Who's Grabbing Who?

I read with great interest the article "My Rival, My Partner" (My Company, May 22). One aspect that was missing, however, is the notion of preemptive alliances. In a preemptive alliance, the dominant motivation is to preempt a competitor--the grabbor snatches a grabbee to preempt a competitor from partnering with it.

To evaluate the viability of a preemptive partnership, the grabbee must determine how the parties will manage the alliance. This depends on the level of priority each partner places on the alliance. Preemptive alliances may not carry the same priority for the grabber and the grabee. Although "grabbing" the partner may be a strategic move, problems may arise once the deal done and the real work begins. The grabber may lose interest, and alliance may become a low priority.

To manage this, a grabbee--for whom the alliance may be very important--must realize that their company will have to make a major commitment to the alliance. The partner for whom the project priority is highest does all the work--not only their work, but potentially the work of all the other partners, too.

This effort will be worthwhile for the grabbee if the grabber is either a leader in its market, or if the grabber has substantial access to industry resources that will create economies of scale and a perception of winning.



Larraine Segil Productions Inc.

Los Angeles

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