Title: Building bridges to successful alliance formation: extending our understanding of performance related determinants focusing on small- and medium-sized businesses

Authors: Roland H. Simons, Susanne Royer

Addresses: Faculty of Information Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Level 5 Margaret St., Brisbane QLD 4000, Australia. ' International Institute of Management, University of Flensburg, Munketoft 3, D-24937 Flensburg, Germany

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to build on previous research (Royer et al., 2003) into the relationship between the self/partner reputation and alliance formation using |Real-World| competitors. Theoretical studies and case studies have progressed the field substantially but have also been subject to a number of limitations. This study includes complex considerations including motivation for alliance, number of potential partners available, resource wealth of potential partners, and past history with potential partners. The focus of this study is on cooperative arrangements of small- and medium-sized firms (SMEs). In the dynamic environment, SMEs with their traditional resource limitations often have to bundle resources with others to survive. It was argued that the study of alliance formation was particularly relevant to smaller business entities. Representatives from 50 Australian engineering organisations were involved in the study. The findings suggest considerable implications for theoretical propositions relating to the complexity of alliance formation for SMEs and the design demonstrates methodological enhancements relevant to the field.

Keywords: alliance formation; partner selection; game theory; experimental study; Australian engineering firms; small and medium-sized businesses; SMEs; Australia; alliances; small business; stability.

DOI: 10.1504/IJGSB.2006.010610

International Journal of Globalisation and Small Business, 2006 Vol.1 No.3, pp.244 - 257

Published online: 07 Aug 2006 *

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