Managing Strategic Alliances

Dr Swetketu Patnaik

Strategic alliances are considered one of the key components of corporate strategy to attain organisational growth. Companies pursue alliance strategy to access complementary knowledge and resources. Aligning with other partners allows companies to build new businesses, reach new customers, carry out research and development activities and provide services efficiently and effectively. In essence, strategic inter-organizational partnerships allow firms to adapt to change and hedge risks.

Notwithstanding significance of strategic alliances, these inter-organizational arrangements are notoriously difficult to plan, execute, and maintain over time. It is no coincidence that a significant number of strategic alliances fail within the first few years.  In this course, we will explore various challenges that underpin inter-organisational relationships in general, and in the process we will critically engage with issues relating to control and governance, trust and learning and how these aspects impact short term and long term functioning of strategic alliances. Clearly, managing alliances demand different leadership and management skills, particularly from those members of organizations, who are closely involved in the design and formation and operationalization of this strategy. Therefore, developing a better understanding of socio-cultural, structural and institutional differences amongst partners is considered critical to effectively manage the alliance phenomenon.

Intended Audience

Strategic alliances can create new opportunities for growth and competitive advantage. At the same time they present a new set of organisational and management challenges. This course is designed to introduce students from different disciplines and backgrounds to different aspects that underpin the formation and management of strategic alliances. The course thus aims to provide an opportunity for participants to gain insights and develop skills and technique to participate in alliances and embrace collaborations in their career.

Previous Knowledge

No specific pre-requisite knowledge of the subject is required to attend the course.

Transferable Knowledge and Skills

This course aims to provide conceptual, theoretical and practical knowledge to engage with various aspects relating to formation and management of strategic alliances. By the end of the course, students should be able to critically evaluate the rationale for strategic alliances and various leadership and managerial challenges that collaborative relationships present as they evolve over time. One of the central aims of the course is to provide a solid base to students to analyse strategic, organisational and cultural fit among partners and how to effectively resolve conflicts as partnerships develop through different phases.