The Nature of Partnering Experience and the Gains from Alliances
Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 30, No. 11, pp. 1213-1233, 2009
40 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2008 Last revised: 28 Dec 2011
Date Written: 2009
We examine the conditions under which the prior partnering experience of firms contributes to value creation in their new alliances. We propose that prior experience with the same partners, i.e. "partner-specific experience", provides greater benefits than "general partnering experience" that encompasses all prior alliances with any partner. We further explore some of the boundary conditions for the effects of partner-specific experience. We suggest that the effect of partner-specific experience on value creation in alliances is moderated by the extent to which the assets of the new partner differ from those of the firm's prior partners. We also propose that the firm's own technological and financial resources increase the benefits of partner-specific experience. Finally, we predict that the value of partner-specific experience will increase under high levels of firm-specific uncertainty. We test these hypotheses with comprehensive longitudinal multi-industry data on joint ventures formed among Fortune 300 firms between 1987 and 1996. Based on stock market returns to joint-venture announcements, the results provide support for the contingent value of partnering experience. The implications for managing alliances and advancing organizational learning are discussed.
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