Brekalo, Lisa (2016). The Management of Strategic Alliances - Performance Impact Factors and Alliance Management Capabilities in the Context of Logistics Alliances. PhD thesis, Universität zu Köln.

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The proliferation of logistics alliances has continued to grow, due to ongoing deregulation, globalization, increasingly demanding customers, and the constant pressure for efficiency improvements in logistics operations. Logistics alliances are voluntary and long-term agreements in which two or more independent supply chain entities render logistics activities together to achieve strategic goals for mutual competitive advantages. Partnering firms strive for revenue and/or costs gains, service improvements and better market positions through resource, information, and risk sharing among them. Every second Logistics Service Provider (LSP) already engages in a logistics partnership (either vertical or horizontal). The majority of German LSP (about 60%) cooperates with at least one competitor. Despite this proliferation of logistics alliances, about 70 per cent of logistics alliances have difficulties in meeting partners’ expectations and may even be considered failures. While scholars have spent considerable efforts over the last decades studying logistics alliances, major gaps remain in our understanding and explanation of logistics alliances and their evolution (both success and failure). Given the wide acknowledgement and increasing importance of logistics alliances on the one hand, but their well-established diagnosis of high failure rate on the other hand, this thesis identified four central research questions: (1) What are performance impact factors of logistics alliances? (2) Why are some firms more successful in their logistics alliances than others? And how may specific logistics alliance management capabilities explain these differences? (3) What are reasons for logistics alliance failure? And how can firms prevent failure and improve logistics alliance performance? (4) What are logistics-specific alliance management capabilities? And why are some firms not able to deploy them successfully? To answer the identified research questions, the aim of this thesis is to identify and explain logistics-specific (1) alliance performance impact factors, (2) alliance management capabilities, (3) reasons for alliance failure, and (4) barriers for the deployment of logistics alliance management capabilities. Thereby, the thesis wants to elaborate the current understanding and explanation of logistics alliances, and to help firms to prevent logistics alliance failure and to improve logistics alliance performance. Accordingly, the thesis builds on four independent research studies. Each of these four independent research studies provides a comprehensive account of logistics alliances. Thereby, this thesis adds to our understanding and explanation of logistics alliances and their performance. More specifically, it contributes to the logistics alliances scholarship in three ways: (1) Explanation of performance impact factors of logistics alliances (2) Introduction of new theoretical constructs (3) Providing empirical insights. Thereby, the thesis contributes both to the existing logistics alliance scholarship and to practice by helping firms to prevent failure and improve logistics alliance performances.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD thesis)
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Brekalo, Lisaconsulting@lisabrekalo.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-65134
Date: 6 January 2016
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Management, Economy and Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences > Business Administration > Supply Chain Management > Professorship for Business Policy and Logistics
Subjects: Management and auxiliary services
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Performance Impact FactorsEnglish
Date of oral exam: 9 December 2015
NameAcademic Title
Delfmann, WernerProfessor Dr. Dr. h.c.
Thonemann, Ulrich W.Professor Dr.
Refereed: Yes


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