Alliance Management at Forbes Marshall
(10 pages of text)
This case traces the history and growth of Forbes Marshall (FM), a family-owned company in India. FM provides steam engineering and control instrumentation solutions for the process industry. The company has evolved into a leader in process efficiency and energy conservation through technology tie-ups and focused investments in manufacturing and research. Its joint ventures with the world's leading firms enable it to deliver quality solutions in 14 countries. Forbes Marshall's business practices and processes have combined into a unified philosophy of being trusted partners who provide innovative solutions.
This case can be used for two primary purposes. The first is to understand evaluating the effectiveness of corporate strategies. The second is to understand alliances as a mode of growth and determine when alliances are preferred over acquisitions or internal development. With regards to evaluating the effectiveness of corporate strategy, this case neatly explores the concepts and frameworks laid down by Collis and Montgomery. It is very useful to make students understand the resources-businesses-systems framework and the need for a focused connection between these three through appropriate coordination and control mechanisms so that a corporate strategy delivers value. As a case for elucidating the alliance management process - the primary objective of the case - there is sufficient traction to explore a) when alliances are a better alternative to growth through acquisitions or internal development, b) how companies develop alliance capabilities, and c) how synergistic alliances can lead to significant learning and confer valuable and rare organizational advantages in managing growth through alliances. In the process of showing some of the essential elements of alliance management, this case lends itself to evaluating the merits and demerits of alliances from important theoretical perspectives such as transaction cost economics, the resource-based view of the firm, and the real options perspective.
India, Medium, 2009
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