Micro-businesses and strategic alliances: An exploration of interdependence

by Stecklein, Toby J., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 124 pages; 3629076


The goal of the qualitative phenomenological research study presented herein was to gain a better understanding of interdependence within strategic alliances. Strategic alliances are typically employed to fill resource gaps of businesses. This study examined the lived experiences of micro- and small business leaders in the food industry in a Midwestern state. Multiple perspectives of multiple businesses were examined; during the start-up of the micro-businesses and after they had grown into the category of small businesses. Only one side of the alliance was looked at, that being through the eyes of the micro-/small business leaders. The research questions focused on three types of interdependence: task, goal, and reward. Within each question the researcher investigated how leaders managed and stabilized each type. Via semi-structured, open-ended interviews each type was revealed to be vital from each participant's perspective with the collective group offering an array of pragmatic actions which resulted in successful stabilization. These ranged from business growth to setting mutual goals to agreeing to certain partner expectations. In terms of relationship capital ingredients needed when attempting to stabilize interdependence, common answers were trust, communication, and commitment. These were voiced by every participant and fell in line with recent studies on this topic. In the end, relationship building stood out as the key action required to stabilize interdependence within a strategic alliance.

AdviserNaomi Stanford
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBusiness administration; Entrepreneurship; Management; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3629076

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