ESTT member N. Hampl published a paper on drivers of and barriers to partner switch in interfirm alliances in the Journal of Business Economics. Here is the abstract:
Historically, research on alliance termination assumes that alliance partners only withdraw from alliances in the event of alliance failure (failure-driven alliance termination). However, recent research on the dissolution of alliances shows that firms also withdraw from alliances through alliance partner switch when they find options with higher match quality than the current partner (option-driven alliance termination). This paper builds on previous work in that field and develops a comprehensive conceptual model of drivers of and barriers to partner switch in interfirm alliances. Based on matching theory, the rectification of alliance partner fit is defined in relation to strategic need, social status and social power as the main drivers and switching costs, social embeddedness and social norms as the main barriers to partner switch. Furthermore, it is argued that market uncertainty and behavioural uncertainty as well as the financial strength and social status of the focal firm have a moderating effect on such drivers and barriers.