Structural Challenges of Strategic Alliances throughout the Value Chain : A Case Study of the Lead Engineering Concept at the TRATON Group
Abstract: During the last two decades, strategic alliances have gained importance across many industries. This also applies the alliance of MAN and Scania as part of the TRATON Group operating in the commercial vehicle industry. After being created in 2015, the group has worked on developing a collaboration structure to leverage the benefits of working together. The thesis´ aim is to examine key challenges and benefits of the specific collaboration structure called Lead Engineering Concept as one approach of working together within the strategic alliance of the group. Moreover, it aims to investigate function-specific challenges occurring in different parts of the organization. This is supposed to create a holistic view of the strategic alliance of the TRATON Group and to formulate suggestions for improvement of the current collaboration structure. Applying the relational view as a theoretical framework, a lack of collaboration-specific assets investments, and the potential of the consolidation of synergy-sensitive resources could be identified. To complement the relational view, the dimensions of process alignment and sharing principles have been introduced, which aims to facilitate the discussion of challenges arising during the implementation of alignment measures. Lastly, the thesis concluded with suggesting six potential improvements of the lead engineering concept, namely (1) the integration of goals, (2) the sharing of principles, (3) the translation of high-level goals into function-specific directions, (4) the investments into collaboration-specific assets, (5) the consolidation of synergy sensitive resources, and (6) the definition of a common technical understanding.
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