Cooperative Strategy

A large number of firms today engage in co-operative strategies. A cooperativestrategy is an attempt by a firm to realize its objectives through cooperation withother firms, in strategic alliances and partnerships (typically joint ventures), ratherthan through competition with them. In the global economy, many of these strategicalliances are international in scope.

A cooperative strategy can offer significant advantages for companies that are lacking in particular competencies, knowledge or resources, enabling them to secure these through links to other companies possessing complementary skills or assets. It may also offer easier access to new markets, and opportunities for mutual synergy and learning. Cooperative strategies are proving to be particularly important in facilitating international expansion. This module focuses on the benefits that can be gained through cooperation and how to manage the cooperation so as to realize them.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of the role of cooperative strategy, and its expression through strategic alliances, in the modern global business context.
  • Introduce perspectives from different disciplines that contribute to an understanding of cooperative strategy and strategic alliances.
  • Understand the considerations involved in establishing alliances, selecting partners and choosing an alliance form.
  • Understand issues arising in the management of strategic alliances, with special reference to cross-border alliances.
  • Provide an insight into factors impacting on the achievement of alliance objectives (including learning) and on how they may evolve over time.


Students will have to prepare two linked pieces of work which together constitute their assessed coursework. There is no examination for this course.

  • group case analysis (maximum 3000 words)
  • individual reflective assessment (maximum 1200 words)