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Control Rights and the Performance of Strategic Alliances

Carolin Häussler

University of Passau

Matthew John Higgins

Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

June 22, 2009

A significant amount of research has addressed strategic alliances however less attention has been paid to how the underlying allocation of control rights within these agreements impacts the performance of alliances. We demonstrate that the theoretical predictions with respect to the allocation of control rights by Aghion and Tirole (1994) have implications for alliance success. Using unique survey data from German biotechnology alliances with pharmaceutical partners we link the ex ante allocation of control rights to ex post alliance success. We find that although incumbent firms are able to draw from more experience and have a larger set of re-sources in place, relinquishing rights to the young and small research intensive partner may be one way to improve alliance performance. Finally, we are able to comment on which rights may be more important in leading to alliance success.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: control rights, strategic alliances, collaboration success

JEL Classification: D23, L14, K00

working papers series

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Date posted: June 28, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Häussler, Carolin and Higgins, Matthew John, Control Rights and the Performance of Strategic Alliances (June 22, 2009). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1424073 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1424073

Contact Information

Carolin Haeussler
University of Passau ( email )
Innstrasse 27
Passau, 94032
Matthew John Higgins (Contact Author)
Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )
800 West Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States
404-894-4368 (Phone)
404-894-6030 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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