Multilevel Embeddedness in Multilateral Alliances: A Conceptual Framework

In: Das, T.K. Research in Strategic Alliances Series: Interpartner Dynamics in Strategic Alliances. Information Age Publishing, USA, 2013, pp. 131-147

28 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2007 Last revised: 31 Dec 2013

See all articles by Sveinn Vidar Gudmundsson

Sveinn Vidar Gudmundsson

Toulouse Business School

Christian Lechner

École Supérieure de Commerce (ESC) de Toulouse - Economics and Finance

Hans van Kranenburg

Radboud University Nijmegen - Nijmegen School of Management

Date Written: October 28, 2012

Abstract

In this paper we propose a conceptual framework for understanding inter-partner dynamics in multilateral alliances involving common alliance processes, dyadic ties, and external transaction networks. The difference between alliance networks and multilateral alliances is the formalization of organization and common alliance processes in the latter. The firm-specific value in multilateral alliances is often buried in dyadic ties, that can be the prime motivator to join in the first place, but at the same time hindering common alliance processes. This multiplexity of relations, multilevel embeddedness, is both a source of strategic constraints and opportunities. Multilateral alliances set firms heading towards increased rigidity, cooperation and long-term orientation, requiring careful management of rising exit barriers to preserve strategic flexibility.

Keywords: alliance processes, embeddedness, multilateral alliance, horizontal alliance, inter-partner dynamics, tensions perspective

JEL Classification: L1, L10, L22, L8

Suggested Citation

Gudmundsson, Sveinn Vidar and Lechner, Christian and van Kranenburg, Hans, Multilevel Embeddedness in Multilateral Alliances: A Conceptual Framework (October 28, 2012). In: Das, T.K. Research in Strategic Alliances Series: Interpartner Dynamics in Strategic Alliances. Information Age Publishing, USA, 2013, pp. 131-147. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1025283 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1025283

Sveinn Vidar Gudmundsson (Contact Author)

Toulouse Business School ( email )

20, bd Lascrosses
Toulouse, 31068
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.tbs-education.fr

Christian Lechner

École Supérieure de Commerce (ESC) de Toulouse - Economics and Finance ( email )

Toulouse
France

Hans Van Kranenburg

Radboud University Nijmegen - Nijmegen School of Management ( email )

Thomas van Aquinostraat 3
P.O. Box 9108
Nijmegen, 6500HK
Netherlands

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