Collaborative business models: Aligning and operationalizing alliances

Ard Pieter de Man*, Dave Luvison

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


It is not unusual for companies to generate substantial revenue through alliances. However, alliance failure rates are high, leaving much revenue at risk and value unrealized. The big challenge facing managers is to align company interests with alliance interests. Such alignment can only be achieved when executives pay considerable attention to building the right collaborative business model. In this article, we synthesize the insights of the existing literature to arrive at three collaborative business models—sharing, specialization, and allocation—that managers can use to address the specific requirements of their alliances. Because the literature provides limited insight regarding how to operationalize these models, we highlight what managers need to focus on when operationalizing each of these models. We find that the choice for an overall business model is relatively straightforward in most cases but that operationalization of business models requires more complex combinations of management techniques. Finally, we show how the three collaborative business models can be combined to build hybrid models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-482
Number of pages473
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Alliance operationalization
  • Business alliances
  • Collaborative business model
  • Operationalization
  • Partnership


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