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

See all articles by Ranjay Gulati

Ranjay Gulati

Harvard Business School - Organizational Behavior

Dovev Lavie

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Harbir Singh

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Gulati, Ranjay and Lavie, Dovev and Singh, Harbir, The Nature of Partnering Experience and the Gains from Alliances (2009). Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 30, No. 11, pp. 1213-1233, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1316524

Ranjay Gulati

Harvard Business School - Organizational Behavior ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 317
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-8554 (Phone)
617-496-6568 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hbs.edu

Dovev Lavie (Contact Author)

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Harbir Singh

University of Pennsylvania - Management Department ( email )

The Wharton School
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6370
United States
215-898 6752. (Phone)
215-898 0401 (Fax)

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