Firms may engage in alliances to complement their learning activities through explorative or exploitative partnerships. However, the partners' status may influence the scope of alliances, in terms of explorative and exploitative learning. In fact, status, being transferable, could be exchanged to obtain peculiar resources, knowledge, and competencies by partners, thus favoring the focal firms' innovation process. Accordingly, this theoretical paper adopts an original dual perspective to understand how the status of partnering firms may affect the explorative or exploitative content of alliances. Specifically, the extant literature is analyzed to provide a theoretical discussion and infer related propositions about the content of strategic alliances between firms with the same level of status (homophilous alliances) and with different levels of status (heterophilous alliances). The inferred propositions suggest that in heterophilous alliances the high status partner explores through the specific resources of the low status partner, which in turn exploits its resources to increase its status. However, homophilous alliances of firms with high status are more dependent upon the need to reduce risks and uncertainty, therefore both partners explore or exploit. Moreover, the discussion suggests that there is no influence of status on the scope of homophilous alliances of firms with low status.

Trading knowledge for status: Conceptualizing R&D alliance formation to achieve ambidexterity

Messeni Petruzzelli Antonio
2019-01-01

Abstract

Firms may engage in alliances to complement their learning activities through explorative or exploitative partnerships. However, the partners' status may influence the scope of alliances, in terms of explorative and exploitative learning. In fact, status, being transferable, could be exchanged to obtain peculiar resources, knowledge, and competencies by partners, thus favoring the focal firms' innovation process. Accordingly, this theoretical paper adopts an original dual perspective to understand how the status of partnering firms may affect the explorative or exploitative content of alliances. Specifically, the extant literature is analyzed to provide a theoretical discussion and infer related propositions about the content of strategic alliances between firms with the same level of status (homophilous alliances) and with different levels of status (heterophilous alliances). The inferred propositions suggest that in heterophilous alliances the high status partner explores through the specific resources of the low status partner, which in turn exploits its resources to increase its status. However, homophilous alliances of firms with high status are more dependent upon the need to reduce risks and uncertainty, therefore both partners explore or exploit. Moreover, the discussion suggests that there is no influence of status on the scope of homophilous alliances of firms with low status.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11589/175339
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