Marketing Project Topics

Strategic Business Alliances as a Route to Effective Marketing in Sub-saharan African Markets

Strategic Business Alliances as a Route to Effective Marketing in Sub-saharan African Markets

Strategic Business Alliances as a Route to Effective Marketing in Sub-Saharan African Markets


Objectives of the Study

The main objective of this study is to investigate Strategic business alliances as a route to effective marketing in Sub-Saharan African markets. Specific objectives include to:

  • Assess the justification of corporate business decisions to pursue strategic alliances for the long-term preservation of competitive advantage in their markets.
  • Evaluate the accuracy of research studies and academic journals in supporting the rationale behind forming strategic alliances and their effectiveness.
  • Examine the applicability of forming strategic alliances as an effective tool for gaining market entry or securing competitive advantage in the Sub-Saharan African business landscape.
  • Identify the components of established theories, motivations, and practices that support global strategic alliance tactics and their potential adaptation to develop “suitable for Sub-Saharan Africa” marketing strategies.



Conceptual Review

In this section, the conceptual foundation of the study is established by introducing the core themes and concepts that underpin the exploration of corporate strategic alliances and their role in preserving competitive advantage. It serves as a launching point to delve into the intricacies of strategic alliances, competitive advantage, and their significance within diverse business landscapes, setting the stage for a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter. Through a systematic examination of these foundational concepts, this section aims to provide a clear context for understanding the subsequent discussions on the dynamics of strategic alliances in the context of the Sub-Saharan African business environment.

Strategic Alliances

In the context of Sub-Saharan Africa’s evolving economic landscape, the concept of strategic alliances has gained prominence as a critical mechanism for fostering growth and development (Akileswaran & Hutchinson, 2019; Akinyemi, 2021; Allard et al., 2016). Strategic alliances can be defined as collaborative agreements between two or more independent entities that come together to achieve mutually beneficial goals (Aust, Morais, & Pinto, 2020; Auth et al., 2021; Aykut & Blaszkiewicz-Schwartzman, 2018). These partnerships involve the pooling of resources, expertise, and capabilities, enabling participants to achieve objectives that might be challenging to attain individually (Bayen, 2018; Bosker & Garretsen, 2012).

Several types of strategic alliances have been identified, each tailored to different strategic objectives and contexts within the Sub-Saharan African business landscape (Blumenstock et al., 2020; Chauvin, Porto, & Mulangu, 2017). Equity alliances involve equity investment by the partnering firms, enabling shared ownership and risk in ventures (Chen & Nord, 2018). Non-equity alliances, on the other hand, involve contractual agreements without shared ownership, such as joint marketing or distribution arrangements (Campbell, 2017). Research and development (R&D) alliances focus on collaborative innovation, while cross-border alliances span geographical borders to tap into foreign markets or resources (Archibong, Coulibaly, & Okonjo-Iweala, n.d.; Assegbir et al., 2017).

Strategic alliances offer various benefits to firms operating in the region. These alliances enable companies to access new markets, technologies, and resources, thereby enhancing their competitive position (Allen, 2021; Almond & Signé, 2021). Moreover, they can facilitate knowledge sharing, learning, and capacity building, which are crucial for sustaining long-term growth and development (Alur, 2015; Andrews, Hsiao, & Ralston, 2018). In an era of rapid technological change and digital transformation, strategic alliances can be particularly valuable for firms seeking to adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and harness the potential of automation and digital technologies (Akileswaran & Hutchinson, 2019; AUC/OECD, 2021).

However, it is important to note that the success of strategic alliances in Sub-Saharan Africa is contingent upon various factors. The cultural, regulatory, and institutional context of the region can impact the formation, implementation, and outcomes of these alliances (Aykut & Blaszkiewicz-Schwartzman, 2018; Bodomo, 2013). Moreover, the choice of alliance type and partner selection must be aligned with the strategic goals and competencies of the participating firms (Aykut & Blaszkiewicz-Schwartzman, 2018). Additionally, navigating challenges such as trust-building, intellectual property protection, and power dynamics among partners is essential for the sustained success of these collaborative endeavours (Chen & Nord, 2018; Aykut & Blaszkiewicz-Schwartzman, 2018).

In summary, strategic alliances are emerging as vital tools for fostering growth, innovation, and competitiveness within the Sub-Saharan African business landscape. These alliances, encompassing a range of types and forms, enable firms to leverage their collective strengths to achieve common objectives. While the benefits of strategic alliances are substantial, the complexities and challenges associated with forming and managing these partnerships must be carefully considered. As the region continues to adapt to evolving economic trends and technological advancements, the strategic use of alliances can play a pivotal role in driving sustainable development and prosperity across Sub-Saharan Africa.





This chapter outlined the research methodology employed in this study to investigate the dynamics of strategic alliances in African markets. The methodology adopted was instrumental in achieving a comprehensive understanding of the research topic and addressing the research objectives. The research philosophy, approach, design, data collection methods, sampling techniques, data analysis procedures, ethical considerations, and potential limitations of the research were delineated.

Research Philosophy

The research philosophy underpinning this study was positivism, a perspective rooted in the objective observation of phenomena and quantifiable data (Saunders et al., 2019). This philosophy was chosen due to its compatibility with the research objectives, which sought to analyze the causal relationships and objective patterns of strategic alliances in African markets. Positivism’s emphasis on empirical evidence, systematic measurement, and objective reality was well-suited to address these objectives.

The adoption of positivism was justified by the need to provide a structured and empirical investigation of strategic alliances, aligning with the study’s quantitative research approach. Positivism’s focus on empiricism and hypothesis testing was particularly valuable in examining the impact of various factors on alliance outcomes and identifying generalizable patterns. This approach enabled the study to explore the overarching trends and causal relationships within strategic alliances across different contexts in African markets.

Furthermore, the positivist philosophy was chosen to ensure the research’s objectivity and validity. The philosophy emphasizes the separation of researcher bias from the research process, leading to results that are less influenced by subjective interpretations. By adopting a positivist stance, the study aimed to reduce potential biases in the analysis and interpretation of data, enhancing the reliability and credibility of the findings.

The positivist philosophy’s suitability for the research context was affirmed by prominent scholars such as Anderson, Fontinha, and Robson (2020), who have advocated for empirical and objective approaches in management research. This philosophy aligned with the study’s emphasis on identifying quantifiable patterns and relationships among variables influencing alliance dynamics.


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