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2018 AOM Paper Development Workshop on Alliance Portfolios

2018 Academy of Management Meeting

Chicago, IL

Date: Friday, August 10, 2018 | 11:15 am - 2:15 pm

Location: Swissôtel Chicago in Montreux 3

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Workshop Registration

Deadline: August 3, 2018

Workshop Objectives and Focus

Research on alliance portfolios has been flourishing in the past couple of decades. The objective of this PDW is two-fold. First , it will allow workshop participants to get a sneak peek into the most interesting and promising academic research on alliance portfolios conducted by the rising stars of the field— junior scholars with top-tier publications on alliance portfolios. Second , workshop participants will get personal feedback on their own research from shining stars—senior scholars with a stellar academic reputation actively researching the topic of alliance portfolios.

We seek to create a highly interactive environment where scholars in different fields, including strategic management, organization theory, and technology management can discuss their recent research on alliance portfolios, debate theoretical and empirical issue, and identify prospective directions for future research. This PDW will be of great interest to those broadly interested in the study of alliances and networks. In particular, the PDW will address themes related to the formation, composition, evolution, management and performance implications of alliance portfolio.

We include brief summaries of the workshop organizers, panelists and paper discussants. Scholars wishing to join our PDW will be matched with panelists and paper discussants based on shared research interests.

Dovev Lavie

Dovev Lavie (co-organizer): Lavie employs the resource-based view and learning theories to study the evolution and performance implications of alliance portfolios in technology-intensive industries. He studied how technological changes trigger the coevolution of a firm’s strategy and the configuration of its alliance portfolio, which in turn coevolves with the firm’s other interorganizational relationships. He has examined how firms strive to balance exploration and exploitation across various alliance domains, which eventually enhances their performance. His main research program underscores the role of network resources in driving value creation and appropriation in alliance portfolios. Partners’ complementary resources create value but their relative bargaining power undermines it, especially when engaging co-opetitors. Still, a firm can enhance value appropriation by introducing competing partners to its alliance portfolio. Lavie has also demonstrated that Interorganizational differences such as cross-national differences between the firm and its partners shape firm performance by affecting relational mechanisms. Yet, firms leverage their partnering experience and alternative governance modes to overcome such differences. Lavie further shows how partner-specific experience is more beneficial than general partnering experience, especially under conditions of uncertainty and when the firm possesses internal resources that help leverage that experience. Nevertheless, his latest research suggests that a dedicated alliance function can help a firm leverage its general partnering experience but undermines the value of partner-specific experience. Finally, collaboration generates an inverted U-shaped effect on performance with internal resources mitigating this effect. These findings complement traditional research on structural and relational embeddedness by revealing the implications of partner attributes. 

Olga Bruyaka

Olga Bruyaka (co-organizer): Bruyaka is a strategic management scholar with special interests in inter-organizational alliances, technology & innovation, and firm international strategies. Her research develops a portfolio perspective, which advances our knowledge of complexities and interdependencies that exist within various types of firms’ portfolios including alliance, patent, R&D sourcing, new product, and corporate portfolios. In particular, Bruyaka studies the relationships between firms’ various portfolios, drivers of portfolio formation, factors contributing to dynamics and instability within a portfolio as well as firm level outcomes of portfolio design and management. Bruyaka draws from the resource-based and signaling theories as her primary theoretical lenses. The empirical context of her research includes biopharmaceutical industry, fiber optic industry and airline industry. Bruyaka’s research has been published in the Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management Studies, Management International Review, and Journal of Business Ethics among others.

Jay Anand

Jay Anand (paper discussant): Anand is William H. Davis Chair in Strategy and the Academic Director of the Center for Innovation and entrepreneurship at the Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University. While most alliance research has focused on dyadic interactions between alliance partners, most firms that undertake strategic alliances do so by creating portfolios rather than one-off alliances. The implications of studying alliance portfolios rather than dyads can be very interesting from various theoretical perspectives. Anand’s research addresses the formation of alliance portfolios as search behavior under technological uncertainty. Together with his colleagues, he has modeled an alliance as an option on a future technological capability, and shows that alliance portfolios can be both "sub-additive" and "super-additive." In further work along this options-based theme, he has developed a framework for managing alliance portfolios, thus identifying the trade-offs implied by different portfolio choices. He also shows that the portfolio of investments in different technology alliances has distinct competitive implications in terms of multi-market contact under exploration and exploitation. In order to understand the inter-firm heterogeneity in formation and evolution of alliance portfolios, more recently he has also studied the cognitive limitations of firms which in turn affect the choice of and outcomes of different alliance portfolios in terms of diversity and distance.

John Prescott

John Prescott (paper discussant): John Prescott is the Thomas O’Brien Chair of Strategy, Director of the Organization and Entrepreneurship area and past Director of the Doctoral Program in the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. John Prescott's research focuses on dynamic competitive rivalry, competitive intelligence processes, alliance networks, industry convergence, governance structures, technology strategy and the role of time in strategy. John Prescott is the author and/or editor of five books, the most recent being Establishing a World-Class Competitive Intelligence Function. He has published over 100 articles, is the Associate Editor for the Journal of Management Studies, and serves on the editorial boards of the Strategic Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and Journal of Management. John Prescott was a founder of The Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (, the 1991-1992 President, served ten years on the board of directors and three years as a Trustee of the CI Foundation.

