Preserving Trust in Strategic Alliances with Alliance Management

The role of an alliance manager in a strategic alliance is important during its formation because of the complexity of the agreements made. Then it becomes increasingly important later in the strategic alliance after it starts to lose its shine. It’s crucial to provide as much stability as possible, starting with keeping the same personnel throughout its duration. It is particularly difficult to maintain a high level of trust in the business relationship, and therefore, the role of the alliance manager is to sustain the level of trust by providing stability for all parties involved.

Because of the initial complexity when forming a strategic alliance, companies do not hesitate to seek alliance management, but they sometimes begin to question the role of the alliance manager when the business relationship is healthy. Without proper alliance management, it’s considerably more difficult for the partners to sustain the necessary level of trust to continue the alliance. A paper published by Mary Alice Ball of the University of Arizona and Shirley C. Payne of the University of Virginia explains why the role of the alliance manager is decisive in making strategic alliances last:

“Research repeatedly indicates how critical this position is to success in the exceedingly complex and politically delicate process of effective alliance management. Trust is paramount to interactions between alliance partners and that trust resides in the individuals involved. Participants in an alliance need to be as stable as possible, and I am speaking in terms of job tenure not mental condition here. It is difficult to maintain trust in this type of relationship if the cast of characters is constantly changing.”

Consistency and stability are key factors in preserving strategic alliances, but when business is good and relationships are healthy, companies think that their business relationship will stay healthy without any assistance. The only way to sustain a high level of trust in the alliance is to keep the same personnel around, so that the partners know and trust whom they’re doing business with.

If you’re interested in a strategic alliance, or would like assistance in keeping preserving trust in a business relationship, contact us.

— by George Tyler

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