Co-opetition and strategic business alliances in telecommunications : the cases of BT, Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica de Espana
As a relatively new phenomenon compared to other ways of executing an international strategy, Strategic Business Alliances (SBAs) lack the theoretical support that most of their longer-established counterparts enjoy. Yet, it is our belief that the widespread use of SBAs in a large number of manufacturing and service sectors necessitates the development of a theoretical foundation. One of the contributions of this thesis is the assessment of the suitability of an established theoretical framework: Nalebuff and Brandenburger's game theoretical "Co-opetition". Whilst the authors had a much wider domain than SBAs in mind when they developed their theory, we will argue that Co-opetition can be an extremely suitable theory to assess deciding developments with regard to SBAs. Our empirical analysis of the major telecommunication SBAs does, thereto, not only provide a comprehensive overview of the most prominent alliance activities in this sector but it also serves as input to assess Co-opetition's suitability as a theoretical framework on developments related to SBAs. Besides the overall suitability of Co-opetition we will further assess which of the two extremes of the theory's central notion of the new Mindset, peace and war, best represents developments we witness in the telecommunication industry. In order to achieve that we have selected two theories that provide a clear representation of the two extremes. The comparison of the applicability of these two representing theories leads us to conclude that regarding SBAs in telecommunications the "peace element" of Co-opetition's Mindset is more applicable than the "war element".