Western companies may find themselves at a disadvantage in GSPswith an Asian competitor, especially if the latter brings manufacturing skills to the alliance. WESTERN COMPANY ALLIANCES WITH ASIAN COMPETITORS

Unfortunately for western companies manufacturing excellence represents a multifaceted competence that is not easily transferred.


Western managers and engineers must also learn to be more receptive and attentive they must overcome the not-invented-here syndrome and begin to think of themselves as students not teachers. At the same time they must learn to be lesseager to show off proprietary lab and engineering successes. To limit transparency some companies involved in GSPs establish a collaboration section. Much like a corporate communications department this department is designed to serve as a gatekeeper through which requests for access to people and information must be channeled. Such gatekeeping serves an important control function that guards against unintended transfers.
A 1991 report in The Mckinsey Quarterly shed additional light on the specific problems of alliances between Western and Japanese firms . Ofter problems between partners had less to do with objective levels of performance than with a feeling of mutual disillusionment and missed opportunity. The first problem was that each partner had different dreams the Japanese partner saw itself emerging from the alliance as a leader in its business or entering new sectors and building a new basis for the future while the western partner sought relatively quick and risk free financial returns. Said one Japanese manager our partners came in looking for a return. They got it. Now they complain that they didn’t build a business. But that isn’t what they set out to create.

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