Partnering with the Frenemy | Chapter Summaries

Chapter Summaries & Suggested Cases


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Chapter 1
When the Good Goes Bad
Chapter 1 of Partnering with the Frenemy evaluates the importance of business partnerships (business to business, business to non-profit, non-profit to non-profit), and the organizational synergy that results from these relationships. The author addresses the two possible outcomes of frenemization and discusses examples of each (Google and Samsung, Calvin Klein and Warnaco Corporation). The chapter discusses the relational component of organizations, and answers the question "Why do partnerships frenemize?"
Chapter 2
The Physics of Relationship Dynamics
Chapter 2 of Partnering with the Frenemy discusses the models and trends associated with organizational relationships. The author evaluates two models of relationship development, lifecycle and cyclical, discusses the phases of each model, and offers several examples of the evolution of organizational relationships (The Weather Network and DirecTV, Nike and Footlocker, P&G and Wal-mart). Additionally, the author broaches the subject of the "Dark Side" and how it contributes to the demise of a relationship, as well as the long term impact of the "Death Spiral".
Chapter 3
The Delicate Balance
Chapter 3 of Partnering with the Frenemy looks at the importance of balancing power and dependence among partners, the ways in which firms create this balance, and the potential implications of an unbalanced partnership. The chapter discusses the impact of economic and non-economic factors on negotiations between buyers and sellers, and describes a study that unpacks these aspects in the context of a new contract award decision. The author introduces profit sharing strategies (equity and equality sharing), discusses situations in which each strategy is most appropriately used, and gives an example of profit sharing between partners (KLM and Northwest Airlines).
Chapter 4
How Our Behavior Gets in the Way
Chapter 4 of Partnering with the Frenemy takes an in depth look at how and when rapport can impact business decisions, and the challenges organizations face when trying to balance personal and professional relations with business partners. The chapter addresses the question "Why does petty opportunism persist?", and discusses relevant examples from Mattel and Blue Bell Creameries. The author presents an overview of the B2B purchasing decisions and expectations of Millenials, compares these expectations to those held by previous generations, and discusses the implications these expectations have on business relationships.
Chapter 5
How We Justify Our Bad Behavior
Chapter 5 of Partnering with the Frenemy explores the idea of low stakes opportunism, and how moral malleability justifies this behavior in business relationships. The author deconstructs the ways in which a partner rationalizes his decision to cheat, as well as his expectations regarding his partner's actions. A model illustrating levels and types of deviation from expectations, as well as the performance outcomes that occur as a result, helps to show the critical role that uncertainty plays in the frenemization of a partnership.
Chapter 6
Why Trust is Not Enough
Chapter 6 of Partnering with the Frenemy offers an in-depth examination of trust and discusses the ways in which trust is developed between partners. The author introduces the unanticipated assumptions and relational impact of reverse auction procurement, and details alternative safeguards used to protect partnerships from frenemization when trust is not enough. Furthermore, the chapter reveals which safeguards have proven most effective, broaches the topic of partnership perceptions versus reality, and addresses the destructive capabilities of the negative illusion spiral.
Chapter 7
Solutions to Frenemization
Chapter 7 of Partnering with the Frenemy analyzes the process of partnership dissolution, discusses an example of two companies that were able to terminate their relationship amicably (Cisco and Ericsson), and offers a checklist to guide the user through the process of "losing friends without influencing people." The chapter takes a closer look at the concept of a shared strategic map and the questions partners can ask to create one when forming a new alliance. The author examines the relationship between IBM and BLP and details the three phases of their contract development, while also emphasizing the benefits of creating a task matrix to map out partnership responsibilities.
Chapter 8
Practices for the Long Run
Chapter 8 of Partnering with the Frenemy emphasizes the importance of innovation in propelling partnerships forward. The author reveals two basic behaviors that, when regularly applied, aid in building trust between partners, and discusses a relevant example (McDonald's and Coca-Cola). The final chapter offers a means of objectively analyzing a partnership's friendship levels and economic potential to identify the ideal relationship strategy (Mapping Friendship to Economic Values, or the Friend and Foe Fallacy), and concludes with several solutions to frenemization.