This study examines issues related to the formation of alliances by using the cyclical model of technological change constructed by Tushman and Anderson (1986). Within each of the four stages of the model, motivations and the selection of partners when forming strategic alliances are analysed. Motives of firms to form alliances are innovation-driven at earlier stages while those of firms are manufacturing- and market-driven at later stages. Partner selection criteria also depend on their position at the stage of technological cycles. Findings showed that the model is useful in studying alliances. The association between the cyclical model of technological change and the formation of alliances is empirically tested in response to the statement that a missing link exists for empirically validating the model of technology cycles.
Keywords: technology cycles, strategic alliances, cyclical model of technological change, alliance motives, alliance partners, dominant designs, emerging technologies, matured technologies, technology management