Session 185

Partner Selection, Committment, and Switching

Track N

Date: Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Time: 14:15 – 15:30


Room: Director's Row E

Session Chair:

  • Dovev Lavie, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology

Title: Drivers and Barriers of Partner Switch in Interfirm Alliances


  • Werner Hoffmann, WU-Vienna
  • Nina Hampl, Vienna University of Economics and Business

Abstract: Typically literature on interfirm alliances assumes that when alliances terminate they failed. Even though this is often the case, recent research in this field shows that firms also withdraw from alliances for strategic reasons. One reason might be that the firms found options with higher match quality than the current partner, and thus switch their alliance partner. This paper investigates the drivers and barriers of partner switch in interorganizational relationships. We build on prior research on partner switch behavior and extend it in several ways by literature on alliance formation, termination and dynamics. The main contribution of our paper compared to previous work in that field is a more comprehensive conceptual model of antecedents to partner switch that particularly highlights the importance of switching barriers.

Title: Exploring Towards Partners: Entry into New Business Domains in the U.S. Venture Capital Industry


  • Alex Makarevich, ESADE Business School
  • Young-Choon Kim, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology

Abstract: This paper examines the role of interfirm collaboration in firms’ entry into new business domains. The general tendency of exploration-averseness is due to the lack of knowledge in new business domains and resultant domain-specific uncertainty. We suggest that interfirm collaboration, as a venue of knowledge transfer among partners, reduces such domain-specific uncertainty. Thus, we predict that firms’ exploration will be directed towards the domains in which their collaborators have experience. We find that VC firms’ investments into new business domains are sorted into the domains in which their collaborators have already made investment. We further find that this tendency of exploration directed towards partners’ experience is strengthened in the absence of non-collaborators in the domain as well as in the unfashionable domain.

Title: Relational Advantage and the Growth Performance of Knowledge-Based Service Firms


  • John Mawdsley, HEC-Paris

Abstract: Theorizing in the relational-view suggests firms can achieve performance advantages, but also become exposed to hazards, through building close inter-organizational relationships. I examine this tension by studying the firm-level performance impacts on suppliers who build deeper, more embedded relationships with their clients. I theorize that suppliers holding greater client-specific knowledge, and who receive stronger relational commitments from clients, gain advantages for growing their business. By contrast, strong relational commitments constrain suppliers from taking advantage of more broad-based market growth, thereby negatively impacting supplier growth performance. I test my hypotheses using detailed longitudinal data on outsourced patent prosecution work between patent law firms (suppliers) and their corporate clients. The research findings provide nuanced insights into the value of relationship-specific investments for firm performance.

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