International strategic alliances for collaborative product Innovation: An agent-based scenario analysis in biopharmaceutical industry

Danial Esmaelnezhad, Mohammadreza Taghizadeh-Yazdi, Hannan Amoozad Mahdiraji, Demetris Vrontis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The lack of ability, knowledge, and resources at a national level leads companies to choose international strategic alliances (ISAs) as an appropriate solution to enter the global markets. In this regard, selecting appropriate partners is a fundamental step in reducing the risks and costs of these alliances. This article analyzes international partner selection scenarios using agent-based simulations in Iran's biopharmaceutical industry. In line with the goal of this research, a complete understanding of the failure and success of collaboration product innovation is presented. First, the critical/key success factors (KSFs) in international strategic alliances were identified through a literature review (LR) and screened via Fuzzy Delphi. Next, selected factors were weighted by fuzzy SWARA (Stepwise Weight Assessment Ratio Analysis) and considered as simulation inputs for international partner selection. The simulation results indicated the critical role of the knowledge-matching degree and complementary resources and the insignificant impact of the company's reputation, government support, and experience in the international alliance. Furthermore, we found that pharmaceutical and biotech companies should emphasize their partner's complementary resources and develop an evaluation system to measure the knowledge-matching degree of their foreign partners in ISA. Eventually, this paper provides practical and applied solutions for biopharmaceutical industry managers to analyze business partners. The article also adds to the debate on ISAs in biopharmaceutical industries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113663
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Agent-based simulation
  • Collaborative product innovation
  • fuzzy SWARA
  • Key success factors
  • Partner selection
  • Strategic alliances


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