Strategic Orientation and Alliance Portfolio Configuration
Strategic management research is about explaining why some firms continuously outperform others. Recent research has been focusing on the study of alliances as vehicles to boost competitive – or better: collaborative – advantage. Moving beyond the dyadic level, corporate networks have become a very popular field of research. Whereas a lot of research has already been done on costs and benefits of networks, little has been said about the alignment of network configuration (e. g. the mix of strong and weak ties or the quantity and diversity of ties) and strategic orientation. Since different network configurations bring about distinct benefits for the collaborating partners, the fit between strategic goals and network configuration influences whether and how value is generated on a firm and dyadic level. Katharina Wratschko combines Transaction Cost Theory and Resource Based Theory with Social Network Theory to analyze this question theoretically. Her ambitious work reveals important insights on how focal firms build and design their alliance networks to match their strategic resource needs. Based on a sound theoretical analysis she develops a set of hypotheses which are empirically tested using data from the pharmaceutical industry. The quality of insights and results derived from this work prove that Katharina Wratschko is not only a highly dedicated but also a very inspiring researcher. As a colleague at the Institute for Strategic Management and Management Control she inspired all of us to view matters from a network perspective.