ساختار حکومت در اتحاد استراتژیک: هزینه معامله در مقابل دیدگاه مبتنی بر منابع
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18888||2003||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of World Business, Volume 38, Issue 1, February 2003, Pages 1–14
In this paper, we examine the pattern of resource alignment in strategic alliances and its relevance to the scheme of cooperation. This resource-based perspective is combined with the transaction cost model to interpret the governance structure of international strategic alliances undertaken by Taiwanese firms. We find that whilst the transaction cost model is powerful in explaining the choice between joint ventures and contractual alliances, the resource-based perspective provides useful insights into the choice between two distinctive forms of contractual alliances, namely, exchange and integration alliances.
Strategic alliances have gained increasing popularity across all business sectors in recent years, and emerged as an organizational design that enables firms to deal with the increasing complexity of building new sources of competitive advantage in order to compete in the global market. The formation of strategic alliances between two organizations combines competition and cooperation to create a collaborative strategy (Prahalad & Doz, 1987). Through strategic alliances, a firm can gain access to desired strategic capabilities by linking to a partner with complementary resources, or by pooling its internal resources with a partner possessing similar capabilities (Nohria & Garcia-Pont, 1991 and Porter & Fuller, 1986). Such alliances create synergies between resources that enhance or reshape competition within the market. Although resources play a central role in the formation of strategic alliances, conventional theories on strategic alliances have tended to emphasize structural elements within the alliances, such as market imperfections (Beamish, 1985, Harrigan, 1984 and Stopford & Wells, 1972) or control mechanisms (Beamish & Banks, 1987, Buckey & Casson, 1988 and Hennart, 1988), rather than the resources themselves. The term market imperfections implies that obtaining the desired resources from the market may be relatively inefficient, as compared to some form of resource-sharing scheme between the partners, and control mechanisms highlight the best way of owning and allocating resources within an organization. Both market imperfections and control mechanisms are related to transaction costs, with strategic alliances being considered a midway house between the market and hierarchy in obtaining resources. Conventional theories explain the circumstances under which resources should be obtained from strategic alliances, as opposed to being bought from the market or internalized within the firm. These theories say little about what kind of resources should be shared in strategic alliances and how such resource sharing should be organized. The purpose of this paper is to fill this vacuum by providing empirical evidence to illustrate what kind of resources are shared in strategic alliances, and in what form, along with the presentation of a theory describing how these resources are to be shared between partners. Basically, we distinguish between two kinds of resource-sharing schemes in alliances: the first being the case where a partner offers a resource in exchange for another resource from the counterpart, the second being the case where both partners pool their resources for a common purpose. The first can be referred to as an ‘exchange alliance,’ within which resources are first exchanged and then utilized independently by each partner. In exchange alliances, although the objectives of the partners are distinct, they nevertheless cooperate in some way to achieve their respective objectives. The second may be referred to as an ‘integration alliance,’ wherein resources are integrated within a certain organization designed by the partners to perform prescribed functions which serve a common purpose for the partners, although the partners’ ultimate goals will remain distinct. Whilst exchange alliances often entail ‘outsourcing’ activities, integration alliances invariably lead to a partial incorporation of the partner’s activities into the firm’s own organization. Partners have more control in integration alliances than in exchange alliances, integration alliances are also more structured than exchange alliances. Exchange alliances allow the partners to focus on their core competence whilst outsourcing those activities regarded as being of secondary importance. In contrast, integration alliances allow the partners to realize synergies by placing distinctive resources into one organization. We show that the type of resources to be shared within an alliance determines the way in which they are to be shared. Some resources should be exchanged, whilst others should be integrated. The size of the firm also affects the resource-sharing scheme. The distinction between exchange and integration alliances lends great insights into those alliances governed by contracts. Whilst conventional theories are often geared towards the explanation of EJVs, for example, Killing (1983) and Beamish (1984), our theory covers the often-ignored, but increasingly important field of contractual agreements in strategic alliances. Contractual agreements offer a number of advantages over EJVs, such as greater flexibility, easier dissolution, a lower public profile, reduced legal encumbrances, ease of negotiation and renegotiation and a more transient and less institutionalized relationship between the partners (Johnson, Cullen, Sakano, & Takenouchi, 1996). Our view on resource sharing is combined with the conventional theory in this paper in