Mobilizing For Value Added Partnerships

Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Information Technology Case and Application Research, 2011, 13 (2), pp. 22 - 41
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According to Krishnamurthy et al (2007) the building of competitive advantage from alliances via innovation with technical partners is the most challenging of the objectives sought in partnerships. Academic research in the last decade has examined the prerequisites and success factors and general agreement has been reached on the critical issues. They include, for example, the concept of relationship capital - mutual trust, mutual commitment and information exchange (Sarkar et al, 2001). However, it is not clear that this knowledge has led to improvements in the historically poor success ratio. This case explores the successful implementation of an innovation partnership, endorsing the recent work by Sturgess & Cumming (2011) on the importance of a focus on implementation. Previous academic research on such partnerships has tended to focus on manufacturing; in particular the automotive engineering and pharmaceutical sectors. Relationships were typically asymmetric with the supplier being much smaller in size and power relative to the manufacturer. The authors wanted to explore a different power and size relationship emerging from the growing needs of a number of service industries, where technology is becoming a strategic imperative for gaining competitive advantage. Organisations in the aviation, retail banking and retail communications sectors are seeking IT and telecommunication skills that will help them build competitive advantage from better services, systems and products. The most knowledgeable organisations with this technical knowledge tend to be large ones. Our case examines how Westpac, a large retail bank in Australia, went about the task of reviewing their existing commercial relationships and selected the most promising one for the objective of building a trusted value adding partnership. In the process, they identified the critical pre-requisites and developed a five stage key success model for implementation. It is hoped that the study will encourage other researchers to look more closely at the implementation challenge.
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