Transitory Alliances: An Instrument for Surviving Turbulent Industries?

10 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2003

See all articles by Geert Duysters

Geert Duysters

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS); University of Maastricht

Ard-Pieter de Man

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS); Universiteit Maastricht

Abstract

Over the past decades, firms have constantly struggled to deal effectively with their rapidly changing environment. Especially in high tech industries, costs of R&D have rocketed, whereas steep learning curves and ever shortening product and technology life cycles have reduced the time to recoup these costs. Under such conditions of turbulence, a new form of alliances becomes an important part of the innovator's toolkit: transitory alliances. Transitory alliances can be defined as short-lived alliances that focus on completing narrowly defined tasks in a very short time frame. Companies can no longer rely exclusively on their traditional alliance and M&A practices to survive industry turbulence. Furthermore, transitory alliances can be a wellspring of innovation and provide companies with access to a portfolio of new ideas. They can help companies to acquire knowledge in a swift manner, thereby strengthening their ability to survive the high speed of change. The specific characteristics of this alliance type are discussed in this paper. Typical examples are taken from Internet related sectors.

Suggested Citation

Duysters, Geert and de Man, Ard-Pieter, Transitory Alliances: An Instrument for Surviving Turbulent Industries?. R&D Management, Vol. 33, pp. 49-58, 2003. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=371444

Geert Duysters (Contact Author)

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) ( email )

Box 513
NL-5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands
+31 40 247 4646 (Fax)

University of Maastricht

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

Ard-Pieter De Man

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE) - Eindhoven Center for Innovation Studies (ECIS) ( email )

NL-5600 MB Eindhoven
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.strategic-alliances.org/Bios/ardpieterdemanbio1204.pdf

Universiteit Maastricht ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

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