Course description

Interorganisational Strategies


The main aim of the course is to introduce various types of inter-organisational relations and discuss their strategic rationale. Inter-organisational relations are used as means to gain access to complementary resources, increase firm flexibility and learning, and the objective of the course is to understand how and when different forms of relations can be useful. The course is structured along three dimensions: a) types of inter-organisational relations (various types of alliances, acquisitions and networks), b) theoretical perspectives that can be applied to understand inter-organisational relations (for instance transaction cost theory, resource based theory, relational perspectives and c) stages in the development of these relations (initiation, governance, structuring, management, re-structuring, performance and termination).

Course content

The course will start with the analyses necessary to identify the needs for inter-organisational relations, and the pros and cons of the various choices for cooperation. Then the course will discuss various types of interorganisational relations and their theoretical underpinnings. The course will also look into specific requirements and characteristics of the different phases of entering, managing and terminating these types of relations. Core topics include: Alliances, Mergers and Acquisitions, Networks, Initiation and negotiation, Governance and control, Development over time, Trust, Performance and termination

Learning outcome knowledge

The course should give an overview and a deep understanding of core parts of the research based literature on inter-organisational relations.

The course aims to develop the student's understanding of the challenges involved in identifying the needs for external relations, formulating and entering these relations as well as managing these relations over time to generate profitability.

Exam organisation

  • Class participation: 30%
  • Home exam: 20%
  • Written assignment: 50%