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A Strategic Alliance is a formal relationship between two or more parties to pursue a set of agreed upon goals or to meet a critical

business need while remaining independent organizations. Partners may provide the strategic alliance with resources such as products, distribution channels, manufacturing capability, project funding, capital equipment, knowledge, expertise, or intellectual property. The alliance is a cooperation or collaboration which aims for a synergy where each partner hopes that the benefits from the alliance will be greater than those from individual efforts. The alliance often involves technology transfer (access to knowledge and expertise), economic specialization [1], shared expenses and shared risk.An alliance may be seen as the joining of forces and resources, for a specified or indefinite period, to achieve a common objective. The advantages of strategic alliance includes 1) allowing each partner to concentrate on activities that best match their capabilities, 2) learning from partners & developing competences that may be more widely exploited elsewhere, 3) adequency a suitability of the resources & competencies of an organization for it to survive. There are 4 types of strategic alliances: joint venture, equity strategic alliance, non-equity strategic alliance, and global strategic alliances. Joint venture is a strategic alliance in which two or more firms create a legally independent company to share some of their resources and capabilities to develop a competitive advantage. Equity strategic alliance is an alliance in which two or more firms own different percentages of the company they have formed by combining some of their resources and capabilities to create a competitive advantage. Nonequity strategic alliance is an alliance in which two or more firms develop a contractual-relationship to share some of their unique resources and capabilities to create a competitive advantage. Global Strategic Alliances working partnerships between companies (often more than 2) across national boundaries and increasingly across industries. Sometimes formed between company and a foreign government, or among companies and governments Alliance means "cooperation between groups that produces better results that can be gained from a transaction. Because competitive markets keep improving what you can get from transactions, an alliance must stay ahead of the market by making continuous advances."1

Strategic alliance is a primary form of cooperative strategies. "A strategic alliance is a partnership between firms whereby resources, capabilities, and core competences are combined to pursue mutual interests."2 Alliances can be structured in various ways, depending on their purpose. Nonequity strategic alliances, equity strategic alliances, and joint ventures are the three basic types of strategic alliances. Why Strategic Alliances? In the new economy, strategic alliances enable business to gain competitive advantage through access to a partner's resources, including markets, technologies, capital and people. Teaming up with others adds complementary resources and capabilities, enabling participants to grow and expand more quickly and efficiently. Especially fast-growing companies rely heavily on alliances to extend their technical and operational resources. In the process, they save time and boost productivity by not having to develop their own, from scratch. They are thus freed to concentrate on innovation and their core business. Many fast-growth technology companies use strategic alliances to benefit from more-established channels of distribution, marketing, or brand reputation of bigger, better-known players. However, moretraditional businesses tend to enter alliances for reasons such as geographic expansion, cost reduction, manufacturing, and other supply-chain synergies. As global markets open up and competition grows, midsize companies need to be increasingly creative about how and with whom they align themselves to go to the market. Nonequity strategic alliances, equity strategic alliances, and joint ventures are the three basic types of strategic alliances Trust must exist in an alliance since each party depends on the other to satisfy mutual goals. Trust must be present for partners to share critical information to manage the alliance and for each partner to believe its long-term needs will be met Senior management support provides both encouragement and resources (e.g., personnel, time, travel, technology, physical plant) to individuals directly involved in alliance activity. The ability to meet performance expectations concerns the execution and evaluation of alliance goals as well as the individual partners' goals. Clear Goals Success in an alliance depends on the partners having a common vision of the future (Spekman et al. 1998). Alliance success requires the establishment and execution of clearly defined goals, and to achieve these goals, well-defined procedures must be clearly communicated to the managers involved with the alliance. Partner compatibility refers to the ability to plan and work together in a productive, solution-oriented manner