Keywords: alliance asymmetries, e-business, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, strategic alliances, MNE subsidiaries, multinational enterprises, Taiwan, electronic business, technological change, globalisation, technology management
The asymmetries in strategic alliances of MNEs subsidiaries in Taiwan
Strategic alliances play a critical role in the business of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs), such as HP and IBM, which are under pressure because of ongoing e-business transformation. This study explores the phenomenon of strategy differences in allying with Taiwan local companies between two e-business MNEs, IBM and HP, subsidiaries under technological changes and globalisation. We find that, even though the subsidiaries have followed the e-business strategies inherited from their parent companies in some ways, the motivations for IBM Taiwan and HP Taiwan to ally with local firms are consistent with Dunning's reappraised eclectic paradigm. Our findings also indicate that these two MNEs subsidiaries ally asymmetrically with local firms by using non-equity alliances. In addition, we find that Taiwanese partner firms have a particular interest in forming scale (horizontal) alliances with e-business MNEs. Specifically, this study extends the explanations and implications of the Familiarity Matrix, links it to the OLI model and explores the role of technology in MNEs international strategic alliance activities.