An exploration of the processes and implications of strategic alliances and supplier partnerships : a theoretical synthesis
The marketing discipline is evolving and so is its agenda with the advent of relationship marketing and other related sub-fields. Till recently, business literature focused largely on competition, and cooperation, its counter part, has received insufficient attention. With a view to redress the situation, this thesis investigates the phenomenon of customer supplier alliances and partnerships and aims to make fundamental theoretical contributions in the sub-field of business-to-business relations and cooperation. The eclectic and wide-ranging enquiry is a main research tool employed and hence the character of this dissertation is interdisciplinary. An extensive literature review of a number of related disciplines is undertaken in order to understand and capture the essence of relationship strategies and their implications. These ideas and alternative research processes were exposed to critical comment by submitting papers to major conferences to increase feedback and validity of ideas. In addition, a qualitative exploratory survey was carried out in order to understand the strategic issues concerning alliances and partnerships. The research findings were combined with theoretical ideas to derive a Routines-Relationships-Resources (3Rs) model. This 3Rs model is made up of three cores that underlie all business strategies including those designed to generate competitive advantage through the route of cooperative alliances and partnerships. The 3Rs model is elaborated, and a set of interrelated propositions and directions for future research are outlined. These are offered to fuel large scale investigations for (dis)confirmation of the model.