When it comes to business strategy often alliances are part of the execution approach, not as a separate strategy. In these situations the overall strategy defines where to grow. When it comes to execution of the strategy the question “make, buy or ally” will determine the execution strategy. There are business managers and strategists that will be open to all options and choose the option best for their organization and best for the specific opportunity. There are business managers who will prefer an acquisition strategy as the results can be sooner counted.
In other situations alliances are an essential element of the strategy, as the companies have no choice in their particular line of business. In go to market situations in many cases alliances are not an option but a necessity. Also in the airline business only a few airliners manage to exist without being part of some form of an alliance. In these situations alliances are not an option but an essential part of executing the strategy.
How about your organization, do you have a clear alliance strategy or are alliances an instrument to support the execution of your overall strategy?