Approaching China in a strategic alliance: experiences from the construction of Norwegian Energy and Environment Consortium, NEEC, Rolf G Zimmermann, Bodø Graduate School of Business, 2006

Many see strategic alliances as one of the most important business tools of the 21st century. It is seen as the corporate response to globalization of the economy, shortening life cycles of technological innovations and increasing technological diffusion. But establishing a strategic alliance is far from easy. Failure rates at around 50 percent bare evidence of a flawed and overly troubled organizational form. Nevertheless alliances continue to flourish and most theorists seem to be head over heal pro alliances. My research of the establishment of the Norwegian Energy and Environment Consortium (NEEC) shows what kind of difficulties the management can be facing when establishing an alliance. Lack of consistency and cohesion between the alliance partners regarding goals, strategy and measures of success are a few of the key elements. But shaping of new alliances can also include shaping completely new organizational life forms, as the case may be for NEEC. This alliance is in fact challenging the very distinction between the public and the private domain in the Norwegian realm by being half private and half public.

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