English   Danish

2021/2022  KAN-CCMVV4068U  Making Alliances for new Business Development

English Title
Making Alliances for new Business Development

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Bo Bernhard Nielsen - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalisation and international business
  • Management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Online teaching
Last updated on 15-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • The student shall be able to write a readable and well-structured mini-project that meets basic academic requirements regarding references, literature list etc.
  • The student shall be able to select and apply relevant theories for the case/problem being addressed in the mini project
  • The student shall be able to argue for the appropriateness of the theory/theories selected for the case/problem
  • The student shall be familiar with different theories and approaches regarding Alliance management and business development
  • The student shall be able to understand and explain the relationship between the theories
  • The student shall be able to select relevant theory to address a particular problem in Alliance management
  • The student shall be able to combine theories and approaches depending on the problem being addressed
  • The student shall be able to critically evaluate the choice of theory and methodology used in the mini-project
  • The student shall be able to utilize theories and models/frameworks from class to collect, justify, organize and analyse data regarding a real world alliance for business development
Making Alliances for new business development:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 15 pages
Assignment type Written assignment
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Making Alliances might be the quickest and most efficient way to pursue new business development. To mine the full potential of alliances a company needs to this end to ask not just the question “what business are we in?” but also the question “what business should we be in?” Furthermore, in developing new business through alliances, companies need to think about not just individual partnerships, but rather take a holistic view of how these partnerships fit within the firms alliance portfolio, the company’s strategy and industry environment. The course attempts to make the students capable of understanding and managing the cost and benefits facing companies, which seek to make Alliances for new business development.

The course will in particular deal with the following topics:

- Introduction to the concept of Alliance management

- Types of Alliance motives and congruence

- Types of Alliance partners and selection criteria

- Types of Alliance governance and control/trust

- The costs and benefits of Alliances – seen from different theoretical perspectives

- Alliances for new business development

- Alliances and network advantage

- Alliance learning and knowledge management

Description of the teaching methods
The course will use a mixture of learning styles, including lectures, case-study discussions, and potentially guest speakers/company presentations
Feedback during the teaching period
The course is structured around a number of readings and cases which will be discussed in class sessions (online). Each lecture will be recorded and students will be provided with slides prior to class, including slide(s) with key takeaways. Each session will end with a Q&A session. In subsequent class, students will be provided with summary of last class teachings as well as the opportunity to ask live questions again both in beginning of class and Q&A at end of each session.

The class will also feature a number of cases which will be presented by students (in groups). Feedback on case analysis is provided continuously during the case analysis, partly by the instructor and partly by peers with the instructor facilitating peer-to-peer discussion. Moreover, students will receive more detailed written feedback via email (or uploaded on platform in group folder) within a week after case presentation.

In addition, the course features an online discussion forum where students can ask questions on specific topics related to the course material at all times and will receive feedback from the instructor and/or other peer students.

The exam is take-home written project and students will be provided with specific information regarding this exam in an exam-prep lecture prior to the exam being released. Feedback on the exam will be written comments.
Student workload
Teaching 30 hours
Preparation 116 hours
Exam 60 hours
Expected literature

Main text:

  • Network Advantage: How to Unlock Value From Your Alliances and Partnerships Hardcover – 27 Dec 2013

by  Henrich Greve (Author),  Tim Rowley  (Author),  Andrew Shipilov  (Author)


Additional readings:


  • Albers, S., Wohlgezogen, F., & Zajac, E. J. (2016). Strategic alliance structures: An organization design perspective. Journal of Management, 42(3), 582-614.
  • Al-Tabbaa, O., Leach, D., & Khan, Z. (2019). Examining alliance management capabilities in cross-sector collaborative partnerships. Journal of Business Research, 101, 268-284.
  • Cabello-Medina, C., Carmona-Lavado, A., & Cuevas-Rodriguez, G. (2020). A contingency view of alliance management capabilities for innovation in the biotech industry. BRQ Business Research Quarterly, 23(1), 2340944420901050.
  • Leischnig, A., & Geigenmüller, A. (2020). Examining alliance management capabilities in university-industry collaboration. The Journal of Technology Transfer, 45(1), 9-30.Moghaddam, K., Bosse, D. A., & Provance, M. (2016). Strategic alliances of entrepreneurial firms: Value enhancing then value destroying. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 10(2), 153-168.
  • Nielsen, B.B. “An Empirical Investigation of the Drivers of International Strategic Alliance Formation”, European Management Journal, 2003, Vol. 21, Issue 3: 301-322.
  • Nielsen, B.B. 2007, “Determining International Strategic Alliance Performance: A Multi-Dimensional Approach”, International Business Review, 16: 337-361.
  • Nielsen, B.B. (2010), “Strategic fit, contractual and procedural governance in alliances”, Journal of Business Research, 63: 682-689.
  • Nielsen, B.B & Nielsen, S. (2009), “Learning and Innovation in International Strategic Alliances: An Empirical Test of the Role of Trust and Tacitness”, Journal of Management Studies, 46(6): 1031-1056.
  • O'Dwyer, M., & Gilmore, A. (2018). Value and alliance capability and the formation of strategic alliances in SMEs: The impact of customer orientation and resource optimisation. Journal of Business Research, 87, 58-68.
  • Russo, M. (2017). Alliance management as source of a successful strategy. European Scientific Journal, 13(7), 110-123.
  • Russo, A., & Vurro, C. (2019). Alliance management knowledge and alliance performance: unveiling the moderating role of the dedicated alliance function. Industrial and Corporate Change, 28(4), 725-752.
Last updated on 15-02-2021