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Cooperative Strategy. BA 495.009. Chapter Nine. Today’s Agenda. Strategic Alliances Business-level Cooperative Strategies Corporate-level Cooperative Strategies Other Types of Cooperative Strategies International Network Risks & Managerial Problems Wrap-up. Strategic Alliances.

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cooperative strategy

Cooperative Strategy

BA 495.009

Chapter Nine

today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Business-level Cooperative Strategies
  • Corporate-level Cooperative Strategies
  • Other Types of Cooperative Strategies
    • International
    • Network
  • Risks & Managerial Problems
  • Wrap-up
the age of alliance capitalism
The Age of “Alliance Capitalism”

“If you think you can go it alone in today’s global economy, you are highly mistaken.”

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric

“Not all the smart people work for Sun.”

William Joy, Vice President of R&D, Sun Microsystems

cooperative strategy5
Cooperative Strategy
  • Cooperative Strategy
    • A strategy in which firms work together to achieve a shared objective.
  • Cooperating with other firms is a strategy that:
    • Creates value for a customer.
    • Provides value that exceeds the cost of providing that value.
    • Establishes a favorable position relative to competitors.
strategic alliance
Strategic Alliance
  • A primary type of cooperative strategy in which firms combine some of their resources and capabilities to create a mutual competitive advantage.
    • Involves the exchange and sharing of resources and capabilities to co-develop or distribute goods and services.
    • Requires cooperative behavior from all partners.
three types of strategic alliances
Three Types of Strategic Alliances
  • Joint Venture
    • Two or more firms create a legally independent company by sharing some of their resources and capabilities.
  • Equity Strategic Alliance
    • Partners who own different percentages of equity in a company (one of the companies involved may be the venture on which equity is being shared).
  • Nonequity Strategic Alliance
    • Two or more firms develop a contractual relationship to share some of their unique resources and capabilities.
reasons for strategic alliances
Reasons for Strategic Alliances

Market Reason

Slow-Cycle • Gain access to a restricted market• Establish a franchise in a new market• Maintain market stability (e.g., establishing standards)

Fast-Cycle • Speed up development of new goods or services• Speed up new market entry• Maintain market leadership• Form an industry technology standard• Share risky R&D expenses• Overcome uncertainty

Standard-Cycle • Gain market power (reduce industry overcapacity)• Gain access to complementary resources• Establish better economies of scale• Overcome trade barriers• Meet competitive challenges from other competitors• Pool resources for very large capital projects• Learn new business techniques

example for alliance strategy
Example for Alliance Strategy







Geographicexpansion partners

Westin Hotelsand Resorts(Coffee servedthroughout hotel)

Dreyer’s(premium coffeeice cream)

New products,marketing andsales partners

Channelpartners(corporate sales)

Pepsico(bottled coffeebeverages)

United Airlines(in-flight coffee)

Retail formatpartners

Barnes & Noble(in-store stores)

Chapters(Canadian bookstores)

Host Marriott Services(worldwide airport kiosksand in-hotel coffee cafes)



Cooperative Strategies

business level cooperative strategies
Business-level Cooperative Strategies
  • A business-level cooperative strategy is used to help the firm improve its performance in individual product markets.
  • Types of business-level cooperative strategies:
    • Complementary strategic alliance
      • Vertical
      • Horizontal
    • Competition response strategy
    • Uncertainty-reducing strategy
    • Competition-reducing strategy
business level cooperative strategies12
Combine partner firms’ assets in complementary ways to create new value.

Include distribution, supplier or outsourcing alliances where firms rely on upstream or downstream partners to build competitive advantage.



Business-Level Cooperative Strategies
complementary strategic alliances
Complementary Strategic Alliances
  • Vertical Complementary Strategic Alliance
    • Formed between firms that agree to use their skills and capabilities in different stages of the value chain to create value for both firms.
      • E-commerce & outsourcing are examples.
  • Horizontal Complementary Strategic Alliance
    • Formed when partners who agree to combine their resources and skills to create value in the same stage of the value chain.
      • Focus is on long-term product development and distribution opportunities.
      • The partners may become competitors which requires a great deal of trust between the partners.
competition response strategy
Occur when firms join forces to respond to a strategic action of another competitor.

Because they can be difficult to reverse and expensive to operate, strategic alliances are primarily formed to respond to strategic rather than tactical actions.



Competition Response Alliances

Competition Response Strategy
uncertainty reducing strategy
Are used to hedge against risk and uncertainty.

These alliances are most prevalent in fast-cycle markets

An alliance may be formed to reduce the uncertainty associated with developing new product or technology standards.



Competition Response Alliances

UncertaintyReducing Alliances

Uncertainty-Reducing Strategy
competition reducing strategy
Created to avoid destructive or excessive competition

Explicit collusion: when firms directly negotiate production output and pricing agreements in order to reduce competition (illegal).

Tacit collusion: when firms in an industry indirectly coordinate their production and pricing decisions by observing other firm’s actions and responses.



Competition Response Alliances

UncertaintyReducing Alliances

CompetitionReducing Alliances

Competition-Reducing Strategy
results of business level cooperative strategies
Results of Business-level Cooperative Strategies
  • To develop competitive advantage from an alliance, the combined resources and capabilities must be valuable, rare, difficult to imitate and nonsubstitutable.
  • Complementary business-level strategic alliances, especially the vertical ones, have the greatest probability of creating a sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Horizontal complementary alliances are sometimes difficult to maintain because they are often between rival competitors.
  • Competitive advantages gained from competition and uncertainty reducing strategies tend to be temporary.


Cooperative Strategies

corporate level cooperative strategy
Corporate-Level Cooperative Strategy
  • Corporate-level Strategies
    • Help the firm diversify in terms of:
      • Products offered to the market
      • The markets it serves
    • Require fewer resource commitments than acquisitions.
    • Permit greater flexibility in terms of efforts to diversify partners’ operations.
diversifying strategic alliances
Allows a firm to expand into new product or market areas without completing a merger or an acquisition.

Provides some of the potential synergistic benefits of a merger or acquisition, but with less risk and greater levels of flexibility.

Permits a “test” of whether a future merger between the partners would benefit both parties.

DiversifyingStrategic Alliance

Diversifying Strategic Alliances
synergistic strategic alliances
Creates joint economies of scope between two or more firms.

Creates synergy across multiple functions or multiple businesses between partner firms.

DiversifyingStrategic Alliance

SynergisticStrategic Alliance

Synergistic Strategic Alliances
Spreads risks and uses resources, capabilities, and competencies without merging or acquiring another company.

A contractual relationship (the franchise) is developed between two parties, the franchisee and the franchisor.

An alternative to pursuing growth through mergers and acquisitions.

DiversifyingStrategic Alliance

SynergisticStrategic Alliance


assessment of corporate level cooperative strategies
Assessment of Corporate-Level Cooperative Strategies
  • Compared to business-level strategies
    • Broader in scope  More complex
    • More costly
  • Can lead to competitive advantage and value when:
    • The results of the alliance are valuable, rare, costly to imitate and non-substitutable
    • Successful alliance experiences are internalized.
    • The firm uses such strategies to develop useful knowledge about how to succeed in the future.


Cooperative Strategies

international cooperative strategies
International Cooperative Strategies
  • Cross-border Strategic Alliance
    • A strategy in which firms with headquarters in different nations combine their resources and capabilities to create a competitive advantage.
    • A firm may form cross-border strategic alliances to leverage core competencies that are the foundation of its domestic success to expand into international markets.
international cooperative strategies26
International Cooperative Strategies
  • Reasons for Increasing Use:
    • Multinational corporations outperform firms operating on only a domestic basis.
    • Limited domestic growth opportunities also cause firms to use cross-border alliances.
    • Government economic policies can influence firms to form cross-border alliances.
    • Strategic alliances with local partners can help firms overcome certain liabilities of moving into a foreign country, such as lack of knowledge of the local culture or institutional norms.
network cooperative strategy
Network Cooperative Strategy
  • A cooperative strategy wherein several firms agree to form multiple partnerships to achieve shared objectives.
    • Stable alliance network
    • Dynamic alliance network
  • Effective social relationships and interactions among partners are keys to a successful network cooperative strategy.
network cooperative strategies

Stable AllianceNetwork

Network Cooperative Strategies
  • Long term relationships that often appear in mature industries where demand is relatively constant and predictable
  • Stable networks are built for exploitation of the economies (scale and/or scope) available between the firms
network cooperative strategies29

Stable AllianceNetwork

Dynamic AllianceNetwork

Network Cooperative Strategies
  • Arrangements that evolve in industries with rapid technological change leading to short product life cycles.
  • Primarily used to stimulate rapid, value-creating product innovation and subsequent successful market entries.
  • Purpose is often exploration of new ideas

Managing Risk in

Cooperative Strategy

competitive risks of cooperative strategies
Competitive Risks of Cooperative Strategies
  • Partners may act opportunistically.
  • Partners may misrepresent competencies brought to the partnership.
  • Partners fail to make committed resources and capabilities available to other partners.
  • One partner may make investments that are specific to the alliance while its partner does not.
managing cooperative strategies
Managing Cooperative Strategies
  • Establish systems within the firm for managing alliances
    • Specific department (Business Development)
    • Specific criteria
  • Cost Minimization Management Approach
    • Have formal contracts with partners.
    • Specify how strategy is to be monitored.
    • Specify how partner behavior is to be controlled.
    • Set goals that minimize costs and to prevent opportunistic behavior by partners.
managing cooperative strategies33
Managing Cooperative Strategies
  • Opportunity Maximization Approach
    • Maximize partnership’s value-creation opportunities.
    • Learn from each other.
    • Explore additional marketplace possibilities.
    • Maintain less formal contracts, fewer constraints.
wrap up
  • Strategic Alliances
  • Business-level Cooperative Strategies
  • Corporate-level Cooperative Strategies
  • Other Types of Cooperative Strategies
    • International
    • Network
  • Risks & Managerial Problems
  • Wrap-up