ASAP Publishes Evidence-Based Financial and Economic Metrics Study That Supports Partnering and Revenues

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Landmark alliance management study emphasizes the importance of social capital in partnering through return on investment analytics

The Association for Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP), the world’s leading professional association dedicated to the practice of alliance management, partnering, and collaboration, announced the release of a groundbreaking economic and financial metrics study that offers concrete data for improved alliance and partnering structures.

“What’s so important about ASAP’s 6th State of Alliance report is that it’s the first time alliance management studies have gathered defined economic or financial outcomes as well as provided recommendations for improvement,” said Michael Leonetti, CSAP, president and CEO of ASAP. “The study goes much further than simply defining financial gain with sound alliance management practices. These are hard numbers defined as revenue increases from ‘leveraging’ social capital. The study truly puts metrics in a place where none previous existed.”

The three-stage, deep dive study entitled “The Economics of Alliances, Social Capital, and Alliance Performance” was unveiled to a packed room in September at the Revere Hotel Boston Common during the ASAP BioPharma Conference, “New Faces, Unexpected Places in Partnering: The Foresight to Lead, the Foundation to Succeed.” The report provides cutting-edge economic and financial metrics based on extensive research and data analysis into social capital by Dr. Shawn Wilson, DBA, senior vice president at Beaulieu Group, who is a consultant, published author, and researcher.

The study considers the multiple dimensions of relational factors through the concept of social capital. Wilson defined social capital in the study as “the aggregate of the informal resources available to an individual, group, or institution that is generated by positive interactions,” and supported the conclusions through data, graphs, and charts compiled from qualitative interviews, a pilot study, and a quantitative study. Some 175 respondents (an 8.25 percent response rate) contributed to the ASAP survey from which the data was compiled.

Wilson’s findings statistically support ASAP’s own Three-Dimensional Fit Model, which can be used by companies to assess the viability of potential alliance partners based on three distinct dimensions of social capital: structural, cognitive, and relational. The three dimensions are defined in the following way:

  •     Structural: The frequency and quality of interaction between firm members—primary determinant of positive alliance performance.
  •     Cognitive: Shared goals, organizational norms, executive alignment and work systems—secondary determinant of positive alliance performance.
  •     Relational: Inter-firm trust, respect, and reciprocity between firm members—tertiary determinant of positive alliance performance.

While all three were found to be highly significant, the cognitive and structural dimensions were reported as the strongest predictors of alliance performance. “Most models out there only capture one or two dimensions of social capital,” Wilson points out. “All three are statistically distinct and were distilled from mounds of prior research. The dimensions conceptually aligned with ASAP’s model.”

Another key finding in the study considers growth in sales and profitability according to percentage increase. Increases in each category were based on specific types of alliances. Sales increases tended to occur with alliances involving new market and/or product development. Profit increases were associated with alliances that seek to leverage resources or employ operational best practices across partners.

Wilson’s study also summarizes three key findings:

  •     Social capital is an intangible resource that acts as a catalyst for positive firm interaction, significantly affecting strategic alliance performance. It’s a force that can pull firms together or push them away. Applied appropriately, it has the potential to address and resolve organizational problems.
  •     Companies often over-emphasize the importance of relationships and fail to think through the structural and cognitive dimensions of social capital. Social capital doesn’t necessarily improve when relationships strengthen. There is much more to social capital than inter-firm “trust and goodwill.”
  •     Companies with above-average social capital outperformed their peers. The financial measures were much higher when perceptual measures were met, such as satisfaction, the accomplishment of strategic objectives, and stability.

To learn more and to order a copy of ASAP’s groundbreaking study, “The Economics of Alliances, Social Capital, and Alliance Performance,” visit

About ASAP
The Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals (ASAP) is the only professional association dedicated to elevating and promoting the profession of alliance management and partnerships. Founded in 1998, the organization provides professional development, networking and resources for cultivating the skills and toolsets needed to manage successful business partnerships. ASAP’s professional certifications include the Certificate of Achievement-Alliance Management (CA-AM) and Certified Strategic Alliance Professional (CSAP). Active global members include Astellas, AstraZeneca, Bayer, Capgemini, Cisco, Citrix, Covance, Dell, Eli Lilly and Company, HealthCore, Huawei, IBM, INC Research, Janssen—Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Mission Pharmacal, NetApp, Novartis, Plantronics, Sanofi, SAS, Schneider Electric, Takeda, The Warren Company, and Xerox. A complete list of global members is available at

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