Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This study is concerned with the successful implementation of alliances as a way of creating competitive advantage. As managers in technology intensive industries try to meet the challenges of rising costs, shortened product lives, and intense competition, they are turning to strategic alliances. Alliances allow a firm to specialize in those activities of the value chain that are essential to its competitive advantage, while entrusting other activities to their partner firms. Much of the past research on strategic alliances has focused on the characteristics of, and motivations for, alliances. There has been little work on how alliances are implemented. This study examines the successful management of strategic alliances for product development.;The purpose was to: (1) develop a synthesized model of alliance management, (2) empirically test the model using data collected from alliance managers, and (3) identify determinants of successful alliance management and performance. The study, as part of an integrated multi-method research program, included a literature review, pilot study, model development, data collection, and model testing. The results of the literature review and pilot study were the basis for the development of the strategic alliance management model. Data to test the model was collected from managers in North American firms involved in thirty-eight product development alliances. The model was tested using Partial Least Squares (PLS) with data collected by questionnaires. The model explains approximately 61 percent of the observed variance in strategic performance.;Based on the results of the study, recommendations are made to practicing managers involved in product development alliances. Essentially three sets of activities, or steps, make up successful alliances, and managers can take specific actions to manage these steps. These activities are initiating, maintenance, and building actions. In evaluating alliance performance, managers can assess operational and strategic performance. Following these guidelines should help managers realize productive and successful product development alliances.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.