The objective of this chapter is to examine how different types of IS resource alignments affect the performance of alliances via the contribution of dissimilar and similar IS resources. The focus of this study is small healthcare centers in Taiwan. These small healthcare centers have formed alliances to confront the fierce competition as well as to absorb the regulatory pressure from the government. Most of these small healthcare centers in recent years have realized that they can only compete with major healthcare service providers through cooperative alliances, as most of the patients prefer to go to big service providers for longterm treatments. The literature on interorganizational collaborations has been criticized for its relatively narrow concentration on large firms and for ignoring SMEs’ alliances where large firms do not operate in similar ways (Prater & Ghosh, 2005). These cost pressures, together with the general dynamic nature of the healthcare industry, require a significant change in approaches to utilize IS resources by these small healthcare centers. Therefore, these small healthcare centers must form alliances to obtain scarce IS resources. Unlike large firms that own a lot of IS resources to be able to form alliances with many partners, these small healthcare centers tend to form alliances with only a small number of partners, and therefore, their dependence on these partners is higher than large firms (Mambula, 2002). In this regard, these small Taiwanese healthcare centers offer an appropriate context for research.
Key Terms in this Chapter
SMEs: Small to medium-sized enterprises. The European Commission has defined SMEs as organizations that employ fewer than 250 people.
Alliance: The collaborative efforts between two or more firms in which the firms pool their resources in an effort to achieve mutually compatible goals that they could not achieve easily alone.
Resource Similarity: The degree to which two partner firms contribute compatible resources in terms of both type and amount to an alliance.
SPSS: A statistical and data management software package for analyzing collected questionnaire data.
Alliance Sustainable Commitment: The maximum effort involved in maintaining and prolonging an ongoing relationship between alliance partners.
Resource Dissimilarity: The degree to which two partner firms contribute complementary resources in terms of both type and amount to an alliance.
Survey Research: A research method using questionnaires to obtain the required information.