I, The Absolute

Strategic alliance management and marriage

Posted by itheabsolute on July 5, 2005

The topic of today’s strategy session was strategic alliances and how alliances can be used to build competitive advantage. The alliances can be Joint Ventures between two firms from two different countries. We discussed Otis Elevators entry into China through a Joint Venture with a Chinese firm. There were conflicts galore between them and the case discussion was on what we could learn from it.

I found many similarities between the dynamics of corporate alliances and marriage. Here is the summary of how I relate what i learnt to marriage

1. Building trust – this is the first step in laying the foundation for the smooth and sustainable future, for both marriage and business
2. Cultural Clashes – when two people / organizations come from two different backgrounds, there is bound to be differences. Patience and ability to think from others’ perspective required
3. Conflict over asymmetric investments/sacrifices – both parties may tend to think that they have invested / sacrificed more than the other party has invested/ sacrificed. It is important to keep the perceptions at manageable level.
4. Performance ambiguity – this is all about expectations management. Set performance to reach the mutually agreed milestones.
5. Conflict resolution – need capabilities to handle conflicts so that the running is smooth. Parent intervention or expert guidance is sometimes needed to resolve conflicts.

One thing that was not relevant to marriage was prior experience of having been in alliance. In case of corporates, it helps them to have had prior experience of having been in a joint venture.

Post Scriptum: My blog on Marriage and Marginal Utility had created certain impressions. I take this opportunity to clarify that these observations are purely at intellectual level and have no resemblance to mine or any other marriage that I would have observed. Btw, I have been married for a long time and quite enjoy my marriage. Keeping it in the highest vigor is enjoyable and in fact more challenging than managing any business situation. To me, Love – not money or power – is the elixir of life.

8 Responses to “Strategic alliance management and marriage”

  1. anon555

    thanks for new ideas


  2. tarun

    understand that not all will be interested in the topics i write about. but how does one know what one likes or not till he gets there and tastes it.

    the higher the readership, the better for the writer (me). have to say that in one shot Bharani moved the traffic to my blog. this is the power of marketing and of course his goodness.


  3. sundeep

    thanks for new perspectives. thanks for reading the blog. sure, we can meet up.


  4. amit

    do i see diversity (amongst us) disappearing and convergence happening…


  5. Anon 555 said

    In any kind of an alliance – strategic or otherwise, I found that looking at the involved party as a client and asking oneself the question, WHAT DOES HE WANT?, helps. Once we have answered the question and try to meet the needs in a manner that also benefits us will help keep the alliance going strong. Client could be internal (example: ur fellow employee) or external (example: your biz client). This approach may not be fully suitable in case of marriage ’cause in some situations a partner may choose to forego self benefit out of love for the other.

  6. Tarun said

    Hi Vijay,
    Today I saw Bharani’s blog make an attempt to popularize ur blog. And I wonder does your blog need popularity in terms of number of hits, in terms of surfers who just peek and move ahead!! Not many make an attempt at aspects that are not skin deep….

  7. Sundeep Tibrewal said

    Hi Vijay,

    Simply read thru many of your posts today… really liked them.. I had a similar line of thought on the one on core competency of organizations and individuals… I would like to use a different term though meaning the same thing: Natural Frequency (NF)… I feel that just like objects, even humans have a natural frequency and the best or the peak output (resonance !!)can be obtained if individuals realize their NF and build their career around it… Organizations can improve tremendously if they hire individuals who know their NF and if the NF of the indiviudal matches with the vacant position.

    Would like to meet you some day and have an interaction !!


  8. Amit said

    Incidentally, similar thoughts drawing comparisons between corporate alliances & personal relationships crossed my mind too during that class. Guess, the language is all too similar.

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