Interdependencies in Corporate Development: Relationship between Strategic Alliance and Acquisition Activities Dissertation

(2013). Interdependencies in Corporate Development: Relationship between Strategic Alliance and Acquisition Activities . 10.25148/etd.FI13042903

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Zakaria, Rimi


  • A substantial amount of work in the field of strategic management has attempted to explain the antecedents and outcomes of organizational learning. Though multinational corporations simultaneously engage in various types of tasks, activities, and strategies on a regular basis, the transfer of organizational learning in a multi-task context has largely remained under-explored in the literature. To inform our understanding in this area, this dissertation aimed at synthesizing findings from two parallel research streams of corporate development activities: strategic alliances and acquisitions. Structured in the form of two empirical studies, this dissertation examines: 1) the strategic outcomes of alliance experience of previously allying partners in terms of subsequent acquisition attempts, and 2) the performance implications of prior alliance experience for acquisitions. The first study draws on the relational view of inter-organizational governance to explain how various deal-specific and dyadic characteristics of a partnership relate to partnering firms’ post-alliance acquisition attempts. This model theorizes on a variety of relational mechanisms to build a cohesive theory of inter-organizational exchanges in a multi-task setting where strategic alliances ultimately lead to a firm’s decision to commit further resources. The second study applies organizational learning theory, and specifically examines whether frequency, recency, and relatedness of different dimensions of prior alliances, beyond the dyad-level experience, relate to an acquirer’s superior post-acquisition performance. The hypotheses of the studies are tested using logistic and ordinary least square regressions, respectively. Results analyzed from a sample of cross-border alliance and acquisition deals attempted (for study I) and/or completed (for study II) during the period of 1991 to 2011 generally support the theory that relational exchange determines acquiring firms’ post alliance acquisition behavior and that organizational routines and learning from prior alliances influence a future acquirer’s financial performance. Overall, the empirical findings support our overarching theory of interdependency, and confirm the transfer effect of learning across these alternate, yet related corporate strategies of alliance and acquisition.

publication date

  • March 29, 2013


  • Acquisition
  • Organizational Learning
  • Relational View
  • Strategic Alliance

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)