Why Do Firms Ally in Dynamic Environments? - Empirical Findings from a Co-Evolutionary Perspective

39 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2007

See all articles by Martin Gersch

Martin Gersch

Free University of Berlin (FUB); Ruhr Universität Bochum

Christian Goeke

Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Department of Business and Economics

Jörg Freiling

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics

Date Written: January 2, 2007

Abstract

The paper investigates the very nature of collaborative advantage against the background of environmental dynamics. Applying grounded theory and case study research, exploratory fieldwork in the German healthcare sector revealed a taxonomy of three common bases for collaborative advantage in response to the research question why firms ally in dynamic environments: (1) gap closing, (2) creating options, and (3) steering directions of environmental development. Typically, these motivations are not mutually exclusive, and often overlap at varying degrees in particular collaborative arrangements in practice. Referring to the Austrian School for the market/industry level and to the competence-based view for the firm level facilitates a theory-based analysis of cooperation decisions from an organization/environment co-evolution perspective, all under the umbrella of market process theory. Findings and propositions for all three bases for collaborative advantage reveal that alliances in dynamic environments are not only forced by external change, but that they themselves at the same time influence environmental change processes.

Keywords: alliances, competence-based view, market process theory, organization/environment co-evolution, turbulent environments

JEL Classification: I11, L22, M10, M13, O30

Suggested Citation

Gersch, Martin and Goeke, Christian and Freiling, Jörg, Why Do Firms Ally in Dynamic Environments? - Empirical Findings from a Co-Evolutionary Perspective (January 2, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=945793 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.945793

Martin Gersch

Free University of Berlin (FUB) ( email )

Berlin, 12209
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.fu-berlin.de

Ruhr Universität Bochum ( email )

Universitatsstrabe 150
Bochum, 44780
Germany

Christian Goeke (Contact Author)

Free University of Berlin (FUB) - Department of Business and Economics ( email )

Boltzmannstrasse 20
D-14195 Berlin, 14195
Germany

Jörg Freiling

University of Bremen - Faculty of Business Studies and Economics ( email )

Wilhelm-Herbst-Str. 5
Bremen, D-28359
Germany
++49 421 218 66870 (Phone)
++49 421 218 66902 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.lemex.uni-bremen.de

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