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Crossing the Industry-Line : Breakthrough Innovation through Cross-Industry Alliances with 'Non-Suppliers'

Oliver Gassmann, Marco Zeschky, Timo Wolff & Martin Stahl

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abstract Past research on alliances has elaborated on the motives, determinants and benefits of cooperative relationships between firms. Notwithstanding their benefits, alliances entail mutual dependence on partners’ complementary resources, and this is particularly true for vertical R&D alliances, where the development of technological innovation depends largely on suppliers’ R&D results. In such settings, alliances may be prone to rigidities when it comes to developing breakthrough innovations. This article illustrates how the automobile manufacturer BMW mitigated its dependence on its established suppliers and engaged in a cross-industry alliance with a ‘non-supplier’ to successfully develop a breakthrough innovation. Based on the case, we discuss the strategic and operational challenges inherent in cross-industry R&D alliances with non-suppliers. Our findings imply that the success of cross-industry alliances depends on specific actions at the strategic and operational levels
   
type journal paper
   
keywords Alliances, Cross-Industry innovation, BMW
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 4-9-2010
journal Long Range Planning
publisher Elsevier (Amsterdam)
ISSN 0024-6301
ISSN (online) 1873-1872
DOI 10.1016/j.lrp.2010.06.003
volume of journal 43
number of issue 5-6
page(s) 639-654
review double-blind review
   
citation Gassmann, O., Zeschky, M., Wolff, T., & Stahl, M. (2010). Crossing the Industry-Line: Breakthrough Innovation through Cross-Industry Alliances with 'Non-Suppliers'. Long Range Planning, 43(5-6), 639-654, DOI:10.1016/j.lrp.2010.06.003.