International Co-operative Strategy


John Child

Introduction and Aims

A large number of companies today engage in co-operative strategies. A cooperative strategy aims to realize a company¿s objectives through cooperation with other firms, in alliances and partnerships, rather than through competition with them. 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. Topics to be covered will include: Cooperative strategy: context and forms of strategic alliance; theoretical perspectives on alliances; alliance formation: partner selection and negotiation; alliance structuring: ownership and control; general management of alliances; HRM in alliances; learning through alliances; alliance performance and evolution; the impact of culture and national differences; and alliances in emerging economies.

Objectives and Learning Outcomes

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

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

In addition, students will be able to develop and demonstrate skills in:

  • Working effectively in multi-cultural groups.
  • Managing their own independent learning.
  • Critically discussing and evaluting theoretical concepts and practical business issues in the context of strategic alliances.
  • Tackling complex case scenarios and making appropriate judgements and recommendations.


  • Individual assignment portfolio - part 1: 750 words, part 2: 300 words (50%)
  • 3,000 word group assignment (50%)