order to examine the pattern of international strategic alliances undertaken by Taiwanese firms, where conventional theory is taken to be the transaction cost theory. Transaction cost theory has had a profound influence on the analysis of inter-firm collaboration. Many analyses on the formation of domestic and international alliances utilize key concepts drawn from this body of literature. The theory regards strategic alliances as an organization form, lying between market and hierarchy, that minimizes transaction costs under certain circumstances. We find that the transaction cost theory is powerful in explaining the control mechanisms or hierarchical structures of strategic alliances, whereas the scheme of resource sharing is useful as a means of interpreting the choice between different forms of contractual alliance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The traditional literature on strategic alliances makes an important distinction between equity joint ventures and contractual alliances. Transaction cost economics is the basic theory used to explain the choice between the two, where the difference in control mechanisms, or governance structure, is highlighted. Although it is well understood that strategic alliances are essentially established for the purpose of resource sharing, the nature of resource alignment in strategic alliances is almost completely ignored in transaction cost economics. In this paper, we highlight the profile of resource alignment in strategic alliances and introduce different schemes of resources sharing. In particular, exchange alliances are distinguished from integration alliances and we argue that this distinction is important in the case of contract-based alliances. Our study of the determinants of alliance structures indicates that transaction cost economics is powerful in explaining the choice between equity joint ventures and contractual alliances. Specifically, asset specificity and behavioral uncertainty of partners prompts firms to seek more hierarchical control in strategic alliances and hence, EJVs are preferred, whereas resource complementarity helps partners to accept a more flexible alliance arrangement, and hence contractual alliances are preferred. In fact, not only is asset complementarity essential to strategic alliances, but it also produces the loosest type of alliance, namely an exchange alliance. However, the transaction cost model overlooks the resource sharing aspect of the strategic alliance and fails to explain different forms of contractual alliances. This depends, to a large extent, on the profile of resources to be exchanged in the alliance. From a resource perspective, the easiest way to establish a strategic alliance is to find someone with symmetrical and complementary resources, thus, an exchange contract may be the initial mode of collaboration; thereafter, incremental investment of resources can be undertaken as the partnership develops. As we have shown in this paper, Taiwanese firms generally contribute production capabilities to the alliance in exchange for marketing and R&D resources from their partners. Increased dependency on the partners for R&D resources tilts the alliance towards an integration alliance in which assets are pooled, adapted and integrated for a common purpose, whereas increased dependency on the partners for marketing resources tilts the decision towards an exchange alliance. Whilst transaction cost economics emphasizes the ability of the partners to appropriate the benefits derived from the alliance and to prevent opportunism, the resource view highlights the establishment of a lasting relationship for resource sharing that serves the strategic purposes of the partners. An exchange alliance entails a low level of commitment whereby resources are essentially traded outside the organization. An integration alliance entails a high level of commitment by the partners in terms of investing in the relationship, from which most Taiwanese firms expect to draw some technological knowledge. For Taiwanese firms, appropriation of benefits may not be a major concern, because they are too small to create economic rent through the formation of strategic alliances. They are more concerned with the improvement of efficiency through resource alignment, hence, for them, contractual alliances are much more relevant. These results have important implications for business practice. For newly-industrializing-country firms like those from Taiwan, forming strategic alliances with advanced-country firms is an important channel for gaining market access and new technologies. While market access can be obtained through an outsourcing contract, new technologies often have to be obtained through joint research. This is because mature technologies that may be licensed and applied in production without much adaptation and learning are no longer the resources desired by these firms. New technologies sought by these firms are frontier technologies that the potential alliance partners will be willing to share only if their counterparts make substantial commitment to the partnership that is deemed to be mutually beneficial. The commitment usually includes the contribution of human resources, capital, technological know-how, and the willingness to share the risk of technological failures. This suggests that the alliance is an investment rather than an exchange and the prospect of such an investment depends on how truthfully the partners are committed to the partnership. Commitment is the key to success, not the control mechanism. An initiator of integration alliances needs to have the capacity and the willingness to make a credible commitment in order to induce a favorable response from its intended partner.