Comino, S., Mariel, P. and J. Sandonís
Spanish Economic Review – 9 (2007) 159-175
Keywords: Strategic Alliances, Governance Form, Joint Ventures, Transaction Costs Economics, Real Option Theory.
Abstract: In this paper, we empirically investigate the determinants of the governance form of strategic alliances. We use a database with 1344 worldwide alliances in several industrial sectors. In contrast with previous empirical studies, we find that alliances undertaking R&D activities are more likely to use loose forms of organization (contractual agreements) than more hierarchical ones (joint ventures), and this result is even stronger when the alliance takes place in technologically sophisticated sectors. Moreover, we show that alliances between rival firms tend also to be organized with forms closer to arm’s length transactions. When the scope of an alliance is multidimensional or the alliance is an international one, however, firms prefer more hierarchical organizations such as joint ventures.