The literature on alliances has identified a variety of inter-firm antecedents of performance, including information and knowledge sharing between partners, shared partner understanding, and a focus on collective objectives. Recent studies have focused on alliance management capabilities (AMC) - firms' abilities to capture, share, store and apply alliance management knowledge - as an important antecedent of performance. This paper reviews 90 studies on AMC and makes two important contributions to the literature. First, the review provides an overview of and classification scheme for the different types of AMC to better organise the diverse empirical findings that have been presented in the literature. The novel classification distinguishes between general and partner-specific AMC and between AMC stored within the firm and within the alliance. Second, consistent with the dynamic capabilities perspective, this paper offers a more detailed understanding of why AMC improve performance, by highlighting the intermediate impact of AMC on alliance attributes. In particular, the review demonstrates how the different categories of AMC influence alliances in terms of information and knowledge-sharing between partners, shared partner understanding and the pursuit of collective goals. The review also demonstrates that these attributes improve performance. The authors note promising avenues for future empirical research that involve combining the classification scheme with research on the impact of AMC on alliance attributes and performance.

doi.org/10.1111/ijmr.12037, hdl.handle.net/1765/90739
International Journal of Management Reviews
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Niesten, E.M.M.I, & Jolink, A. (2015). The impact of alliance management capabilities on alliance attributes and performance: A literature review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 17(1), 69–100. doi:10.1111/ijmr.12037