In this study, we explore the evolutionary process of alliance constellations using an inductive approach. Drawing on the Star Alliance constellation in the global airline industry as an example, we visualize the development of alliance constellations overtime. We find that Star Alliance has been the most aggressive constellation among the existing three as it expands both the quantity and quality of its member airlines. In addition, we find that Star Alliance is also the most binding alliance constellation in a sense that it gives very limited opportunity for members to forge alliances outside of the constellation. Our findings have important implications for theory building on resource-based view and transaction cost theory.
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