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This paper examines the changing process of strategic alliance formation in the Japanese electronics industry between 1985 and 1998. With data on 128 Japanese electronics/electrical machinery makers, the authors use a dyad panel regression methodology to address a series of hypotheses drawn from embeddedness and strong/weak tie theory on how keiretsu and prior alliance networks have constrained partner choice in new R&D and nonR&D alliances. They argue and find that the keiretsu effect is smaller on R&D than non R&D alliances, and that this is truer of the "Weaker-tie" horizontal keiretsu than the "Stronger-tie" vertical keiretsu. Dividing the time series into four periods (1984-88, 89-90, 91-94, 95-98), however, reveals some important variations in the keiretsu role over time.
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