Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Alliance Management, Inter-organizational Learning, Alliance Governance Mode, Relatedness, Repeated Partnerships, Partner Selection

Major Advisor

David Souder

Associate Advisor

Gregory Reilly

Associate Advisor

Qing Cao

Associate Advisor

Richard Langlois

Field of Study

Business Administration


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


Strategic alliances have been recognized as an ideal vehicle for collaborations between firms that provide access to resources, knowledge, and capabilities. Despite these benefits, alliances are also inherently unstable and require the partners to efficiently manage their alliance activities to effectively mitigate the hazards of post-formation instabilities and achieve the desired outcomes. In my dissertation, I underline the role of alliance management as an important organizational capability that allows firms to achieve competitive advantage in today’s business environment. I organized this dissertation in a three-essays format that provides a holistic perspective on alliance management and instability. The first essay coalesces the research on alliance temporalities, a notion that encompasses the effects of temporal elements on the management of alliances. I relate these temporal elements to the alliance process throughout different stages of an alliance’s lifecycle. Building off the research agenda proposed in the first essay, the second essay in my dissertation underscores the effect of the perceived change in leadership within partner firms as a source of future alliance instability. Thus, the second essay posits that alliance partners consider the “time to CEO departure” in the focal firm, as reflected by that firm’s CEO career horizon when they choose the alliance’s governance mode. As for the third essay in my dissertation, I investigated the interplay between the separate dimensions of a firm’s knowledge, namely scope and specialization, and that firm’s investment time horizon in the context of alliance portfolio configurations. Specifically, I argued that this interplay encourages different learning paths, particularly in terms of R&D and non-R&D configurations. Lastly, I conclude my dissertation with discussions of the theoretical implications and the limitations of each of these three essays.

Available for download on Saturday, April 06, 2030