Jeffery Reuer

Jeffery Reuer (paper discussant): Reuer uses information economics and real options theory to study alliance portfolios.  His research has examined how firms can derive valuable signals from relationships with other organizations and how these signals can have an impact on the efficiency of M&A markets and the value that target firms might receive in the form of higher premiums.  This work also considers how prior alliances with the same partner, indirect ties with third parties, and other alliances with unaffiliated firms can have implications for market segmentation in the formation of future alliances due to the different information implications of these various relationships in firms’ alliance portfolios. Reuer’s research applying information economics to firms’ alliance activities has also considered how the firms’ ties in alliance networks and firms’ relationships with prominent venture capitalists can have substitutive effects in drawing in resources and collaboration opportunities with other firms since these distinct types of interorganizational relationships offer redundant signals.  Recent research using the real options lens has examined how different portfolios of alliance relationships across product and geographic markets can have an effect on the value of firms’ growth opportunities.

Hans Frankort

Hans Frankort (presenter): Frankort is a Senior Lecturer in Strategy at Cass Business School. Hans’s main research focuses on the determinants and consequences of interorganizational relationships, with particular emphasis on research and development alliances in technology-intensive industries. His research was awarded the Robert J. Litschert Award in 2008 and a Distinguished Paper Award in 2011, both by the Business Policy and Strategy (BPS) Division of the Academy of Management. Moreover, he was awarded two Research Prizes by Cass Business School (2011, 2015) and one by City, University of London (2011).  He has published in such outlets as the Academy of Management Journal, Advances in Strategic Management, Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, Industrial and Corporate Change, and Research Policy. Currently, Frankort is on the Editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal and the Journal of Management Studies.

Ralph Heidl

Ralph Heidl (presenter): Heidl is an Assistant Professor of Management at the Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon. He received his PhD in Strategy and Technology Entrepreneurship from the University of Washington. His work integrates resource and network perspectives to focus on the performance and dynamics of inter- and intra-organizational collaboration as related to the creation and use of novel technological resources. More specifically, Heidl studies the determinants of instability and knowledge transfer in multipartner alliances or teams of organizations. In doing so, he has adopted a multilevel approach to examine how the complex interplay between formal and informal boundary-spanning relationships affect collaborative outcomes for individuals and organizations. His research has been published in the Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Journal of Management, and Organizational Research Methods.

Manuela Hoehn-Weiss

Manuela Hoehn-Weiss (presenter): Hoehn-Weiss is an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at Oregon State University. In her research, Hoehn-Weiss investigates resource acquisition by firms. The overarching research question that drives her work is how firms obtain access to, acquire and configure acquired resources critical to their operations. She focuses on three related themes that each address a different facet of resource acquisition: (1) alliances and alliance portfolios (to investigate mechanisms of how firms obtain resources), (2) resource configurations (to examine what happens after firms have acquired resources), and (3) new ventures (to investigate resource acquisition by a specific type of firm). Her research has been published in the Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Strategic Organization, Journal of Private Equity and Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research.

Pinar Ozcan

Pinar Ozcan (presenter): Ozcan is Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Warwick Business School. She specializes in strategy, entrepreneurship, and the emergence of new technology markets. Her research aims to contribute to our understanding of the emergence and evolution of markets from the perspective of entrepreneurs, their strategies and interactions with the environment (e.g. partners, competitors, and key institutions such as government, regulators). Dr. Ozcan is also the 2015 recipient of the British Academy Newton Grant for the study of open innovation, the 2016 SWIFT award for the study of the UK Banking industry's transition into open application programming interfaces (API's), and the 2016 Best Conference Paper Award at Strategic Management Society. 

Workshop Format 

The workshop is designed to offer personal feedback to participants who are actively researching the domain of alliance portfolios, who have interest ranging from preliminary research questions to the stage of having a paper under review in a management journal. The workshop also aspires to stimulate interactive discussion and to help participants identify emerging research opportunities and spark dialogue that can advance research on alliance portfolios.

As part of the registration process you will be asked to provide a 2-page summary of the research projects that you would like to discuss in the workshop. This summary will be forwarded to a paper discussant. You will indicate 3 scholars who in your opinion can provide the most relevant feedback on your research. An effort will be made to ensure that you will be assigned to one of the scholars that you indicated, with the aim of setting equally-proportioned groups of scholars. If you don’t have a research project summary to share, you can still register and join the discussion, but priority will be given to participants with submitted summaries.

At the beginning of the session, the co-organizers of the PDW will offer introductory statements about research on alliance portfolios and the purpose of the workshop.

The presenters (rising stars) will then present their latest research on alliance portfolios and share some of the most recent developments in the field. They will identify promising research questions and offer some ideas on how to pursue them, while illustrating that with their own work on alliance portfolios.  

The next part of the PDW will be organized as a round table discussion led by senior scholars (shining stars). Participants will gather in smaller groups to discuss their work-in-progress which is related to the research interests of the panelists based on pre-assignment of registered participants.

At the end of the round table discussion, panelists will present summaries of the issues discussed in their assigned group, briefly present their perspective on the challenges and prospects of recent and emerging research on alliance portfolio, with focus on the aforementioned themes, allowing for Q&A and open discussion involving all participants.

At the conclusion of the PDW an informal lunch will be arranged for interested participants in an off-site location to continue the discussion and provide opportunities for initiating research collaboration.