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Accessing organizational resources and pursuing value through international promotional alliances

Joe B Cobbs, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Accessing and exploiting organizational resources plays an integral role in not only a firm’s propensity to achieve a competitive advantage, but also its mere survival in a competitive environment (Ulrich & Barney, 1984). One of the most common means of resource acquisition for both large administrative firms and smaller entrepreneurial enterprises is interorganizational alliances (Ireland, Hitt, & Vaidyanath, 2002). Utilizing the resource-based view of the firm within a strategic alliance framework, this dissertation examines a particular type of interorganizational exchange relationship permeating the marketing discipline. The promotional alliance is defined within this research as a strategic alliance based on resource exchange between a promoting enterprise and a firm seeking to fulfill promotion-based objectives through an ongoing collaboration with the enterprise. ^ Each of the two sides of the promotional alliance relationship served as a focus for one of the two studies presented within this work. In the first study, a longitudinal survival model was employed to investigate the dependency of a promotional enterprise on external resource acquisition via alliances with promotion-seeking firms. Also at issue were the heterogeneity of resources accessed and the dynamics of the institutional forces regulating such alliances. Alliances with sponsoring firms offering financial and performance-based resources, as opposed to operational resources, were found to have a significant influence on the survival of sponsored enterprises. However, these dependencies were subject to changes in institutional support and the potential for diminishing returns.^ The second study approached promotional alliances from the perspective of the firms seeking promotion. Relying on the theory of efficient capital markets (Fama, 1970), an event study analysis was undertaken to determine the impact of internationally prominent promotional alliance announcements on the equity value of the sponsoring firms, which theoretically reflects investors’ expectations of future cash flows. Contrary to prior research, the initiation of these alliances demonstrated a negative impact on shareholder value. Several alliance, firm, and promoting partner characteristics were hypothesized to influence alliance outcomes to varying degrees within the cross-sectional sample of promotion-seeking firms. Surprisingly, only the magnitude of the sponsoring firm’s alliance investment and the nationality congruence within the alliance were influential in predicting investors’ reaction to such alliances.^ Each study was embedded within the institutional context of Formula One (F1) motor racing and focused on the promotional alliances involving corporate partners (sponsoring firms) and their affiliated racing teams. In this context, the racing teams acted as the promoting enterprises charged with providing the marketing platform to meet their sponsoring firms’ objectives. With annual races on four or more continents; a global television audience rivaled only by the Olympics’ opening ceremony, FIFA World Cup finals, and the NFL’s Super Bowl; direct competition between promoting teams; and sponsoring firms hailing from fifteen different nations and over twenty diverse industry sectors; F1 provided an ideal setting for the evaluation of interorganizational alliances’ impact on the survival of promoting enterprises and a promotion-seeking firm’s value implications.^ To compliment and strengthen the applied contribution of both studies, the analyzed results were subjected to a discussion with industry experts representing both sides of the promotional alliance relationship (Lane & Jacobson, 1995). Not only did this closing analysis reinforce the relevance of the research offered here, but it also presented a practitioner-focused examination of the industry challenges inherent in the theoretical tenets underlying such research.^

Subject Area

Marketing|Sports Management|Management

Recommended Citation

Cobbs, Joe B, "Accessing organizational resources and pursuing value through international promotional alliances" (2010). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3397691.