Resource ambidexterity through alliance portfolios and firm performance

Ulrich Wassmer, Sali Li, Anoop Madhok
  • Strategic Management Journal, February 2016, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1002/smj.2488

What is it about?

Alliances can be an important alternative to internal firm resources for attain their strategic objectives. There are two alternate strategies for firms to access resources through alliances: fewer partners with more resources per partner or more partners with fewer resources per partner. We highlight the implications of this when firms pursue dual strategic objectives through alliance portfolios. We examine how balancing product-market extending and efficiency-improving partner resources enables firms to increase revenue and reducing costs simultaneously in the global airline industry, potentially enhance firm competitiveness. We find that such resource balance at the portfolio level helps airlines improve performance. Our results also suggest that managers should be cautious of accessing too many resources through just a few partners.

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