تناسب اکتشاف و بهره برداری و عملکرد در اتحاد استراتژیک بین المللی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20155||2012||17 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Business Review, Volume 21, Issue 4, August 2012, Pages 558–574
Exploration and exploitation constitute two separate, potentially conflicting strategic choices for firms engaged in international strategic alliances. Our empirical study challenges the ambidexterity argument and demonstrates that exploration and exploitation are separate (though not necessarily antithetical) strategies with different antecedents and performance consequences. Our results show that while competency similarity is conducive to upstream innovative performance, prior experience with the partner is potentially damaging for this type of performance and trust and cultural distance do not play significant roles. When the motive is efficiency and downstream market performance, prior experience with the partner instead is beneficial, as are high levels of trust and low levels of cultural distance. These findings have key implications for literature on strategic fit and alliance performance.
Despite the centrality of the concept of fit in strategic management research, existing conceptualizations that aim to capture underlying fit-based relationships between partners in international strategic alliances (ISAs) are subject to several theoretical and measurement limitations. Conceptualizations of exploration and exploitation thus could benefit from greater theoretical coherence and consistency in empirical assessments. In response, we offer theoretical and empirical support to demonstrate how fit, within the contexts of exploration and exploitation, relate and yet still constitute separate strategic choices that influence the way relational antecedents link to distinctly different performance outcomes in ISAs. Building on existing definitions (e.g., Geringer and Hebert, 1989 and Glaister and Buckley, 1998) a strategic alliance involves two or more legally distinct organizations (parents), each of which actively participates, beyond a mere investment role, in the decision-making activities of the joint venture (JV). An international strategic alliance (ISA) implies at least one partner is headquartered outside the venture's country of operation or the venture has significant levels of operation in more than one country. Thus we define an ISA as an interfirm collaboration over a given international economic space and time for the attainment of mutually defined goals. Adopting Lavie and Rosenkopf's (2006) and Rothaermel's (2001) perspective, we further define international exploration alliances as ISAs that primarily engage in upstream activities to share and develop new knowledge; international exploitation alliances instead focus on downstream activities, such as marketing and distribution. With these definitions, we can highlight how conceptualizations of fit in strategic management research tend to be imprecise regarding its role in any given context. For instance, most alliance studies adopt a contingency perspective (Harrigan, 1983 and Lawrence and Lorsch, 1967), and scholars argue that alliance performance depends on the congruence between the global strategy and the structure of the parent companies (Gomes-Casseres, 1990 and Harrigan, 1988). Yet few studies specify the role of fit for influencing the relationship between partner selection criteria and alliance performance. We consider a refined conceptualization and measurement of interpartner fit, in which strategic fit is a function of the match between task- and partner-related selection criteria (Geringer, 1991 and Nielsen, 2003) and the motivational intent that underlies an alliance. Accordingly, we start with a discussion of fit and its sources and continue with a review of research into alliance performance and the effects of fit. We integrate the resource-based view (RBV) and behavioral theories of motivational intent to propose that exploitation and exploration fit are distinctive. Our empirical study provides support for these fit constructs, with tests of their proposed effects on different types of alliance performance. Finally, we discuss our findings and their implications for future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our results provide some important insights into the role of fit between partner selection criteria and underlying motivational intentions and its effects on various outcomes of ISAs. Extant literature emphasizes the importance of structural prealliance formation factors, such as partner selection and goal congruency. Yet in explaining alliance success it neglects to incorporate these factors simultaneously in describing how to manage the alliance after formation. We therefore link prealliance formation factors to postalliance performance through the concept of fit. As a complement to previous studies (e.g., Gulati, 1995), we reveal that relational capital plays a crucial role in explaining and determining key alliance objectives, such as market development and learning. These relational antecedents play different (and often opposing) roles depending on the underlying intent and performance measurements and the type of fit influences these effects in significant ways. Consistent with RBV and TCE our findings suggest that competence similarity ensures better fit in terms of exploring new products and technologies (scope) but not necessarily for exploiting existing knowledge in new markets (scale). Thus, competence similarity appears to measure resource utilization or some sort of absorptive capacity rather than transaction cost-reducing efficiencies. This finding may help reconcile the mixed empirical results that emerge when complementarity appears as an independent variable in alliance studies. Specifically, we suggest that competence similarity and competence complementarity may be distinctive and future research should seek to account for both simultaneously when evaluating fit in ISAs. The finding that previous relationships have a negative effect on the upstream activities of the value chain, such as the sharing and development of new knowledge, seems pivotal, because firms tend to choose known partners to reduce their uncertainty and costs (e.g., Beckman et al., 2004). Yet our results point to the possibility of this tendency to hinder exploratory outcomes. This finding again underscores the need to select a partner on the basis of the intent underlying the alliance. By the same token, cultural distance relates negatively and significantly to exploitation fit but not to exploration fit, which indicates that the additional complexity associated with cultural distance may hamper effectiveness, yet it also could provide greater diversity of knowledge and perspectives from the foreign partner when exploration is the motive. Future research may benefit from investigating the cultural distance construct further while differentiating different types of motivation and performance measures in alliances. At a more fundamental level, our study challenges the ambidexterity hypothesis and responds to recent calls for more elaborate empirical research on organizational ambidexterity (e.g., O’Reilly and Tushman, 2008 and Raisch et al., 2009). Our empirical evidence offers a means to reconsider March's (1991) often cited but rarely tested ambidexterity hypothesis. Our empirical model verifies the existence of two distinct types of alliance fit; exploitation and exploration fit, that are the result of alignment of partner selection criteria and motivational intend underlying the alliance. Exploration fit and exploitation fit are potentially, but not necessarily, conflicting yet distinct strategies pursued by ISAs as evidenced by our results. Rather than treating exploration and exploitation as a continuum, such that more of one leads to less of the other, we argue that they represent fundamentally different objectives and intentions that result in different outcomes. Consequently, separate measures are required for both exploration and exploitation fit as well as for downstream and upstream performance. As such, we extend Lavie and Rosenkopf's (2006) work by linking exploration and exploitation fit explicitly to upstream and downstream performance in a cross-industry context. Theoretically, our study contributes to understanding of the complexity of fit in the context of strategic alliances by simultaneously considering partner selection criteria and motivational intend. Although we test several alternative models, further research should consider including other variables that might influence the dependent variables. For example, competence complementarity should be measured and included as discussed in a previous section. Also, mutual resource commitment could affect ISA upstream performance; conflict management practices likely influence learning in alliances (Kale et al., 2000) or alliance capability (Rothaermel & Deeds, 2006). A time lag between alliance formation and downstream performance is likely. Hence, future research may investigate various time intervals to provide a more nuanced picture of the balance between exploration fit and exploitation fit over time and domains (Lavie & Rosenkopf, 2006). Finally, further research should seek a better understanding of underlying, cross-level, cause-and-effect relationships pertaining to exploration fit and exploitation fit. The nested nature of interfirm relationships (Nielsen, 2010a) suggests that multilevel analyses of individual, group, firm, and interfirm interdependencies could advance our understanding of the interplay between exploration fit and exploitation fit in ISAs.