Throughout the module you are encouraged to read widely and to consult a range of sources and materials. To help you in this there is a reading list attached to each session topic. Additional resources are provided on Blackboard site. You are expected to come to class prepared so we can discuss topics in more depth.
TJEMKES, Brian, VOS, Pepijn and BURGERS, Koen (2012). Strategic alliance management. Abingdon, Oxon ; New York, NY, Routledge.
CHILD, John, FAULKNER, David and TALLMAN, Stephen B. (2005). Cooperative strategy: Managing alliances, networks and joint ventures. 2nd ed., Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Harvard business review on strategic alliances. (2002). Boston, Mass., Harvard Business School. The Harvard business review paperback series. .
BARTLETT, Christopher A. and BEAMISH, PaulW. (2011). Transnational management: Text, cases, and readings in cross-border management. 6th ed., New York, McGraw-HillIrwin.
CAULEY DE LA SIERRA, M. (1995). Managing global alliances: Key steps for successfulcollaboration. Addison-Wesley.
DAS, T. K. (2011). Strategic alliances in a globalizing world. Charlotte, N.C., Information Age Pub. Research in strategic alliances.
DUSSAUGE, Pierre and GARRETTE, B. (1999). Cooperative strategy: Competing successfully through strategic alliances. Wiley.
FAULKNER, David and DE ROND, Mark (2000). Cooperative strategy: Economic, business, and organizational issues. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
GOMES, Emanuel(2011). Mergers, acquisitions, and strategic alliances: Understanding the process. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York, Palgrave Macmillan.
LORANGE, P. and ROOS, J. (1993). Strategic alliances: Formation, implementation and evolution. Blackwell.
SCHAAN, Jean-Louis and KELLY, MicheálJ. (2006). Cases in alliance management: Building successful alliances. Thousand Oaks, Calif. ; London, Sage. The Ivey casebook series. .
ULIJN, Jan, DUYSTERS, Geert and MEIJER, Elise (eds ). (2010). Strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions: The influence of culture on successful cooperation. [online]. GB, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Academic Journals and Articles
You obviously need to read articles from your module guide. You are encouraged to read research articles published in peer-reviewed academic journals that you can access via Library Gateway. Additionally you can find a selection of articles on the module’s Blackboard site.
You need to read the leading business / financial newspapers and magazines such as The Economist or Financial Times in order to keep abreast of recent developments.
Individual Written Assignment
You are presenting a plan to start an International Strategic alliance in the industry of your choice (using real-life example or the imaginary alliance) in 3600 words.
You must choose a case study about alliance strategy.
Discuss one of the following aspects, using cases and academic theories to support your argument:
1. Role of trust
2. Cross-industry alliances: choosing partner outside of the value-chain
3. Harvesting knowledge
4. Performance metrics
5. Game applying Strategic Alliance theory
Present recommendations to address potential issues. Illustrate your chosen answer by referring to several alliances
Details (for questions 1 to 4)
Imagine, you are an alliance manager. You need to persuade your CEO that you are capable of running the alliance in respect of one of the five aspects (as listed above). You could say the first thing that comes to your mind, but that is not going to be very persuasive (e.g. you lose your job / fail assignment). Instead, you need to demonstrate your analytical thinking. You need to support your analysis with examples from other companies – what they did, where can you inspire, what you should avoid. You need to demonstrate your understanding of theories and concepts, so your CEO can be confident that you are aware of the best practices (so you are not reinventing wheel). Your analysis supported with theory, examples from practice, and understanding of your company (and industry) is the winning formula. Do not forget about appropriate academic referencing (since this is an academic assignment).
Choice of alliance
Choose and briefly present the alliance you are involved in. You can choose to be involved in:
• Alliance as presented in a case study (perhaps using a different case study than those presented in module learning guide could be more exciting)
• Other real life alliance (for example, you have heard about an alliance in news, you have seen an alliance in your previous work experience, …)
• Imaginary alliance (invent your own company and imagine the alliance with a real existing company)
• Briefly present the alliance background
o ‘Who do you work for?’ – Identify from whose perspective (company) you will analyse selected aspect
o Keep it brief (cca. 400 words should be enough)
• Research Academic theory
o Demonstrate your understanding of theory
o Critically evaluate theory, do not simply repeat what one author said in one journal. Look at different sources / different views, think about it (critically analyse), and offer your understanding.
o You are encouraged to create your own theoretical model. You still need to critically evaluate other theories and concepts. During your analysis you may arrive to the conclusion that no theory is working for you. Create your own model. Understanding theories is good, creation of knowledge is excellent (so might be your mark). Try it.
o Do not forget to reference authors of those theories (sources). Reference only sources that you have read. Do not copy references from journals.
o You must consider academic theories in order to pass
• Illustrate your chosen answer by referring to several alliances
o Apply theories on examples from practice
o Support your analysis – demonstrate what works, or does not work
o Use case studies (you can refer to cases studied during the module or to other cases of similar depth). Academic case studies will not always offer the most up-to-date information, but will offer very good level of detail supported with academic theories.
o You can supplement your research with up-to-date information obtained from news articles
o You must present examples from practice in order to pass
Format and innovation
The individual assignment is equivalent of a 4,000 word report and accounts for 75% of the marks for the module.
