Alliance Formation in the Automobile Sector During an Era of Ferment

14 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2015

See all articles by William Sierzchula

William Sierzchula

Delft University of Technology

Kees Maat

Delft University of Technology

Sjoerd Bakker

Independent

Bert van Wee

Delft University of Technology

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

When developing radical innovations, firms often form collaborative relationships with external organizations to have access to additional resources. Therefore, alliance formation is influential in innovation and plays a key role in industrial change. However, most studies have not distinguished between individual alliances and instead aggregated collaborations when analysing firm external R&D efforts. Our research sought to explore manufacturer use of alliances to acquire expertise in key knowledge areas as they developed and commercialized electric vehicles. Alliances from 24 manufacturers were analysed according to type (explorative or exploitative), key knowledge area, and firm type (incumbent or startā€up). The results show distinct alliance formation patterns in different key knowledge areas. Heterogeneity of alliance formation in key knowledge areas indicates that developing a radical innovation is not as simple as acquiring new expertise. Rather it is a complex process where firms seek to develop their own knowledge base and use the expertise of other companies. This likely stems from a desire to develop technologies connected to core business models. Analysing alliance formation according to key knowledge area provides a rich account of how firms approach knowledge acquisition as they develop radical innovations during a time of industrial uncertainty.

Suggested Citation

Sierzchula, William and Maat, Kees and Bakker, Sjoerd and van Wee, Bert, Alliance Formation in the Automobile Sector During an Era of Ferment (March 2015). Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 24, Issue 1, pp. 109-122, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2567050 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/caim.12077

William Sierzchula (Contact Author)

Delft University of Technology ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

Kees Maat

Delft University of Technology

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

Sjoerd Bakker

Independent

Bert Van Wee

Delft University of Technology ( email )

Stevinweg 1
Stevinweg 1
Delft, 2628 CN
Netherlands

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