Today’s business market can be best described as global, dynamic, and synergistic. Recently, the entire world has become a marketplace; therefore, business competition has increasingly crossed national boundaries. New technological breakthroughs and augmenting global business activities have intensified international business competition. Furthermore, the recent expansion of world markets encompassing the economic transformation in former socialist countries (for example, Russia and other eastern European countries), the economic liberalizations in China, and emerging economies in Asia (for example, South Korea, Taiwan, and Malaysia) and Latin America (for example, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile), has imposed new challenges on businesses. The present state of international business can be attributed to political, economic, social, and technological changes sweeping the world.
In response to all these changes, multinational corporations (MNCs) have increasingly developed global alliances. Concomitantly, in the past decade, publications on strategic alliances augmented. Most of these publications deal with theoretical foundations, motivations of partners, forms, and governance structures, and the performance of strategic collaborations. Yet, they are either purely theoretical explanations or are fragmented—only covering certain facets of the business alliance phenomenon. A systematic and comprehensive study of global interfirm partnerships, demonstrating their theoretical foundations and recent applications in specific industries, is still needed. This urgent need requires new approaches to and explanations of understanding and managing global business alliances. With all these thoughts, I took this challenge two years ago and started gathering information concerning global alliances.