The position of the alliance office in a corporate organization

While doing some research for a client last week I ran into this piece by Dyer, Kale and Singh from 2001. A report about the position of the alliance office in a corporate organization and the effects of having a dedicated alliance office. In the report the authors describe how they conducted a study of 200 corporations who together had 1,572 alliances and looked at organizational perspectives and the effect the alliances had on the overall stock market performance of the corporations.

Dyer, Kale and Singh come to the conclusion that having a dedicated alliance office centrally organized is benefitting most of the corporations well.

Enterprises with a dedicated function achieved a 25% higher long-term success rate with their alliances than those without such a function — and generated almost four times the market wealth whenever they announced the formation of a new alliance.

Reflecting the findings in the report on to how some of my clients are organized I see recognizable organization of the alliance office for some and totally different setup for others. One of them does have a dedicated alliance office, however as it works predominantly for one part of the business it is organizationally also part of that business unit. One has split the alliance function in three segments that do opportunity identification, opportunity development and alliance management. Three separate central functions. In one situation the alliances that span all elements of the business are centrally organized the remainder of the alliances are purely in the business with almost no interaction between the alliance groups.

In this high level reflection it goes too far to connect the alliance success of my clients to the way they are organized. However what I do see is that in general the more central they are organized, the more dedication and the better alliance capabilities are developed. It does make me curious how other organizations have their alliance functions organized and what they see as their success rate. How about your organization? Please share you thoughts in the comment below or, if you prefer, sent me an email to share it privately.