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Conference Proceeding

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It is widely known in other micro fields such as organizational behavior and psychology that motivation is an important predictor of behavior. Yet the alliance and Upper Echelons literature have largely overlooked this important antecedent. A deeper understanding of a CEO’s motivations can illuminate why a firm may engage in higher levels of alliance activity while another firm may not. In this study, we explore how CEO needs—a manifestation of internal motivation—may impact alliance behavior. The results of our study demonstrate that the motivations of CEOs – namely their need for affiliation– have a non-linear relationship with alliance activity. More specifically, the results suggest an initial positive relationship between the need for affiliation and alliance activity. However, at high levels of affiliation, the CEO’s concern for harmony with their board becomes more important, resulting in lower alliance activity.