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INTRODUCTION The topic under review is strategic alliances This particular form of non-equity alliance between firms in the same industry competitors is becoming an increasingly popular way of conducting business in the global environment Many different reasons of why such alliances are occurring have been recognised These include the increasing globalisation of the worlds economy resulting in intensified global competition the proliferation and dispersment of technology and the shortening of product life-cycles This critique will use Kenichi Ohmaes viewpoint on strategic alliances as a benchmark for comparison Firstly a summary of Ohmaes article will be provided Secondly in order to critique Ohmaes opinion it will be necessary to review other literature on the topic Thirdly a discussion of the various viewpoints and studies that have hence arisen will be discussed in detail Finally conclusions will be drawn with implications for companies operating in todays global environment together with suggestions for future research on strategic alliances THE GLOBAL LOGIC OF STRATEGIC ALLIANCES The underlying argument or reasoning behind Ohmaes opinion that strategic alliances or entente are the only way forward for all companies competing globally Globalisation mandates alliances makes them absolutely necessary Ohmae 1989 The author has supported this viewpoint that globalisation makes strategic alliances necessary as vehicles for customer-orientated value with four issues facing todays companies 1 The Californization of Need 2 The Dispersion of Technology 3 The Importance of Fixed Costs 4 Dangers of Equity The first issue described by Ohmae as the Californization of Need refers to the convergence of customer needs and preferences and the fact that the national identity of many high-quality products has virtually disappeared Secondly companies can no longer maintain a leadership position based solely on superior advanced technology This results because of the increasing number of critical technologies embedded in the majority of products therefore no one can keep the technology out of the hands of competitors around the globe Thirdly Ohmae emphasises the importance
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