Given today's increasingly competitive environment, firms in every industry are searching for new ways to increase their competitive advantage. Many firms have realized that, due to a variety of different reasons (e.g., fast-paced technological advances), significant performance improvements cannot be achieved alone. As such, the traditional response of performance enhancement through acquisition is no longer the only option. Strategic alliances are a new alternative that enable partnering firms to combine their individual strengths while compensating for their internal resource scarcities without making the investment required for actual ownership. While interest in alliances is growing, firms are often unsure how to build and maintain successful alliances. This research examines alliances between manufacturers and their suppliers in the food and health/personal care industries to determine what factors lead to successful, long term alliances.


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