Easiest format is report (strongly preferred to essay – headings and subheadings make reading easier, report format is what you are going to use in business). However, you are encouraged to innovate.
o mind maps
o process diagrams
o presentation (you can even record voice over)
o combined format (e.g. video in a presentation)
You can use different formats as part of your report, or you can even replace the entire report with different form of submission. Whatever format you choose, it needs to be equivalent of 4,000 words and you always have to demonstrate analysis, theory, examples from practice, and provide referencing. If you choose to submit the entire report in a different format, there must be a rationale for it. For example, you cannot simply divide the text into PowerPoint slides. Using a different format should add value to your work. For example, it makes sense to take advantage of animations to visually display links between concepts, analysis, or examples.
We will offer modest uplift to your mark to reflect risk that you are taking. Please discuss your idea with your module tutor regarding the suitability of your innovation.
It must work as standalone resource. When the marker reads or watches your report, they should see all the information needed to be able to mark your assignment against the assessment criteria. So, you do not have to come explaining what you mean.
Referencing should follow the SHU Harvard. Refer to “Guide to referencing and citations” (libguides.shu.ac.uk/referencing). Additional help is available at library where you can book one-to-one support session. Sometimes students choose to impress with endless number of references that they copy from few journals articles. Do not do it. Yes, you need to demonstrate extensive research, but reference only sources that you have read (or make sure that you know how secondary referencing works). If we are not convinced about the true extend of your original research, we will have to send you to Academic Conduct Panel, or at the best significantly reduce your mark. Always use your own words. Replacing few words in a sentence with synonyms is plagiarism rather than paraphrasing. You can quote (copy sentence word by word), but quote only occasionally and do not forget to use quotations marks and recognise the source (reference).
Individual Written Assignment is assessed by your module tutor following Individual Written Assignment assessment grid. This will normally be done within three weeks of the assessment’s submission.
Details for question 5 – Game applying Strategic Alliance theory
Your task is to design script for a game or an activity that applies relevant Strategic Alliance theory. It could be for a computer game or for any other ‘offline game’ format you can think off; card, board. Any game – there are no limits to your creativity, as long as the game’s objectives are focusing on using or explaining specific concepts and theories related to Strategic Alliances (such as partner selection, learning processes within alliances, trust, cross-cultural management, etc.). On practical terms, you do not have to submit a finished game, so you do not need coding skills or manufacturing skills, but if you like to, you are certainly welcome to submit a finished product. You can invent a story, and the rules that the game will follow. So, if a computer programmer reads your script, they should be able to turn it into playable game; or if group of people read the game instructions they should be able to play it. However, the key is that you need to demonstrate an understanding of relevant academic theory and ability to apply it in practice. So, you need to identify a topic, discuss it / analyse it, apply it, use examples from practice when you explain and justify your choices (see below for the structure and marking criteria).
You can choose any Strategic Alliances topic that you like. Perhaps your game will be on something as wide as partner selection. Or perhaps a little bit more focused just on 4Cs, or you can take just one element of 4Cs such as commitment and explore role of culture on psychological commitment. As approximate guid; any topic that we cover in our module, or any theory discussed in attached journal articles, or anything out of your textbook is suitable topic.
Assessment criteria are the same than for any other question provided. You are not being assessed on the game itself. Instead, you are assessed on the discussion and on the application of academic concept/s that underlines the game logic. Please make sure that your read the assessment grid and discuss your idea with your tutor. As mentioned previously, we might offer uplift to your mark to reward meaningful risk-taking and creativity. This is to be determined by your module tutor.
Any format is acceptable as long as it allows you to demonstrate research, discussion of academic concepts, as well as use of examples from practice. You need to use at least 3/4 of your assignment (i.e. 3000 words equivalent) for the discussion of academic concepts and their application. No more than 1/4 of your assignment (1000 words) could be dedicated to non-academic discussion; such as description of game setting (for example, “this game is to be crafted from pure gold”, or “each figure measures 3.5 cm”, or “after your turn, please hand the card to the player on your left”, etc.).
Individual Written Assignment assessment grid
Assessment Criteria Below 40% 40% – 49% 50% -59% 60% – 69% 70% and over
Must explicitly and directly answer the question in a well-informed manner Fails to answer the set question adequately. Answers most aspects of the question. Minimal use has been made of the material provided and there is no evidence of significant additional reading. Answers the question explicitly and provides reasonable evidence of knowledge of the topic and reading. Answers the question explicitly and makes very good use of course material and set reading. An excellent answer, detailed and comprehensive with evidence of additional research and reading.
Definition of relevant concepts and principles Fails to define any relevant concepts and principles. A clear definition of some relevant concepts and principles. Detailed definition of some relevant concepts and principles. Detailed definition of all major relevant concepts and principles. All relevant concepts and principles clearly defined.
Application of relevant concepts and principles Fails to apply any relevant concepts and principles. Some attempt has been made to apply relevant concepts and principles. Good application of some relevant concepts and principles. Very good application of most relevant concepts and principles. Virtually all relevant concepts and principles accurately applied.
Evidence of significant reading and research and knowledge in depth of the topic. No evidence of significant reading or research and little evidence of knowledge on the topic. Limited evidence of reading and research and knowledge of the topic Evidence of a reasonable amount of reading and research and knowledge of the topic. Clear evidence of extensive reading and research and knowledge of the topic. Clear and wide ranging evidence of extensive reading and research and a deep knowledge of the topic.
Presentational quality of answer. Very poor presentation with many grammatical and spelling errors. Serious weaknesses in structure, grammar and spelling. Reasonably clear structure with satisfactory grammar and spelling. Logical structure and good overall quality of presentation. Coherent and reader friendly, logical structure and good quality of all attributes.