Decision Making within and between Organizations: Rationality, Politics, and Alliance Performance

Walter, J., Kellermanns, F. W., & Lechner, C. (2012). Decision making within and between organizations: Rationality, politics, and alliance performance. Journal of Management, 38(5): 1582–1610.

49 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2010 Last revised: 28 Aug 2014

Jorge Walter

The George Washington University - School of Business

Franz W. Kellermanns

University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Christoph Lechner

University of St. Gallen

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

This study extends research on strategic decision making into the realm of strategic alliances by examining the interactive effect of decision process characteristics at the firm and alliance levels on alliance performance. Located both within and at the boundary between partners, alliance-related decision processes have to balance each partner’s self-interest on one hand and collective actions on the other hand, with both partners being dependent on each other’s collaboration. Using primary, cross-sectional data obtained from 103 high-technology alliances, the authors study the effects of procedural rationality and politics in decision making. The results corroborate the importance of procedural rationality that facilitates collective actions between alliance partners but also uncover the pitfall of an unconditional reliance on procedural rationality at the firm level. The results further show that politically charged decision processes impair decision makers’ ability to reconcile individual interests both within and between alliance partners and therefore jeopardize alliance performance.

Keywords: Strategic alliances, alliance performance, decision process characteristics, procedural rationality, politics

Suggested Citation

Walter, Jorge and Kellermanns, Franz W. and Lechner, Christoph, Decision Making within and between Organizations: Rationality, Politics, and Alliance Performance (2012). Walter, J., Kellermanns, F. W., & Lechner, C. (2012). Decision making within and between organizations: Rationality, politics, and alliance performance. Journal of Management, 38(5): 1582–1610.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1586495

Jorge Walter (Contact Author)

The George Washington University - School of Business ( email )

School of Business
2201 G Street, NW, Funger Hall 615
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Franz W. Kellermanns

University of Tennessee, Knoxville ( email )

Knoxville, TN 37996
United States

Christoph Lechner

University of St. Gallen ( email )

Varnbuelstr. 14
Saint Gallen, St. Gallen CH-9000
Switzerland

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