Inderscience Publishers

Acquisitions and alliances in the aerospace industry: an unusual triad

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The two primary sectors of the aerospace industry, commercial and military aviation, are each dominated by two key firms Airbus Industrie and Boeing in the commercial sector, and Lockheed Martin and Boeing in the military sector. This unique triad offers an opportunity for examining how technology acquisition and business development are pursued under such circumstances. The paper shows that alliances are utilised by both major players in commercial aviation, while acquisitions are the principal strategies selected in the military aviation industry. Boeing appears to shift its strategic choices appropriately by industry to match its competitors as well as to correspond to the approach advocated by related technology strategy literature.

Keywords: alliances, acquisitions, technology strategy, business development, aerospace, aviation, Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed Martin

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