Session 173

Learning and Routines: Implications for Alliances, Organizational Design, and Capabilities

Track N

Date: Monday, October 5, 2015


Time: 16:45 – 18:00

Common Ground

Room: Plaza Court 3


  • Andrew Shipilov, INSEAD

Title: Breaking the Psychological Alliance Contract: A Case Study in the Veterinary Drug Industry


  • Arne Keller, Free University of Berlin
  • Thomas Mellewigt, Free University of Berlin
  • Africa Ariño, IESE Business School

Abstract: The appropriate use and design of contracts lies commonly at the heart of strategic alliance research. However, contract violations are ubiquitous in today’s economy. There has been little attention, albeit, dedicated to understanding the multifaceted nature and the complex consequences of contract infringements and consequential contractual learning and adjustment processes. This study aims to tackle this apparent knowledge gap by analyzing the governance dynamics of a revelatory alliance in the veterinary drug industry. Insights from the case reveal that in order to understand dysfunctional dynamics in interorganizational relationships, one should draw a precise distinction between the written, formal and the implicit psychological alliance contract. The results yield important implications for understanding the multifaceted nature of contracts, and contractual renegotiations and learning processes alike.

Title: Cooperative Strategies and Their Effect on Organizational Agility: Does Location Matter?


  • Elisabeth F. Mueller, University of Passau
  • Carola Jungwirth, University of Passau

Abstract: The effect of agglomerated or peripheral environments on firm development is critically discussed in academic research. Negative selection effects as well as excessive specialization of agglomerated firms seem to neutralize the positive external effects of agglomeration and point to potential advantages of firms located in peripheral areas. With this quantitative study we contribute to this discussion by arguing that cooperative relationships boost the firm’s organizational agility, which is the capability to adapt to changing environments, and that this effect is contingent on location. Preliminary results show that cooperative relationships indeed enhance a firm’s organizational agility. This effect is stronger for agglomerated than for peripheral firms, suggesting that within agglomerations the benefits of lower cooperation costs outweigh the potential costs of excessive specialization.

Title: Does Joint Component Usage Catalyze or Inhibit Learning? Evidence from Formula 1


  • David Clough, INSEAD
  • Henning Piezunka, INSEAD
  • Philipp Reineke, INSEAD

Abstract: In today’s fast-moving world, speed of product improvement is an important factor in contributing to competitive outcomes. It is well established that learning and product improvement occur as experience accumulates. However prior research has not considered whether a jointly used component – one which multiple competing firms incorporate in their product – catalyzes learning by accumulating experience faster, or inhibits it by introducing too many interdependencies that prevent improvements from being made. We examine this phenomenon in the context of Formula 1 racing, in which some teams jointly use engines while others have an exclusive source of supply. Testing the impact of joint usage on drivers’ qualifying speeds and engine reliability, we find robust evidence that joint usage attenuates the improvement that occurs over an F1 season.

Title: Organization Design as Guided Network Evolution


  • Julien Clement, INSEAD
  • Phanish Puranam, INSEAD

Abstract: In organizations, patterns of interaction between individuals are influenced by two strong inertial forces: the mandates of the formal organization and the desire of agents to preserve their existing social network. In contrast, problemistic search by individuals seeking for new social connections provides the basis for change. We explore the interaction between these forces and its consequences for organizational adaptation through a formal agent-based computational model which reflects organization design as the guided (by the formal structure) evolution of the informal organization (especially networks of interaction between individuals). The analysis of the model uncovers two mechanisms shaping the interplay between formal and informal structure—complementary and substitutive inertia—whose operation depends both on the accuracy of the designer’s architectural knowledge and the agents’ aspiration levels.

Title: The Development of Alliance Management Capability, Configuration Choices, and Coordination Mechanisms: Towards a Distributed Dedicated Alliance Function


  • Ferry Habasche, WU Vienna
  • Werner Hoffmann, WU-Vienna

Abstract: Successful single and alliance portfolio management requires firms to deliberately invest in their alliance management capability development. However, studies on the underlying evolutionary patterns and configuration choices over time are relatively scant. We contribute to the growing number of publications in this field by developing theoretical contributions and 4 testable propositions derived from a 10 year longitudinal comparative case study which investigated dynamic changes in alliance management configurations. We shed light on structures, tools, and coordination mechanisms which firms deliberately use and dynamically modify to increase their internal level of alliance management capability. The interplay and coordination between the corporate, business unit and functional level in alliance management is crucial to alliance management capability development.

All Sessions in Track N...

Sun: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 197: A Session in Honor of Ulrich Wassmer
Sun: 09:45 – 11:00
Session 27: Public-Private Partnerships: Capabilities and Organizational Design
Sun: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 196: Perspectives and Dynamics of Committed Relationships
Sun: 16:15 – 17:30
Session 171: How to Govern Alliances: Boards, Multi-market Competition, and Social Capital
Sun: 17:45 – 00:00
Session 323: Cooperative Strategies Business Meeting
Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 88: Firm Boundaries: Theories of New Sources of Competitive Advantage
Session 176: Different Perspectives Informing Governance Choices: Partner Choice in Alliances vs. Acquisitions
Mon: 11:15 – 12:30
Session 186: Outsourcing, Offshoring, and the Changing Nature of Firm Boundaries
Mon: 13:45 – 15:00
Session 177: The Dynamics of Coopetition
Mon: 16:45 – 18:00
Session 173: Learning and Routines: Implications for Alliances, Organizational Design, and Capabilities
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 178: A Conversation of Different Paths Underlying Innovation
Session 179: Alliance Formation and Its Effects including the Influence of Political Connections & Venture Capital
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 184: Multiple Lenses on the Determinants and Effectivenss of Contracts
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 185: Partner Selection, Committment, and Switching
Session 275: External Interface Processes and their Consequences
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 183: Alliance Termination and Survival
Tue: 17:30 – 18:45
Session 180: Relational Dynamics in Alliances: Signals, Repairs, and Horizontal Partners
Session 182: Alliances: From Understanding Drivers of Performance to Value-Creation

Strategic Management Society