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By K. Heimeriks

Alliances have gotten an ever extra vital strategic weapon to reach many industries. This publication describes how a number of top businesses have succeeded in studying the right way to deal with their alliance portfolios and makes use of innovative study to provide suggestion on alliance administration abilities.

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In this way, the productivity of these ‘basic’ resources can be improved by a special type of resource or capability. , 2002). Therefore, the very nature of a ‘capability’ diverges from that of a ‘resource’ in two ways (Makadok, 2001): (1) capabilities are difficult to obtain and copy, which makes them firm-specific and (2) they are accumulated through learning and therefore path-dependent. , 1997). Capabilities can not therefore be easily assembled through markets (Teece, 1982; Kogut and Zander, 1992).

3 presents the theoretical framework of this study in which the main theories are depicted. It shows each of the theories and provides the basis for this book’s purposes. However, it does not pretend to specify all relationships between the theories involved. Before we stipulate what fundamental contribution each theory makes to the field of strategic management and organization science in general and how they interrelate, the particular contribution of each theory to this study is shortly described.

Evolutionary economics, on the other hand, expands on the view that firms are largely heterogeneous entities, whose evolution depends on unique resource bases and routines and the tacit knowledge they accumulate (Nelson and Winter, 1982; Aldrich, 1999). It helps understand how firm-specific advantages are created through a portfolio of differential skills and routines that are sometimes hard to transfer and may create inertia and is therefore highly conducive to this book’s purpose. Last, the KBV as a theory contributes to the purpose of this study, as it is knowledge that is the basic ingredient of intangible resources, capabilities and routines and hence essentially is the key inimitable resource of the firm (Leonard-Barton, 1992; Grant, 1996a; Lewin and Volberda, 1999).

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