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3

NETWORKS AND ALLIANCES

Keith W. Glaister

At the beginning of this century it is all but impossible to quickly review and categorize all of the relevant literature on alliances and networks

– Hagedoorn and Osborn (2002, p. 518)

Introduction

Since the mid-1980s the organization of firms and the underpinnings of competitive advantage have undergone a significant change with the flourishing of interfirm cooperation. For many firms, cooperation with other companies is now indispensable to strategic success (Contractor & Lorange, 2002b). More generally, Parkhe, Wasserman and Ralston (2006, p. 560) claim ‘Of all the phenomena that have gripped the business world in recent years, few match the impact of networks’. Scholars from multiple fields ...

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