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Earlier in 2012, Microsoft Corporation and SUSE, an independent business unit of The Attachmate Group, Inc., announced a 4-year extension of their groundbreaking agreement reached nearly 5 years ago for broad collaboration on Windows and Linux interoperability and support (“Computer software; Microsoft and SUSE renew successful interoperability agreement,” 2011). This collaboration has been successful not only because the partners agree on shared risks, resources, rewards, and vision, but because it promotes interoperability and sets the stage for other business partnerships.

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In the Required Resources, Jerry R. Mitchell, President/Founder of The Midwest Entrepreneurs Forum, argues that effective business partnerships are a function of four factors: (1) Shared Risk, (2) Shared Resources, (3) Shared Rewards, and (4) Shared Vision (Mitchell, 2004). He points out that building strong relationships with other organizations is often the best way to strengthen their own. Organizations can shore up weaknesses by accessing the strengths of others.

Imagine a scenario in which only two of the four factors are in place, but the C-suite (the highest level executives of your company) is determined to forge ahead. As an HR executive in this situation, how would you counsel the CEO, who believes that only having two of the four factors is sufficient? Assuming the CEO is correct, which two factors do you see as absolutely essential to a successful partnership? Explain your reasoning.

To complete this Assignment, respond to the following in a 4 to 5-page paper:

•Analyze Mitchell’s four factors of effective business partnerships.

oAnalyze a successful business partnership, indicating which of the four factors were present.

oAnalyze a failed business partnership, indicating which of the four factors were absent.

oIs it possible for a business partnership to succeed when none of the four factors are present? Under what circumstances?

•Examine HR’s responsibilities in a proposed business partnership where only two of the four factors are present.

oHow should HR advise the CEO in this situation?

oFrom an HR perspective, which two factors do you consider to be most important, and why?

Remember to use theories, facts, statistics and examples


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