New Article Forthcoming in the Journal of Management:
Decision making within and between organizations: Rationality, politics, and alliance performance
Jorge Walter*, Franz W. Kellermanns**, & Christoph Lechner***
* Portland State University, ** Mississippi State University, *** University of St. Gallen
This study extends research on strategic decision making into the realm of strategic alliances by examining the interactive effect of decision process characteristics at the firm and alliance levels on alliance performance. Located both within and at the boundary between partners, alliance-related decision processes have to balance each partner’s self-interest on one hand and collective actions on the other hand, with both partners being dependent on each other’s collaboration. Using primary, cross-sectional data obtained from 103 high-technology alliances, we study the effects of procedural rationality and politics in decision making. Our results corroborate the importance of procedural rationality that facilitates collective actions between alliance partners, but also uncover the pitfall of an unconditional reliance on procedural rationality at the firm level. Our results further show that politically charged decision processes impair decision makers’ ability to reconcile individual interests both within and between alliance partners, and therefore jeopardize alliance performance.
Keywords: Strategic alliances; alliance performance; decision process characteristics; procedural rationality; politics.