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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Alliance portfolios and firm internationalization

Published: May 27, 2020


Mariia Koval, Grenoble Ecole de Management; Viacheslav Iurkov, Grenoble Ecole de Management


alliance portfolio international diversification; internationalization absorptive capacity; firm geographic scope


We introduce an alliance portfolio perspective and study the extent to which a firm’s portfolio of geographically diversified alliances influences its geographic scope (the extent of a firm’s subsidiary presence across the world’s geographic regions). We argue that the geographic scope varies with the level of alliance portfolio international diversification, following a U-shaped pattern. At a low to moderate level of alliance portfolio international diversification, firm geographic scope will decrease due to amplified challenges to manage both alliances and subsidiaries in diverse geographic regions. In contrast, at a moderate to high level of alliance portfolio international diversification, firms will gradually enhance their ability to manage alliance portfolios and learn how to effectively recognize and seize opportunities abroad. We further argue that the relationship is contingent on alliance portfolio geographic distance, firm product diversification and internationalization absorptive capacity.