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Hsiung, Hsin-Hua;Yu, Joseph Chwo-Ming;Seetoo, Dah-Hsian
Strategic Alliances;Confidence;Confidence Building Mechanisms;Personal Networks;Potential Punishment Power
|Issue Date: ||2008-11-25 10:34:49 (UTC+8)|
The high technology industry depends heavily on strategic alliances to acquire resources or knowledge for growth. However, strategic alliances bring risks to firms as well. Therefore, how to get protection and build cooperation confidence when joining strategic alliances are major concerns to firms. Previous studies on cooperation protection have focused on two approaches: the transaction cost theory (emphasizing the reduction of partner’s opportunistic behaviors) and network theories (stressing the importance of trust building). However, both approaches have their limitations and tend to be struck in the myth of ethics as well as personal traits. Therefore, this study adopts another concept, confidence, to capture the essence of relationship management in strategic alliances. Confidence refers to a firm’s perceived level of certainty that its partner will pursue mutually compatible interests in an alliance, rather than act opportunistically. The conceptual differences between trust and confidence in an alliance are as follows: (1) trust implies the speculation about the partner’s intention, while confidence indicates the knowledge and control of the partner’s behaviors. (2) The more trust, the more vulnerability a firm may encounter. While the more confidence, the less vulnerability a firm may have. (3) High level of trust implies the redundancy of control. However, we propose that it is better for a firm to adopt some control mechanisms to ensure confidence. By reviewing and integrating relevant literature, we derive six major mechanisms for confidence building: personal networks, identification with the partner, goal compatibility, information completeness, potential economic punishment power, and potential legal punishment power. However, a firm might be constrained by some factors (such as the relative position, size of the firm, or the country of origin), and thus it could not adopt these confidence building mechanisms discretionarily. The information of one hundred forty-six cooperation projects were collected through structured questionnaires, filled out by high-level executives of Taiwanese firms in the information technology industry. Empirical findings suggests that: (1) the categorization of six confidence building mechanisms is showed to have good discriminant validity; (2) identification with the partner, goal compatibility, information completeness, and potential economic punishment power are helpful to build cooperation confidence, but personal networks and potential legal punishment power are not effective; (3) size of the firm, relative position between partners, and partners’ countries of origin affect the composition of confidence building mechanisms. Past researches encourage partners to develop mutual trust, but they have ignored the difficulties in developing trust, and missed the unsymmetrical problem (that is, a firm often does not worry about the trustworthiness of itself, but worry about that of its partner). Therefore, the research findings of this study could complement the literature on strategic alliances by providing clear suggestions for the reduction of cooperation risks as well as the building of cooperation confidence.
|Relation: ||管理學報, 21(4), 477-497|
|Data Type: ||article|
|Appears in Collections:||[企業管理學系] 期刊論文|
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