5Strategic Alliances in R&D and Market Power

5.1. Introduction

This chapter is devoted to the articulation between (entry and exit) barriers and strategic alliances. The presence of strategic barriers may lead some firms to forge an alliance as a means of circumventing them. Similarly, established firms can strategically resort to R&D in order to hinder the arrival of potential entrants.

Entry barriers are also closely associated with the concept of product lifecycle. The second section of this chapter will be dedicated to the technological extensions of the product cycle as well as the different strategies that firms implement. As we will see, strategic alliances tend to be more common at certain phases of the technological lifecycle.

In the third section, we will shed light on the issue of the technological race, and specifically look into the cases in which a company uses innovation as a rivalry instrument, with defensive and offensive purposes. We will understand rivalry or race as a situation in which the fact of arriving first becomes essential and the firms get rewarded on the basis of their rank and not their performance [HAL 92]. In this framework, the model of technological rivalry suggested in the literature [GIL 82] will invite us to explore a particularly interesting outlook on how strategic technological barriers and the technological race are articulated. Finally, through the contribution of [VIC 85b], we will focus on the possibility of forging alliances at ...

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