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About this book

Effective management is crucial to the success of the inter-firm cooperation, and may reduce the risk that is inherently associated with these strategies. If cooperative strategy is to be successful, managers must have knowledge of factors that should be taken into consideration during formation and management of alliance networks. Therefore the main goal of this book is an understandable and simple presentation of the complexity involved in the management of alliance networks at three basic stages: formation stage, functioning stage, and post-operational stage. The book consists of six chapters, both theoretical and practical. A new model for management of alliance networks, which utilizes different instruments and tools, has been developed in the work. The last part of the book concentrates on the management of alliance networks in a practice-based framework based on the example of an engineering company which has formed a portfolio of bilateral alliances.​

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Network Organizations: Theoretical Assumptions of Functioning and Management of Inter-Firm Cooperation

Abstract
The modern world is characterized by many qualitative changes with far-reaching consequences for social and economic reality. Under the new economic conditions, it is impossible to analyze the existence of particular organizations separately from their environments, and most of all, the relations that link them with other important players in the business market. It means that one of the main challenges of management in the twenty-first century is the creation of mutual inter-organizational dependencies, most often in the form of network structures.
Włodzimierz Sroka, Štefan Hittmar

Chapter 2. Management of Alliance Network at the Formation Stage

Abstract
Alliance networks, as agreements implemented for the execution of certain goals, require an adequate structure as well as a proper management. The choice of the structure is regarded as the key determinant of management. The main problem is associated with the selection of a structure which meets the needs of its members. In turn, regardless of type, any network management requires a formulaic approach. It is mostly determined by the type of network, and the number as well as the nature of member companies. Otherwise, it is difficult to expect the network to realise a coherent strategy.
Włodzimierz Sroka, Štefan Hittmar

Chapter 3. Management of Alliance Network at the Functioning Stage

Abstract
The effective functioning of alliance network is inextricably linked to the skills required to manage such networks, which means that management is crucial in this process. Cooperation within a network creates relationships between its members. The larger the network, the more numerous relationships and therefore the problems. The main problem lies in management of those relationships as networks without conscious relationship management tend to disintegrate, which negatively influences the competitive position of the group. A key issue is to manage relationships as a whole portfolio in the frame of the network, and not merely single relationships.
Włodzimierz Sroka, Štefan Hittmar

Chapter 4. Management of an Alliance Network at the Post-operational Stage

Abstract
The functioning of the company within an alliance network does not mean that this situation will last forever. Even the best relationship between companies can transform under the influence of environmental changes or the company's strategy. The member companies in a network are and remain legally independent entities throughout the duration of such cooperation. Participation in the network must be beneficial both for the network and the member company. In the case of asymmetry of benefits, the most likely solution is the separation of the parties. On the other hand, one should remember the risks associated with this strategy, even after the end of cooperation. Otherwise the company can be disappointed and exposed to collapse.
Włodzimierz Sroka, Štefan Hittmar

Chapter 5. A Process Approach to the Management of Alliance Networks

Abstract
A process approach to the management of alliance networks at the formation stage utilizes a value chain model. The concept starts with the choice of a firm’s strategy. The main associated tasks (basic processes), which are necessary to create the network, are presented on a value chain continuum. Movement from one process to the next (e.g., from partner selection to the due diligence) adds value. All the basic processes are accompanied by factors that must be considered at this stage, e.g., network size, acceptable level of competition within the group etc. This process has a universal nature and can be applied to all types of alliance network.
Włodzimierz Sroka, Štefan Hittmar

Chapter 6. Management of an Alliance Network in Practice

Abstract
In times of crisis, many firms decide to implement cooperative strategies, e.g., by entering into a classic bilateral alliance or by participation in a network. Such a decision was taken by the RAPZ’s Management Board, a medium size engineering company. In the period from August 2009 to September 2010, the firm signed four, complementary in nature, bilateral alliances. The selection of partner companies was preceded by their comprehensive analysis. The agreements concluded brought several benefits to the RAPZ, not least of which was the opportunity to strengthen the business. Due to cooperation, the company’s sales rose by approximately 15 %. It allowed the company to increase its market share, and thus to improve the competitive position of both RAPZ and its alliance partners.
Włodzimierz Sroka, Štefan Hittmar

Backmatter

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