Example research essay topic: Importance Of Forming Strategic Alliances In Business – 574 words

Although some theorists suggest that the
resource-based view could be a new theory of the
firm, it is still part of a developing paradigm in
strategy research (Amit & Schoemaker, 1993;
Barney, 1991; Conner, 1991; Conner & Prahalad,
1996; Grant, 1996; Mahoney & Pandian, 1992;
Mehra, 1996; Miller & Shamsie, 1996; Roth,
1995). The usefulness and richness of the paradigm
need to be demonstrated in a variety of strategy
areas. Indeed, researchers are still in the phase
of accumulating applications of the resource-based
view. For example, Peteraf (1993) shows that
sustainable differences in firm profitability that
cannot be attributed to industrial differences can
be better explained by the resourcebased view. Our
understanding of diversification strategy is also
enhanced because the resource-based view strongly
argues for strategic relatedness within a
conglomerate (Chatterjee & Wernerfelt, 1991).
Harrison, Hitt, Hoskisson, and Ireland (1991)
examined the performance of mergers and
acquisitions through a resource -based
perspective. Global strategy, technological
strategy, and strategic regulation have also been
studied by applying the resource-based view
(Collis, 1991; Leonard-Barton, 1992; Maijoor &
Van Witteloostuijn, 1996).

One area that remains
under-explored in the literature is the
resource-based view of strategic alliances, even
though such alliances are rapidly increasing in
importance in today’s competitive landscape (Das
& Teng, in press; Doz & Hamel, 1998;
Gomes-Casseres, 1996; Yoshino & Rangan, 1995).
A resource-based view seems particularly
appropriate for examining strategic alliances
because firms essentially use alliances to gain
access to other firms’ valuable resources. Thus,
firm resources provide a relevant basis for
studying alliances. The few studies that have
applied the resource-based perspective to
strategic alliances cover only limited aspects
(e.g., Blodgett, 1991; Eisenhardt &
Schoonhoven, 1996; Kogut, 1988; Mowery, Oxley,
& Silverman, 1998; Rouse & Daellenbach,
1999; Tyler & Steensma, 1995, 1998;
Varadarajan & Cunningham, 1995). Focusing
exclusively on the resource-based view of
strategic alliances, Eisenhardt and Schoonhoven
(1996) found essentially that alliances are more
likely to be formed when bot h firms are in
vulnerable strategic positions (i.e., in need of
resources) or when they are in strong social
positions (i.e., possess valuable resources to
share). Other researchers have tackled only
selected aspects of alliances, such as
organizational knowledge (Kogut, 1988) and
international business (Blodgett, 1991; Lyles
& Salk, 1997). Thus, a general resource-based
theory of strategic alliances has yet to emerge.
Our purpose here is to develop a more encompassing
resource-based theory of strategic alliances than
is available in the extant literature.

We divide
the article into four parts. First, we examine the
rationale for entering into strategic alliances
from a resource perspective, as compared with a
transaction-cost perspective. We then identify the
resource characteristics of individual firms that
are the antecedents of alliance formation. Third,
we discuss structural preferences for alliances,
as determined by the resource types of partner
firms. Finally, we develop a typology of
inter-partner resource alignments and explore the
effects of these resource alignments on alliance
performance. The four parts of the article set out
the four essential components of a resource-based
theory of strategic alliances: rationale,
formation, structure, and performance.

These four
components are integral to a general theory of
alliances, because they have been the main focus
of alliance research. What has been lacking in the
literature thus far is the fact that none of these
aspects has been adequately examined from the
resource-based perspective. Taken together , the
four aspects contribute toward a comprehensive and
integrated theory of strategic alliances from the
resource-based viewpoint. To facilitate empirical
testing of the resource-based theory of strategic
alliances presented here, we also develop a number
of propositions. We represent in Figure 1 a
schematic of our exposition..

Research essay sample on Importance Of Forming Strategic Alliances In Business