تاثیر خصوصیات شرکای تجاری بر عملکرد اتحاد استراتژیک در بخش جهانگردی شرکتهای کوچک و متوسط تحت سلطه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|17662||2008||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Tourism Management, Volume 29, Issue 1, February 2008, Pages 101–115
This study examines the effects of characteristics of alliance partners on perceived strategic alliance performance. Alliance relationships were explored within and between the travel sector, and other tourism sectors of accommodation and transport. Study results indicate company executives’ high level of satisfaction with alliances performance. Commitment and capability has been found to positively influence general satisfaction with alliance performance, market share and profitability, and overall alliance performance while trust positively influence general satisfaction with alliance performance. Control was found to have an influence on satisfaction with technology transfer and alliance operational performance while compatibility was positively associated with general satisfaction with alliance performance.
Strategic alliances are defined as purposive arrangements between two or more independent organisations that form part of, and are consistent with participants’ overall strategies, and contribute to the achievement of their strategically significant objectives that are mutually beneficial (Pansiri, 2005). Studies on strategic alliances have reported unsatisfactory performance with few signs of improving (Beamish & Delios, 1997), and very high failure rates (Geringer & Herbert, 1991; Killing, 1982). Alliance failure can be minimised by identifying the most appropriate partner[s] (Mendleson & Polonsky, 1995). Past studies suggest that the failure of many strategic alliances can be traced to the partner selection and planning stages and identify the four Cs of compatibility, capability, commitment and control as critical for successful pre-selection of alliance partners (Hagen, 2002; Holtbrügge, 2004; Jamali, 2004). Based on strategic alliances and inter-organisational relationships literature, five characteristics of alliance partners (compatibility, capability, commitment, control, and trust) which influence alliance performance are examined in this study. Many authors have called for more empirical studies of the underlying causes of successful alliances (Medina-Munoz & Garcia-Falcon, 2000; Saxton, 1997; Smith, Carroll, & Ashford, 1995; Varadarajan & Cunningham, 1995). Saxton (1997, p. 444) argues that scholars know very little about the underlying causes of successful alliances and that “what is lacking is systematic analysis within a sample of alliances of the factors associated with those that are more satisfactory and beneficial to partner firms”. The response to this has been encouraging. For example, Shamdasani and Seth (1995) investigated the influence of three relational predictors—competence, commitment and compatibility on partner firm's evaluation of its alliance relationship on two dimensions—satisfaction and continuity. They found that these predictors strongly influence alliance satisfaction and continuity. There are very few studies of strategic alliance success factors in tourism or the travel sector in particular. One such study is by Medina-Munoz and Garcia-Falcon (2000) who investigated determinants of successful relationships between hotels and travel agencies, and found that trust, commitment, coordination, communication quality, information exchange, participation, usage of constructive resolution techniques, and similar relative dependence were determining factors for inter-organisational relationships between hotel companies and travel agents operating in the United States. Their study focused on hotels and limited the unit of analysis to those operating in the United States. Studies that consider these issues focusing on travel agencies, tour operators and tour wholesalers are lacking. In this study, company executives from these three sectors of travel in Australia were studied to address this identified gap in the literature. The central research objective of this study was to establish whether significant relationships exist between strategic alliance performance evaluation and characteristics of strategic alliance partners, with a view to answer the central research question: what are the relationships between characteristics of alliance partners and alliance performance evaluation? In doing so, this research takes into account the fact that the travel sector businesses in Australia are small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) behaving differently from large companies.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The central research question for this study was, “what are the relationships between characteristics of alliance partners and alliance performance evaluation?” This question was addressed by testing five hypotheses. The principal findings were: First, there exists a significant positive relationship between compatibility and executives’ ‘general satisfaction with alliance performance’. While compatibility of alliance partners has positive effect on executives’ satisfaction with the alliance, it does not influence their perceived alliance performance (‘overall alliance performance’, ‘operational performance’ and market share and profitability’). Second, commitment and capability was found to positively influence executives’ ‘general satisfaction with alliance performance’, ‘overall alliance performance’ and ‘market share and profitability’. Third, control was found to positively influence executives’ ‘satisfaction with technology transfer’, and ‘alliance operational performance’. This study found that in the travel sector, companies manage alliance partners using informal control than formal control. Strategic alliance literature suggests that control minimise risk- relational risk and performance risk (Das & Teng, 2001). In this study, emphasis is on performance risk, i.e. technology transfer and operational performance. Fourth, trust positively influences executives’ ‘general satisfaction with alliance performance’. The implications of this study point to the fact that strategic alliances need to be nurtured and managed in order for all parties to derive benefits (Crotts & Turner, 1999) through continued commitment, trust and control of all the partners while at the same time organisational cultures, values and ideals should be blended to minimise conflict. Company executives should identify potential partners who display similar culture, values and ideals. With respect to existing alliances by businesses with different cultures, values and ideals, efforts must be made to make alliance partners compatible or to learn to handle differences so that they do not jeopardise the alliance. Furthermore, executives should form alliances with partners they believe would be committed to the alliance, have complementary assets, have possible synergies with, and are willing to dedicate resources to the alliance to make it successful. Successful alliances are those formed by partners who continue displaying high levels of commitment and capabilities. It is through commitment and capabilities that alliance partners are not only satisfied with the alliance but also increase their market share and profitability. Trust is also a major issue in strategic alliances. For executives to build trusting relationships, they must act with high integrity, they should be honest about problems when they arise in relation to their obligations in the alliance, should not make false claims or promises and they should be counted on to do what is right. Zineldin (2002) observes that when there is trust, the need of pre-specifying every possible future detail or outcome is greatly diminished. This enhances satisfaction with the alliance. With the exception of ‘general satisfaction with alliance performance’, all of the performance factors were