Why do crucial business partnerships and alliances fail so often, and how can you keep it from happening to you? In Partnering with the Frenemy, Sandy Jap, professor of marketing at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, answers these questions, helping you anticipate, prevent, and solve the problems that lead close professional relationships to implode.
Drawing on cutting-edge research, Jap illuminates the widespread "frenemy" phenomenon in organizational partnerships, where partners who start as non-competitive "friends" become "enemies" over time. First, she identifies the economical and structural causes of "frenemization," in which success creates imbalances in power dynamics, leading partners to rebalance their relationships in ways that cause resentment, contempt, and often direct competition. Equally important, she reveals crucial non-economic and social causes for partnership failure, where seemingly innocuous acts of interpersonal opportunism and "sins of omission" gradually poison organizational collaboration.
Jap develops and draws on interdisciplinary behavioral theories from social psychology, economics, and sociology to illustrate how this happens. To support her insights, she offers case studies, both ongoing (Samsung and Google, Martha Stewart and Macy's, Oracle and Sun Microsystems) and historical (Best Buy and Apple, Calvin Klein and Warnaco, Nike and Footlocker). Most important, Jap offers specific recommendations for avoiding problems, revitalizing weakening partnerships, and recognizing when a partnership can't be saved.
Partnering with the Frenemy offers immense value for every executive, manager, consultant, channel and go- to-market strategist, and business student who wants to manage alliances and partnerships more successfully. It will also be helpful to any nonprofit, government agency, and other organization whose success depends on ongoing external partnerships.