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Disentangling Alliance Management Processes: Decision Making, Politicality, and Alliance Performance


Jorge Walter, School of Business Administration, Portland State University, PO Box 751, Portland, OR 97207, USA (


abstract  Using a sample of 106 organizations engaged in strategic alliances, we develop and test a framework of alliance-related organizational decision-making processes and their impact on alliance performance. With regard to direct effects, our results show a negative impact of decision-making recursiveness and no significant relationship for openness and procedural rationality. Acknowledging the importance of the organization's micropolitical context in which these decision processes are embedded, we also test the moderating influence of politicality. Our findings provide support for our hypotheses that in a context of low politicality, the decision-making characteristics of openness and procedural rationality have a positive influence, whereas recursiveness negatively affects alliance performance. In a context of high politicality, however, openness and procedural rationality exert a negative influence, and the negative impact of recursiveness is aggravated. We suggest that alliance-related decision making cannot be adequately understood without explicitly considering the micropolitical context in organizations.