chapter  6
19 Pages

Alliance Management

The alliance management stage confronts alliance partners with the ultimate challenge: to put the negotiation agreement, including their alliance design decisions, into practice. The partners must deploy their resource contributions, implement coordination mechanisms, act on expressed commitments and begin to execute the tasks assigned to them. This stage also introduces partners to new uncertainties and ambiguities, emerging from both internal and external contingencies. The primary task of alliance management is thus to monitor and coordinate alliance activities to the purpose of creating value-creating conditions and mitigating the potential threat of exchange hazards. The decisions made during the preceding alliance development stages may ease the task of alliance management, but as the relationship unfolds the focus should be on day-to-day coordination, related to partners’ ability to align their contributions and efforts to ensure effi ciency and effectiveness. To inform their alliance management, managers need to recognize how to deploy a range of soft approaches (shown in the fi rst section). Our following two sections provide detail on the relationship between alliance design and alliance management, and a systematic framework and decision-making steps for alliance management. Our fi nal two sections conclude with a summary and a case illustration.