International strategic alliances: Alliance portfolio configuration and firm performance

Axel Rödiger

Student thesis: Master thesis


International strategic alliances are gaining importance as a tool of corporate strategy. This ubiquity of alliances in business practice is reflected in a growing number of studies on that matter. Scholars traditionally focus on either of two major research streams. The first one analyzes the causes for alliance formation, the latter the consequences of it. However, many large corporations maintain alliances with multiple partners simultaneously. This requires managers and researchers to shift the focus from a single alliance dyad to the alliance portfolio as a whole. A major challenge that stems from this alteration is the question of how to configure such a portfolio. Manifold opportunities concerning the portfolio´s size, diversity, and density exist. Furthermore, scholars’ opinions on the ideal alliance portfolio structure vary, due to opposing findings. This paper aims at shedding more light onto the discussion whether portfolio size has an influence on firm performance. In addition, the study at hand targets to derive further insights on a beneficial degree of density within a portfolio. A multilevel analysis is applied in order to account for the hierarchical structure of the data. Yet, the proposed method fails to present statistically significant results.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages73