Smart Alliances:

A Practical Guide to Repeatable Success

Customer Reviews on Amazon

5 out of 5 stars Best Book on The Subject, August 7, 2000
Reviewer: A 1-year old reader from San Francisco, CA USA

I have been following Harbison's and Pekar's work for over a decade. I have also attended their annual alliance conference in NYC sponsored by the conference board. For those not familiar with their work, they have completed 10 alliance studies covering the top 1,000 global companies as well as a recent study sponsored by the Association of Corporate Growth of the top small & medium size firms in the U.S. and Europe. Their work is the cutting edge. We have passed out copies to our executive core. I highly recommend this book which discusses just the tip of their work and is based on a number of their studies. To become more familiar with their thinking, I would suggest the reader also go to the web site "" to read some of their latest Viewpoints on the subject. Simply, they are the leaders in this area. Being an executive in a major high tech firm that does mutiple alliances, I can state that no other consulting firm or academic institution has amassed such a wealth of information or experience on this important subject.

5 out of 5 stars INDUSTRIAL TEAMWORK PAYS OFF !, May 25, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from Vancouver

After reading "Smart Alliances", any business executive will have gained valuable insight into the fast growing world of strategic alliances. This book provides an easy to read yet detailed look at what makes an alliances work and what does not. The insights are reliable as they are drawn from current direct feedback from top executives of companies in the Fortune 500, the Business Week top 1,000 and more. The book explores the real opportunities and challenges that alliances create, explores various domestic and international case studies, and develops an eight-step road map for alliance success. It provides guidance for significant organizational challenges such as the management of alliance legal and governance issues and the challenge of institutionalizing alliance capabilities for repeatable success. This book stands alone as a road map to any company considering the development of strategic business initiatives with complementary organizations.

In 1980 less than 2% of revenues driven by the top 1,000 US firms came from alliances where as today (1997) more than 21 % of revenues are alliance driven. Through the strategic sharing of resources and risk, companies who develop successful alliances are clearly producing higher returns on earnings than those who are not.

4 out of 5 stars Alliance Planning, July 19, 2000
Reviewer: Manish Bhandari from Northampton, England

Most of the literature in this field has been restricted to the elements of technical discontinuity and capital scarcity as the key drivers for the alliance. The authors admirably widen the scope and in the process alter the reader's perspective from 'a kind of a deal' to a continuum based approach of business. There still exists a scope to expand upon the roadmap to alliances with lot more details and examples from non-technology sectors.

5 out of 5 stars Practice meets theory, May 9, 2000
Reviewer: hart roussel from Pasadena CA USA

Smart Alliances is an excellent review of the benefits of and best practices for strategic alliances. The authors move beyond theory and give the reader practical guidance in the new brave world of alliance making. While no one book on this topic would be sufficient, if I were stranded on a south sea island and had to make alliances with the natives to survive, this is the one book I would want to use as a guide.

5 out of 5 stars A 'Best Practice' Approach is the Key, May 6, 2000
Reviewer: Michael Yatsko from USA

It is one thing to conceptually frame how alliances may add value to a business; it is another to actually execute an alliance strategy in a way that creates measureable value. Rooted in research, not theory, the authors offer a 'best practice' approach to alliancing that can be readily applied to any large company.

5 out of 5 stars Review of Smart Alliances by Harbison and Pekar, April 22, 2000
Reviewer: D. Kundu from USA

This is an excellent guide for those who want to understand the core principles behind strategic alliances, from opportunities to implementation. It shows why we are lagging behind in this area in comparison with European and Asian companies and the opportunities that lies ahead of us. Many references of alliances through out the book. The chapter on key principles, best practices and pitfall sections is a practical guide for anyone working in this area. Overall this book gets my vote for presenting much needed practical information in an easy reading style that has helped my understanding of the subject and will be very helpful in my work.

5 out of 5 stars Superb - a Must Read!, May 9, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from Seattle, Washington

Concise well written. I have read several books on strategic alliances. Mostly, I find antidotes, limited examples and experiences -- simply words and frameworks not based on facts backed by little research. This book, however, is based on a wealth of research and experience. Having done numerous alliances, our firm found that our experiences dovetail with the knowledge discussed in this book. We highly recommend the book. We have bought and distributed 70 copies to our senior management. practical insights. This book provides lots of tools and frameworks to assess real work on strategic alliances. I believe this is a must read in the subject.

