The winds of change are blowing all over the world. Everywhere the talk is of mergers, partnerships, and different types of co-operation in order to meet growing demands for profitability, efficiency, and competitiveness. Is partnership the golden solution, then? A study published by The Economist in January 1999 shows how difficult it is. Two out of three mergers failed in 1998. On paper and in the calculations on which co-operation is based, it is far too easy for managers to calculate their way to cost reductions and improved efficiency. In theory, it is easy to create added value. All you need is to mix the good old art of engineering with creative thinking, put all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle on the table and take advantage ...

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