• e-commerce alliances;
  • environmental munificence;
  • environmental jolt


We treat the sudden technology sector crash as a natural experiment to investigate how dramatic changes in resource availability in the e-commerce sector affect stock market response to interfirm alliances. This environmental jolt demarcated two distinctly different periods of e-commerce resource munificence: pre-crash, characterized by high munificence, and post-crash, characterized by low munificence. Using data on alliances involving 75 e-commerce firms from 1995 to 2001, we find that the stock market responds more favorably to alliances during the less munificent period. Further, stock market response to alliance partner and type is also affected by the change in environmental munificence between the two periods. Our findings demonstrate the importance of environmental conditions and how these affect stock market interpretation of signals inherent in alliance announcements. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.