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Faculty & Research


Readings and Cases in International Human Resource Management (7th edition)

Book Chapter
Alliances are a useful tool for internationalization, but they are also difficult to implement. So first, the authors review the many motives for entering an international alliance and the different organizational forms alliances can take, presenting several perspectives on what constitutes alliance success. The authors next introduce a framework that helps us to think strategically about alliances and how they may evolve over time. The authors identify four types of alliances, each with a different set of management and human resources management (HRM) challenges. They illustrate how HR practices and tools can contribute to the long-term success of an alliance strategy. The authors then focus on planning and negotiating alliances, paying particular attention to the human resource factors that must be taken into account. Key management roles in the alliance-building process are presented, along with the implications for how managers for these positions are selected and developed. Once an agreement has been negotiated, it must be implemented, so the authors next review the people and organizational factors involved, highlighting the HRM agenda in international joint venture management. The final section of the reading explores the concept of alliance learning. The authors first analyze the key obstacles to alliance learning, to show the importance of linking HRM to alliance learning objectives. The authors then describe the human resource processes that can contribute to successful alliance learning, contrasting examples of successful and unsuccessful learning. To conclude, the authors review the evolutionary perspective on alliances and raise the next-generation challenges facing HRM as alliances become an organic part of the international operations of many multinationals.

Emeritus Professor of Organisational Behaviour