Title: Alliance structure choice in the telecommunications industry: between resource type and resource heterogeneity

Authors: Thomas Mellewigt, T.K. Das

Addresses: Institute of Management, Freie Universitat Berlin, Garystr. 21, D-14195 Berlin, Germany. ' Department of Management, Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New York, One Bernard Baruch Way, Box B9-240, New York, NY 10010, USA

Abstract: This empirical research analyses how firm resources influence the choice of governance structures in strategic alliances in the German telecommunications industry. The results of the study indicate that the choice of governance structure is determined by knowledge-based resources rather than resource heterogeneity, and support the claim that partner firms will use equity to safeguard their knowledge-based resources against opportunistic behaviour and unintended transfer of such resources. This paper also shows that there is no significant impact of trust, the number of alliance partners and whether the alliance partner competes in the same business, on the choice of the governance structures. Nationality of the alliance partners, strategic importance of the alliance and asset specificity are strongly confirmed as factors significantly influencing the alliance structure choice in the German telecommunications industry.

Keywords: strategic alliances; governance structure; alliance structure; resource types; resource heterogeneity; Germany; telecommunications industry; knowledge-based resources; trust; partner nationality; asset specificity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSCM.2010.034411

International Journal of Strategic Change Management, 2010 Vol.2 No.2/3, pp.128 - 144

Published online: 02 Aug 2010 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article