This paper aims at providing some conceptual references to academics and practi-tioners useful for guiding the strategic planning process in alliance formation. Research on strategic networking is a multidisciplinary field drawing from different theoretical perspectives. It emphasizes the strategic value of alliances in its various forms but rarely attempts to model the strategic planning process and to test its validity empirically. Most of the contributions are focused on specific aspects of strategy, rarely providing a holistic view able to address the strategic process and contents by explicitly recognizing the existence of different kinds of alliances. Drawing from three different but interconnected theoretical roots (strategic net-work, strategic analysis, and value chain management) and adopting a deductive approach, this conceptual paper proposes a comprehensive framework for strategic planning in alliance formation and four theoretical propositions. These propositions shed light on the relationships between strategic planning process and three different kinds of business collaboration, and focus on the implications of the integrating process for network value creation. The different goals and complexity of such typologies, although not mutually exclusive, specifically influence the strategic analysis contents, the process of negotiation, and the construction of strategic consensus between partners.
Keywords: Strategic planning, business networks, strategic alliances, value chain, negotiation, strategic consensus.