5 out of 5 stars A Must Read For Those Considering Strategic Alliances, May 8, 1999
Reviewer: Mark Lefko, Tegra Capital Associates, LLC. ( from California

Smart Alliances is a must read for those looking for new ways of creating value within their organizations. The book does an excellent job of showing statistics and considerations which support a case for using alliances as a means of leveraging upon existing company strengths. In addition the book has a good roadmap of issues that should be considered in the process. We work in helping companies to create successful alliances and encourage our clients to read this book for confirmation that they are pursing the right strategic approach for the right reasons.

5 out of 5 stars Clear, concise and plenty of new insights, March 8, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from Philadelphia

I have read several books on strategic alliances. Frequently, I find a lot of repetitiveness. However, in this book I found a lot of useful and practical insights. This book provides lots of tools and frameworks to assess real work on strategic alliances. I believe this is a must read in the subject.

5 out of 5 stars Excellent - The Cutting of Alliances, February 27, 1999
Reviewer: A reader from France

We are a global player and are very familar with John's and Peter's work. We consider their work as the cutting edge of alliance knowledge. Our company has formed scores of successful alliances. "Smart Alliances" reveals what we have learned the hard way. In fact, we ordered 60 copies of their book which we gave to the CEOs of our partners. If you are considering doing an alliance or wondering how do you manage them, then this book is a must read.

5 out of 5 stars The complex issue of creating alliances - made simple, December 24, 1998
Reviewer: from New Canaan, Connecticut

As the world continues to shrink the necessity of business alliances is becoming evident. Smart Alliances explains the advantage of these hybrid business relationships. The writing is clear and easy to understand. The charts and graphs are helpful, logical and actionable. Congratulations to Harbison and Pekar on an excellent book.

5 out of 5 stars Excellent book, December 23, 1998
Reviewer: A reader from Chicago

This book is a very readable very understandable discussion of Strategic Alliances. The authors present a very logical exposition that describes: what Strategic Alliances are, why they are important, why they are growing more and more important with each passing year, how to determine the applicability of Strategic Alliances to your particular business situation, how to proceed, what to avoid, how to be successful, and how to repeat that success in subsequent alliances.

The book contains many examples and case studies and is peppered with conclusions wrought from surveys and interviews with CEOs in the US, in Asia and in Europe.

The authors are knowledgeable in the field of Strategic Alliances. They have produced a book that is destined to become a classic in the field: yet, the book is understandable by people who are not familiar with the subject. This book is the best overview of Strategic Alliances available today. It is an excellent introduction to a subject that is becoming more and more important in today's business world.

5 out of 5 stars A practical approach to successful alliances of all types., November 18, 1998
Reviewer: John Garcia, The Lubrizol Corporation ( from San Antonio, TX

Pekar & Harbison have delivered a five star punch in the race to harness theory and research towards successfully repeatable alliance methodologies. The mix of case studies, theory and practical methods should help people hone well developed alliance capabilities, or provide a substantial boost up the learning curve for those new to this critically important field. This book should be on a required reading list for any organization serious about making strategic alliances a part of their future success.

5 out of 5 stars AT LAST - A common sense and workable approach to Alliances., November 6, 1998
Reviewer: A reader from San Antonio, Texas USA

Finally, a common sense and workable approach to the 'How To's' of creating and implementing alliances. Perhaps more importantly it clearly depicts how 'alliances' fit in the continuim of extended enterprises. The message is clear, insightful and useable!

Thank You Peter & John

5 out of 5 stars The most thoroughly researched book on strategic alliances!, November 5, 1998
Reviewer: from San Francisco, California

This thoroughly researched book validates what alliance practioners have learned through hard, grueling, trial and error work. And it offers several surprising, helpful insights as well.

Pekar's extensive inventory of alliance best practices referred to in the book baits a reader for his sequel, in order to learn more about the way alliances really work best!


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