Viewpoints on Strategic Alliances

Cross-Border Alliances in the Age of Collaboration (1995)

By John R. Harbison and Peter Pekar, Jr. Phd

This Strategic Alliances Viewpoint, the second in a series, focuses on the
role of cross-border alliances in today's era of the extended enterprise.
The discussion covers the momentum behind cross-border alliances, pitfalls
to avoid, best practices, the future role of strategic cross-border
alliances, and implications for management.

Flourishing cross-border arrangements are changing the global business
environment in most industries. The global demands on technology and
financial resources are forcing companies to ally in order to compete, often
at the same time that industry boundaries are blurring and new capabilities
are becoming more critical. In this age of collaboration, self-reliance is
an option few companies can afford.

BA&H has identified a number of traps to avoid when undertaking cross-border

· Believing they are our kind of people: failing to take the time to select the right partner
· Until death do us part: failing to agree on objectives and goals
· No paroles, no pardons: failing to plan for flexibility and change
· Relying on U.N. peace-keeping: counting on third parties to come to the aid of   disagreeing partners
· Assuming no child support: failing to plan properly for continuing resource requirements   and the consequences of a termination of the alliance


Avoiding these pitfalls is not enough to ensure success: a disciplined
process of alliance formulation is essential, as is regard for regional variance
in alliance skills, concerns and issues, and an institutionalized alliance
capability. (These topics are discussed in detail in the other Viewpoints from
the Strategic Alliances series.)

Judging from the many recently announced cross-border partnerships, an
increasing number of global enterprises recognize that strategic alliances
can provide growth at a fraction of the cost of going it alone. In addition
to sharing risks and investment, a well-structured, well-managed approach to
alliance formation can increase efficiency and productivity and help an
organization leverage its resources.

Click here to view a PDF format file of the entire Viewpoint

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