This book provides working guidelines for understanding and using strategic alliances in multinational businesses. It is written for international managers and students of international management to help them do their jobs more effectively, no matter what the size of their enterprise. The diversity, complexity and rapidly changing context of multinational management, as well as the growing and widespread use of strategic alliances in international management, dictates a need for a book such as this one.
The book is based on the experiences of the author and of multinational companies working with overseas joint venture operations. The disciplined systematic processes and contingency frameworks given throughout this book, and the best practices guidelines and situation analysis checklists given in the concluding sections of Chapters 2–6 and in Appendix A, are based on these experiences. In addition, a substantial body of contingency theory, research and practice provides a theory basis for this work (Chandler, 1962; Donaldson, 1995, 1996; Egeloff, 1982; Lawrence and Lorsch, 1967; Rumelt, 1974; Stopford and Wells, 1972; Vancil, 1980; Mockler, 1989, 1992a,b).
The multinational area has become important to success in business today, because the markets in many developed countries are maturing and growth is being sought in new markets by companies of all sizes. Strategic alliances are a major enabling tool of multinational firms, as they are for domestic ones. These alliances have a number of unique characteristics which make them difficult to use effectively.