significantly associated with only one alliance partner characteristic. This suggests that characteristics of alliance partners are important depending upon the type of performance being sought. For instance, in order to achieve satisfactory technology transfer, and alliance operational performance, there is need for partner control. If the objective of the alliance is to enhance market share and profitability, that requires the commitment and capabilities of an alliance partner. This study also found that ‘general satisfaction with alliance performance’ is significantly associated with most of the partner characteristics. For the alliance to be successful there is need for commitment and capabilities of alliance partners, trust and compatibility of the partners. Practical implications drawn from this study are concerned with the manner in which travel agencies, tour wholesalers and operators’ executives should confront the realities of future competitive strategies. While tourism businesses are competing against each other, partnerships and alliances are significant for a number of reasons. There is no doubt that most tourism companies are small. They therefore lack the adequate resources for both marketing and market penetration. To overcome these inadequacies there is need to join forces. This means having multiple alliances and alliance partners who meet a variety of needs. The fact that most of these businesses are SMEs and the multiplicity of their alliance partners has implications on the manner in which alliances are managed in the travel sector. They cannot rely on formal partner control mechanisms but rather more on partner commitment and capability, trust and compatibility. Executives’ friendly ties may play a prominent role in enhancing commitment, trust and compatibility. This study found that 67.3% of the respondents were owner managers who have more than eleven years of experience (64%), and having worked for the same business for six years or more. These facts land support to the idea that strategic alliances in the travel sector in Australia should be based on executives personal relations with each other, leading to more manageable alliance relations based on commitment, trust and compatibility rather than control. The limitations of such alliance practices are intractably linked to those of family owned businesses. Studies on family-owned businesses show that there is always a tension between rational profit seeking activities and non-commercial objectives in family-owned business (Harris, Reid, & McAdam, 2004; Westhead & Cowling, 1997). Westhead and Cowling (1997) observe that because family-owned businesses are not solely profit maximisers, they also pursue such non-commercial objectives as maintaining/enhancing the family lifestyle of owners. Do these non-commercial objectives include forming and enhancing friendship through business strategic alliances? To what extent could personal ties influence alliance evaluation and satisfaction? There is need for more research on this area with a view to understand further the implication of personal friendships on alliance formation, management and performance. Closely associated with the size of business is the need to identify the most effective yet less expensive forms of alliances. This is related to lack of finance associated with the smallness of most of the companies. Four most effective and less expensive alliance types identified are Marketing and distribution agreements, Sharing information and communication technology, Joint selling or distribution, and Franchises and licensing. These offer companies a variety of choice. Executives in the travel sector and the whole tourism industry need to be aware of factors that could yield better alliance results and should put more effort in making themselves better alliance partners. Executives should be clear about what they are looking for in an alliance partner and be prepared to accommodate differences. In forming strategic alliances, executives in the travel sector should determine the objectives of the alliance. Das and Teng (2001, p. 275) argue that “objectives and performance measures are of paramount importance to output control, because, without these, no output can be evaluated. The ability to set objectives for the alliance allows a partner to exercise control over what is satisfactory performance”. This is important for reducing performance risk. This is also important in identifying potential alliance partners and shaping alliance partner behaviors. For instance, if the objectives of entering an alliance are to enhance ‘market share and profitability’ and ‘overall alliance performance’ (value creation, enhancing customer service, reputation, marketing and distribution), executives should look for potential partners displaying high likelihood of commitment. If the objectives are to enhance technology transfer and operational performance (enhancing labour productivity, cost control and quality control), executives should be concerned about the ways through which they can control alliance partners in order to achieve these objectives. Results of this study suggest that ‘general satisfaction with alliance performance’ is an objective sought by most executives because it covers all the other four areas of alliance performance. Therefore, executives should strive to identify potential alliance partners displaying a high degree of commitment, capabilities, and trust, and their companies should display a certain level of compatibility. This study also highlights the problems associated with alliance evaluation. Modern organisations are involved in multiple alliances most of which their single contribution to an organisation's performance cannot be easily evaluated. This raises challenges to alliance management. Firstly, it means that greater care should be taken when deciding whether to continue with an alliance. Secondly, there is need to acknowledge that perceptual managers’ assessments of performance are influenced by a variety of factors including characteristics of alliance partners. Thirdly, the research design, operationalisation and conceptualisation of alliance performance measures need to be re-explored. Geringer and Herbert (1991) have provided a springboard upon which this could be done. This study has adapted their performance measurement items with some modifications, and has further shown strong correlations of these items. This study goes further by identifying perceived alliance performance and perceived overall satisfaction with the alliance factors, which could assist future evaluation of alliance performance. The classification according to these two dimensions brings more robustness to alliance evaluation and management. Travel sector executives could use this classification not only to assess the value of a potential alliance but also the performance of an existing alliance with a view to continue or terminate it. Tour wholesalers’, travel agents’, and tour operators’ core activities depend on cooperation with others in the same or related lines of business (Leiper, 2004). The results of this study are encouraging as they show that success of such cooperation occurs because partners manage their relationships through mutual consent rather than relying on coercion through written agreements (Kauser & Shaw, 2004). Evidence from this study is that alliances based on commitment, trust, less control and compatibility are likely to be more successful. More research is needed on the area. However, this study was limited to empirical data collected in 2005 from travel sector organisations in Australia, most of which were small and medium enterprises. Interpretations should therefore be made with these facts in mind. It is not yet clear whether generalisations to other industries and countries could be made. Whether such behaviour is only peculiar to the travel sector alone could be further put to analysis through cross industry research.