Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine an organization’s operational alignment in the process of alliance formation.
Design/methodology/approach: A literature study was conducted on the strategic importance of assessing and aligning organizations’ operations for alliancing. Furthermore, an instrumental case study was conducted to provide insight in the degree of operational alignment required for a maritime organization to form a service alliance.
Findings: Managers indicate a complex set of organizational capabilities required for improving operating process to successfully execute their alliance strategy. Two improvement trajectories were found to be used by alliance managers for aligning operations with alliance strategy: development of a corporate alliance infrastructure, and nurturing a collaborative business culture.
Research limitations/implications: The research is limited to one public organization establishing a vertical service alliance with one of its suppliers.
Originality/value: The paper introduces a new conceptual model of the alliance formation process, addressing the cyclical character of the pre-formation stage in which intra- and interorganizational management considerations alternate.
- Alliance capability
- Alliance formation
- Alliance management
- Business-to-business cooperation
- Organizational change