How successful will the klm-air france partnership become? lessons learned from the klm-northwest alliance

Sari Wahyuni, Luchien Karsten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Although expected, the new partnership of KLM and Air France did strike a blow. Pros and cons were expressed in the popular press regarding this fundamental decision. Some wondered about the weak position KLM might have after the merger. Others suggested that the consensus minded KLM might have a positive impact on the state governed Air France. By looking back at KLM's experience in managing their international partnership with Northwest, we may provide some insight in KLM's capacity to deal with their partners. We intend to demonstrate how the alliance between KLM and Northwest turned into a success. Both partners learned to translate their intensive contacts into routines that eventually strengthened their alliance. Even the periods that put the cooperation under tremendous pressure finally led to improved cooperation. This article is based on a qualitative study interviewing fifteen top managers of KLMNorthwest while using a framework that illustrates the successive stages of alliances. That framework can instruct managers to recognise the stages an alliance goes through which a form of intensive cooperation increases. The framework clarifies the determining variables in each step of an alliance life cycle and may be helpful to understand a likely implementation of the KLM-Air France partnership.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-122
Number of pages12
JournalProblems and Perspectives in Management
Volume4
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006

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