Journal of International Entrepreneurship

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 483–512 | Cite as

Functional and contextual dimensions of INVs’ alliance partner selection

Article

Abstract

Prior research on the selection of international alliance partners calls for investigation of the potential specificity of selection criteria for evaluating partners for alliances with different objectives or functions. The present study responds to this need and contributes to the development of the field of international entrepreneurship by examining the relation between the alliance function and the criteria chosen. We studied three alliance functions: R&D, production, and marketing. Second, for each alliance function, we analyzed the criteria selected within two contexts: developing countries and those that consider emerging markets in their partner choice set. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 25 executives from international new ventures (INVs) in two major North American biotechnology clusters, representing 239 alliances; 65.7 % of these were signed with international partners. Results indicate that, aside from compatibility/complementarity of resources (R&D and production alliances), all criteria used within a single function are unique to that function. Furthermore, these criteria differ somewhat when the potential partners considered by a firm include those from both emerging and developed markets, compared with firms that limit potential partners to those in developed market contexts. Finally, the study reveals that respondent firms integrate country, industry, and market attractiveness factors with partner selection criteria for marketing alliances. This suggests that, for many firms, market choice and partner selection are not successive steps. The study’s originality lies in its focus on the relationship between alliance function and partner selection criteria used by INVs as well as within different contexts.

Keywords

Partner selection Alliance Emerging markets Developed countries Biotechnology Selection criteria Alliance function 

Abstrait

Des études précédentes portant sur la sélection des partenaires pour des alliances internationales soulèvent le besoin d’examiner la spécificité des critères de sélection dans l’évaluation des partenaires pour des fonctions différentes. Cet article répond à ce besoin et contribue au développement du domaine de l’entrepreneuriat international en analysant la relation entre l’objectif et les critères choisis pour trois types d’alliances: recherche et développement, production et marketing. Pour chaque fonction, les critères sont aussi analysés dans deux contextes: les entreprises qui limitent leurs partenaires à des pays développés et celles qui considèrent les pays en émergence. Des entrevues semi-structurées ont été réalisées auprès de 25 dirigeants de nouvelles entreprises internationales en biotechnologie de Montréal et de Boston, totalisant 239 alliances, dont 157 internationales. Les résultats indiquent que, mis à part la complémentarité et la compatibilité, tous les critères utilisés à l’intérieur d’une fonction lui sont spécifiques. Les critères peuvent diverger lorsque les partenaires potentiels proviennent de marchés émergents en plus de marchés développés. Pour les alliances marketing, les entreprises répondantes prennent en compte, en sus des critères de sélection reliés au partenaire, l’attractivité du pays, de l’industrie et du marché. Pour plusieurs entreprises, le choix du marché et la sélection du partenaire ne constitueraient pas des étapes successives. L’originalité de cette recherche repose sur le fait qu’elle se concentre sur la relation entre la fonction de l’alliance et les critères de sélection utilisés par les entreprises, qui pourront aussi varier selon le contexte.

Mots clés

Sélection de partenaires Alliance Marchés en emergence Pays développés Biotechnologie Critères de sélection Fonction de l’alliance 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Business AdministrationPavillon Palasis-Prince, Laval UniversityQuébec, QCCanada

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