The Strategic Management of Multipartner Alliances: Uncovering the Triadic Alliance Problem

Battista Dagnino Giovanni, Giulio Ferrigno

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The engagement of firms in multiple simultaneous strategic alliances with various partners has become a ubiquitous phenomenon in today’s business landscape. Prior strategic alliance literature has offered a wealth of perspectives on how firms learn to manage individual alliances and build alliance capabilities by developing a dedicated alliance function. However, while such studies are focused on dyadic alliances, scarce attention has been devoted heretofore to the emerging phenomenon of triadic alliances. In order to shed light on such phenomenon, this chapter explores the triadic alliance and unveils some problems that epitomize such kind of alliances; that is, actor mindframes, governance structure, alliance learning problems and conflict management, and strategic and operational problems. Moreover, examining a specific triadic alliance case study (i.e., 3SUN Alliance between Enel Green Power, Sharp, and STMicroelectronics) shows how the dyadic alliance function turns out to be hardly appropriate to handle the bundle of complexities emerging from the four problems of triadic alliance settings. Furthermore, the chapter unveils the triadic alliance problem and presents a comprehensive proposition that emphasizes the need for firms to manage such complexities by creating a specifically contingent set of triadic alliance mechanisms. The chapter provides two significant contributions. First, by starting to unpack the triadic alliance problem, it offers a theoretical contribution that facilitates an improved understanding of this particular multipartner arrangement. Second, it proposes a contribution helpful to practitioners in that it supplies a set of fresh hints to build a flexible set of triadic alliance mechanisms to manage strategically a portfolio of multipartner alliances.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManaging Multipartner Strategic Alliances
EditorsT.K. Das
Pages133-167
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • alliance
  • triadic alliance

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