Forming interfirm collaborative relationships has become a key aspect of a firm’s marketing strategies to create value for customers and achieve greater firm performance. While empirical findings are mixed in previous studies, this study is an effort to identify boundary conditions for the benefits of marketing alliances. We investigate internal and environmental factors that may magnify or constrain the effect of marketing alliances on firm profitability. Given the complementary relationship between marketing and R&D activities, we focus on a firm’s R&D intensity as an internal factor that may magnify the value of marketing alliances for firm performance. For environmental factors, we focus on industry turbulence and industry competitiveness. Industry turbulence refers to the degree to which industry market conditions change quickly and unpredictably, whereas industry competitiveness refers to the degree to which a firm faces competition in the industry. By testing these factors, we are intended to reveal boundary conditions that determine the value of marketing alliances for firm profitability.
The analysis of firms in the diverse industries shows that while the main effect of marketing alliances on firm profitability is not significant, it becomes more positive when R&D investment is more intensive or when industry environment is more turbulent. The results of this study imply that just forming more marketing alliances may not be enough to increase firm profitability. Our findings imply that marketing alliances become more effective in a dynamically changing industry environment. That is, firms can cope with industry uncertainties more effectively by forming marketing alliances. At the same time, the moderating effect of R&D intensity implies that the internal investments in R&D magnify the effect of marketing alliances on firm profitability.
The findings of this study contributes to the existing alliance literature in three aspects. First, this study enhances our understanding of the contingent value of marketing alliances by testing both internal and external factors that may influence the effectiveness of marketing alliances. Second, this study responds to the need for research that investigates actual performance resulting from interfirm relationships. Third, while previous studies primarily focused on a specific industry, this study extend previous findings of the boundary conditions for the benefits of marketing alliances in a broader context.
"The Contingent Effect of Marketing Alliances on Firm Profitability,"
Asia Marketing Journal: Vol. 16
, Article 3.
Available at: https://doi.org/10.15830/amj.2015.16.4.19
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