Strategic alliance is an agreement between two or more organizations to cooperate in a specific business activity, so that each benefits from the strengths of the other, and gains competitive advantage. The formation of strategic alliances has been seen as a response to globalization and increasing uncertainty and complexity in the business environment. Strategic alliances involve the sharing of knowledge and expertise between partners as well as the reduction of risk and costs in areas such as relationships with suppliers and the development of new products and technologies. A strategic alliance is sometimes equated with a joint venture, but an alliance may involve competitors, and generally has a shorter life span. Strategic partnership is a closely related concept. This article analyzes definition of strategic alliance, its benefits, types, process of formation, and provides a few cases studies of strategic alliances. This paper tries to synthesize the scope and role of marketing functions in the determination of effectiveness of strategic alliances. Several propositions from a marketing viewpoint concerning the analysis of alliance process are formulated. On the basis of the propositions, a framework is developed for future research.
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