Gulati (1998) understands strategic alliances as “voluntary arrangements between firms involving exchange, sharing, or co-development of products, technologies, or services”. The distinction lies within the entering process – becoming part of an alliance constitutes a strategic
action (Gulati, 1998).
Gulati (1998) emphasizes the importance of a network view (besides the the traditional dyadic perspective towards strategic alliances (Editor: dyadic: ~interaction between a pair of 2 entities) on the factors that have an impact on the behavior and performance of allied firms. According to him the firm’s existing (social) network not only influences the shaping of new connections but also has an effect on their design, evolutionary path and their success. He considers the sequences of key facets and events in strategic alliances, adding a network perspective towards strategic alliances that could bring new issues worthy of consideration (Gulati, 1998):