as follows: first, to explain how managers’ perceptions3 of trust in partners and alliance risk, at the start-up phase of an alliance, may influence the choice of governance structure and control mechanisms; and second, to study how alliance processes can enhance levels of trust between partners, mitigate risk and complement formal controls to form an effective control package for the alliance. A case study of a collaborative alliance in the construction industry is drawn on to examine these relationships. The alliance was an unincorporated joint venture involving several partners, set up to operate for the 4-year life of the project.4 The case focuses on the period leading up to the formation of the alliance (the pre-alliance phase) and the interim phase of the alliance. The processes that led to the emergence of trust and mitigation of risk during the pre-alliance phase are outlined and the choice of the governance structure is interpreted by drawing on transaction cost economics and the MCS and trust literatures. This paper contributes to the literature in several ways. First, it demonstrates how processes, which lead to the development of trust and mitigation of risk, interact with the governance structure and control mechanisms to form a control package. Second, the case study highlights that TCE prescriptions for the “ideal” alliance governance structure need to be interpreted in the light of trust, broader aspects of the control environment and the context of the alliance, which may include the fixed term life of an alliance. Third, the case study provides a better understanding of the relationships between risk, trust and control in alliances, to contribute to our knowledge of the design of effective control systems, which may decrease the probability of alliance failure. This paper is structured as follows. In the following section, concepts from transaction cost economics (TCE) are combined with theories of trust and risk to explain how trust, risk and transactional characteristics at the start-up phase of an alliance influence the components of a control package. The next section presents a case study of an alliance in the construction industry which focuses on the processes of forming and managing the relationship in the pre-alliance and interim alliance phases, and considers the relationships in the theoretical framework. In the final section the contributions of this research are summarised and areas for further research are presented.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper had two aims. The first was to explain how managers’ perceptions of trust in partners and alliance risk, at the start-up phase of an alliance, may influence the choice of governance structure and control mechanisms. The second was to study how processes can lead to the emergence of trust, mitigation of perceived risk, to complement formal controls to form an effective control package for the alliance. A case study of a strategic alliance in the construction industry was presented, which focused on the processes that took place in the pre-alliance and interim alliance phases. The case study takes a process orientation in describing the early stages of development of the alliance. This is an under-researched area and our understanding of these processes are limited ( Das and Teng, 2002; Koza and Lewin, 1998 ). The experience of formation and the life-cycle stages of an alliance are not the same as those typically found in independent organizations, due to the initial negotiation processes between partners and the complications involved in having two or more firms involved in the alliance. Collective strengths need to be sustained, conflicts between partners need to be managed, and interdependencies between partners must be maintained to ensure that an alliance progresses through its various stages. Transaction cost economics argues that managers choose to adopt a stand-alone governance structure, when there is high asset specificity, high uncertainty and frequent interactions (transactions). These features suggest a high probabilityof opportunistic behaviour by partners and, hence, imply a high level of relational risk. This can be managed through hierarchical control mechanisms to provide superior monitoring and control mechanisms, and incentive alignment, which allows contractual and appropriability hazards to be managed effectively. Managers’ perception of goodwill trust and competence trust in the partners may influence the choice of alliance structure and control system, through their assessments of relational risk and performance risk. The TCE literature suggests that the appropriate governance structure in this situation is provided by an equity alliance. However, in this paper, it was demonstrated that a non-equity alliance, operating as a stand-alone entity, can provide comparable advantages, by having an “independent” alliance board, appropriate control mechanisms, and through processes that lead to enhancing trust. Thus, TCE prescriptions need to interpreted in the light of the broader control mechanisms which contribute to the overall control package. The prior literature and the relationships in the model in Fig. 1 rest on the assumption that managers make a rational choice of alliance structure, based on assessments of the risks, consideration of the advantages of each structural form, and the level of trust in the prospective partners. However, other aspects also drive the choice. In the case study, the alliance model that was chosen had been used by other large construction ventures in Australia and elsewhere. Some of these successes were well known and had attracted a high profile within the construction industry. So rather than rational arguments of efficiency, perhaps a “bandwagon effect” was a driver of the adoption of the collaborative alliance form ( Staw and Epstein, 2000 ). New institutional theory has been used to explain how organizations may seek internal and external legitimacy by adopting best practices or the latest management fads ( Di Maggio and Powell, 1983; Staw and Epstein, 2000 ). The fixed term nature of the alliance may also have influenced this decision. This case has raised several issues that are relevant for the formation and management of alliances. First, in the case study the choice of alliance structure preceded the selection of the alliance partners. However, the TCE and trust literature seem to assume that initial levels of trust and assessment of other transactional characteristics influence perceptions of risk, and lead to a choice of governance structure. However, Watersafe and its parent AC Council made a firm commitment to adopt a stand-alone non-equity alliance before it selected the partners . This may not be totally inconsistent with some of the literature. For example, Dekker (2004) presented a case study where the choice of the partner preceded the purpose of the alliance. Also, Das and Teng (2002) and Ring and Van de Ven (1994) highlight the formation stages of alliances as consisting of formal bargaining and informal sense making to negotiate the alliance agreement, and then presumably the structural form. The assessment of relational risk and performance risk relates more to the project, whereas goodwill trust and competence trust relates to the specific partners. While the choice of a stand-alone non-equity alliance was described as a firm commitment for Watersafe and its parent AC Council, there were several stages in the project where there it was possible to change or even terminate the venture: during the interview and the workshop stages, during the commercial negotiations and at the end of the interim alliance. In particular, if the alliance team had been unsuccessful at arriving at an acceptable TC, or if other problems had arisen to make the current structural and governance arrangements non-viable, the alliance could have been terminated, or the form of the alliance changed. Clearly, the consortium was selected to fit the initial structural decision and the processes that were followed to select and orient the consortium were designed to develop goodwill trust as well as reduce relational and performance risk, up to the point where the formal alliance contract was signed. Second, the lengthy pre-alliance period allowed partners to retain flexibility, to withdraw from the alliance, terminate the alliance or alter the structure of the alliance. However, the potential adverse reputational impacts of such actions made the probability of major changes low. It also, more importantly, provided an extended period during which partners worked closely together and engaged in processes which served to enhance goodwill trust, and to establish an alliance perspective (a form of social control), which was considered essential to the success of the project. Third, this case demonstrates that a non-equity alliance can provide a control environment which is comparable to that found in an equity alliance, when accompanied by activities that lead to the development of goodwill trust, through the structuring of an alliance agreement that emphasises mutual collaboration and shared responsibility and risk, and through processes designed to enhance the mitigation of risk. The role of goodwill trust and competence trust in enhancing formal control mechanisms in strategic alliances is consistent with several recent case studies ( Ya n and Gray, 1994; Groot and Merchant, 2000; van der Meer-Kooistra and Vosselman, 2000; Langfield-Smith and Smith, 2003; Dekker, 2004; Lui and Ngo, 2004 ), which supports the argument that trust and control are complementary mechanisms within a control package. However, the idea of regarding processes which led to the development of trust and the mitigation of risk as part of the control package is novel. The limitations of this study must be acknowledged. The perspective taken in describing the formation processes and perceptions of risk and trust is that of Watersafe, the owner of the alliance. This provides a rather one-side perspectiveof the collaborative alliance. Future research could consider the perceptions of risk and trust of multiple partners to the alliance, and how this drives negotiations in the choice of alliance governance and control mechanisms. This paper focuses on the start-up phase of an alliance. In future research, the study of trust and control mechanisms across all stages of the life cycle of a fixed term alliance would provide additional understanding of the role of control in influence the effectiveness of an alliance.