General alliance experience, uncertainty, and marketing alliance governance mode choice
Drawing from transaction cost economics (TCE), the knowledge-based view (KBV), and real options theory (ROT), we propose that the general alliance experience of alliance partner firms moderates the impact of market uncertainty and alliance-specific uncertainty on the benefits and costs of the two marketing alliance governance modes, i.e., non-equity alliances and joint ventures. Based on our systematic study of 18,616 marketing alliances occurring in 48 industries across 164 countries between 1992 and 2008, we find general alliance experience significantly moderates firms' marketing alliance governance mode choices. Our framework reconciles some contradictory empirical results in the interfirm relationship governance structure literature by emphasizing the moderating role of partner firms' general alliance experience. Specifically, when alliances can be characterized has having a large cultural distance between the partners or having a market with a broad geographic scope, it seems that TCE predictions regarding the marketing alliance governance mode choice hold for inexperienced firms while KBV and ROT predictions hold for experienced firms. In addition, by incorporating key aspects of all three theories, our proposed framework has the potential to provide deeper insights into the role of alliance experience and uncertainty in firms' marketing alliance governance mode choices. © Academy of Marketing Science 2009.
Li, N; Boulding, W; Staelin, R
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