Alliance Contractual Design

23 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2004

See all articles by Africa M. Arino

Africa M. Arino

University of Navarra, IESE Business School

Jeffrey J. Reuer

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management


Our purpose in this paper is to provide an overview of what we know about alliance contracts. After a short introduction to the contents of alliance contracts, we start by contrasting alliance contractual form and governance form. Next, we focus on two related constructs: contractual complexity and contractual completeness. We suggest that contractual complexity is a more adequate construct to investigate in the absence of information about the transaction contemplated in the contract. After that, we present the measures of contractual complexity used in past studies. Then, we go over the determinants of contractual complexity by considering their influence on contracting costs and benefits given environmental and behavioral uncertainty. Conclusions and suggestions for research are offered at the end.

Keywords: Alliance contracts, collaborative relationships, contractual complexity, strategic alliances, cooperation, joint ventures

JEL Classification: M10

Suggested Citation

Ariño, Africa M. and Reuer, Jeffrey J., Alliance Contractual Design. IESE Business School Working Paper No. 572. Available at SSRN: or

Africa M. Ariño (Contact Author)

University of Navarra, IESE Business School ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034

Jeffrey J. Reuer

Purdue University - Krannert School of Management ( email )

1310 Krannert Building
West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States

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