Visvanathan Naicker * and Percy Saungweme
Worldwide interest in strategic alliances has increased dramatically partly because of their potential to expand firms operations in the short run. Among the many issues posed by the increasing interest in strategic alliances, this paper focuses specifically on the dynamics associated with the governance of strategic alliance relationships. Furthermore, due to the constant deterioration of the Zimbabwean economy and the resultant heightened customer expectations, Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have to enter into collaborative relationships which involve a high level of trust, goal alignment and commitment. The research used a multi-method field approach to gather, information on strategic alliances and corporate governance from 50 strategic alliance relationships from a wide spectrum of firms in a variety of industries in Zimbabwe. Ultimately, this paper identifies four critical governance areas into a framework for strategic alliance governance. The advent of the Internet has increased the ease of application or collaboration to form strategic alliances. Factors such as increased competition because of easier market entry, speed of data, and demanding customer requirements are necessitating a revolutionary change in the way that SMEs are managed. The struggling economy of Zimbabwe provides a platform that enables SMEs to extend their alliances to its suppliers thereby forming dynamic industrial districts. These factors, shared with an eagerness to contribute towards information and technology flow, will enable an efficient alliance thereby responding to the needs of customers.
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