Analysis of an inter-firm partnership between a multinational and a local company  Case: Enad-Henkel

The use of inter-company partnership agreements has become, over the last two decades, an increasingly popular strategic option, as it offers significant potential benefits to the companies that use it, thus contributing to an improvement in competitiveness. However, such an option is not free of risks and disadvantages, and of certain conflicts whose consequences can be harmful, not only for the alliance but also for the local partner.  Therefore, in this paper, we will try to answer the question whether alliances are really a valid strategic alternative for the local company. We try to answer this question by analysing the motivations and resources of the partners. For this purpose, we propose hypotheses on the possible relationship between the motivations and resources involved and the success of the partnership. The hypotheses are introduced by a theoretical argument based on the existing literature and are then tested on a case study of the Enad-Henkel alliance, adopting a qualitative study. Our results show that partnership with foreign partners are only a successful if the local partner has specific bargaining power and learning motivations.

Keywords: partnership, local partner, foreign partner, motivations, resources, asymmetry, effects.

JEL Classification:  J53, M29, F23.