Supply Chain Management
Strategic Alliance Trends in the Spanish Food and Beverage Industry

Article Details
Pub. Date : Mar, 2019
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Supply Chain Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJSCM21903
Author Name : Jesús Morcillo-Bellido
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Strategic
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 15



Alliances have often been used as an important tool to support corporate strategic objectives, specially when companies faced difficulties in entering new businesses, or when they need to improve their customer service. Nevertheless, more than half of alliances fail, and this is a serious management issue. This study analyzes alliance practices in a sample of companies that belong to the Spanish Food & Beverage (F&B) industry, comparing their alliance practices with those developed by a group of companies considered as ‘Best in Class’ in partnerships management. This ‘excellent group’ has worked out a set of ‘alliance key success factors’ to improve the success rate in their relationships. The study has been conducted in two different periods, 2009 and 2017, to check if within the Spanish F&B there is a trend to adopt some alliance success practices.


Strong globalization and competition forces have shaped the conditions for a shift from highly structured to more disaggregated organizational structures able to work with many different partners to achieve corporate targets (Thomas and Swaminathan, 2015; and Stadtler and Lin, 2017). Often these disaggregated structures are based on alliances. They are considered as bilateral or multilateral arrangements between organizations to improve mutual results, and they are proven engines of growth and profitability in many industries (Ernst et al., 2001; and Li, 2018). The need to do more with limited resources has increased the interest in partnerships and alliance formation, which is an important source for company competitiveness (Tallman, 2013; and Hendrikse et al., 2017). This fact has been exacerbated by the last economic crisis that has led to a remarkable business speed and more difficulties to get extra resources to fuel company growth. A study conducted by Palmer Alliances in 2008 concluded that the top executives of more than 80% of the companies in the Fortune 1000 estimated that alliances have been the main basis for approximately one quarter of their income growth (Kale et al., 2009).

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