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A theory of experienced paradoxical tension in co-opetitive alliances
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Empirical research shows that co-opetition is a double-edged sword such that it can both help and hurt the achievement of desired performance outcomes. Despite the proliferation of co-opetitive alliances (i.e., simultaneous pursuit of competition and cooperation between firms), the field still lacks a theoretical framework that could help explain the dynamic mechanisms and conditions leading to these contradictory results. This thesis attempts to distill and integrate arguments from different literature streams of paradox, ambidexterity, and emotion to develop a framework in which experienced paradoxical tension (i.e., individual level cognitive difficulty and emotional ambivalence that pulls managers in opposite directions) serves as the main underlying mechanism through which co-opetition (i.e., an inter-firm level paradox) differentially affects performance in co-opetitive alliances. I further propose that firms' failure or success to achieve performance objectives in co- opetitive alliances is also contingent upon having a strong co-opetition capability (i.e., a multidimensional capability comprising analytical, emotional, and balancing dimensions). This thesis includes four appended papers that have used various methodologies such as anecdotes, exemplar cases, and particularly survey questionnaires to test some parts of the developed theory. The results from different papers show support for most of the tested relationships. Overall, the thesis contributes by proposing a much- need theory of experienced paradoxical tension that address the core issues related to the nature, source, consequence, and management of such tension in co-opetitive alliances. My theory has implications for research on organizational paradox and emotion, as well as for senior managers who are responsible for the success of co-opetitive alliances.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University , 2017. , p. 92
Series
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 97
Keywords [en]
co-opetition, paradox, tension, cognitive difficulty, emotional ambivalence, management, balance, capability, performance
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138385ISBN: 978-91-7601-743-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-138385DiVA, id: diva2:1134890
Public defence
2017-09-14, Hörsal s205, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-08-24 Created: 2017-08-21 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A systematic review of research on coopetition: Toward a multilevel understanding
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A systematic review of research on coopetition: Toward a multilevel understanding
2016 (English)In: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, E-ISSN 1873-2062, Vol. 57, p. 23-39Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

While research on the phenomenon of coopetition has dramatically increased during the last years, this line of inquiry often embodies a loosely connected body of work with fragmented themes, underdeveloped concepts, and little work explaining coopetition at multiple levels. In this paper, we conduct a systematic literature review of the field, and based on a final set of 142 contributions, synthesize the disparate research into a coherent whole by developing an overarching and dynamic multilevel model. We first systematize diverse conceptualizations of coopetition with respect to different levels into The Actor and The Activity Schools of Thought. Then we integrate major critical themes into a Driver, Process, Outcomes (DPO) framework, and offer a Blended School of Thought to show how different levels are intertwined and affect each other. Next, we develop a multilevel conceptual model of coopetition by integrating the Blended School into the DPO framework. This model helps future re- search better understand how the phenomena of coopetition at one level of analysis are distinct, yet interlinked, from coopetition at other levels, and in so doing, provides a richer and more complete perspective of the phe- nomenon of coopetition. Finally, we identify promising research avenues and suggest how future research can strengthen this line of inquiry.

Keywords
coopetition, systematic literature review, multilevel
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-124278 (URN)10.1016/j.indmarman.2016.05.003 (DOI)000381591000004 ()
Available from: 2016-07-29 Created: 2016-07-29 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
2. The coopetition paradox and tension in coopetition at multiple levels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The coopetition paradox and tension in coopetition at multiple levels
2014 (English)In: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, E-ISSN 1873-2062, Vol. 43, no 2, p. 189-198Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article explores the nature of the paradox inherent in coopetition; that is, the simultaneous pursuit of cooperation and competition between firms, and emanating tensions that develop at individual, organizational, and inter-organizational levels. We dissect the anatomy of the coopetition paradox to discover how it materializes by creating an external boundary (i.e., via unifying forces) and internal boundaries (i.e., via divergent forces). After explaining the coopetition paradox, we distinguish tension from paradox and submit that tension comprises both positive and negative emotions simultaneously, also known as emotional ambivalence. Finally, we recognize that emotional ambivalence in coopetition prevails at different levels, and vary in its level of intensity and persistency in relation to different contexts. We employ illustrative cases to ground our propositions empirically. This article provides understanding on concepts, expects to incite fruitful dialogue, and fuels further studies on inter-firm paradoxes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014
Keywords
Coopetition, Paradox, Tension, Emotional ambivalence, Duality
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-87107 (URN)10.1016/j.indmarman.2013.11.001 (DOI)000334081000003 ()
Available from: 2014-03-19 Created: 2014-03-19 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
3. The coopetition paradox and tension: the moderating role of coopetition capability
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The coopetition paradox and tension: the moderating role of coopetition capability
2016 (English)In: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, E-ISSN 1873-2062, Vol. 53, p. 19-30Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study, we apply a paradox perspective on coopetition to investigate the effects of coopetition paradox on managers' experience and perception of coopetitive tensions, and the role of coopetition capability in managing such tensions. We propose a theoretical model to posit that the intensity of coopetition paradox positively associates with managers' experience of external tension, which in turn lead them to perceive internal tension. Further, coopetition capability plays a dual role—moderates the relation between coopetition paradox and external tension, and reduces internal tension. We tested hypotheses on a representative multi-industry sample of 1532 firms in Sweden and the results confirm them. Our study contributes to understanding the critical role of coopetition capability that enables firms to maintain a moderate level of tension regardless of the intensity of coopetition paradox. 

Keywords
coopetition, paradox, tension, management, capability
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-116721 (URN)10.1016/j.indmarman.2015.11.008 (DOI)000370885300004 ()
Available from: 2016-02-10 Created: 2016-02-10 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
4. The role of emotional ambivalence in coopetition alliances
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of emotional ambivalence in coopetition alliances
2017 (English)In: 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, Aug 4-8, 2017, 2017Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

I develop and test a theoretical model of moderated mediation in which emotional ambivalence functions as an intervening mechanism that explains association between co-opetitive tension and performance in co-opetition alliances. I also consider how managerial response of acceptance and organizational balancing capability influence the mediating role of emotional ambivalence in the tension– performance relationship through the effect they have on how ambivalence relates to performance. The structural model results, based on a sample of 220 firms involved in dyadic co-opetition alliances, show full mediation of emotional ambivalence and positive moderation of balancing capability. Counter to my expectation, however, acceptance response negatively moderates the link between emotional ambivalence and performance. Interestingly, the moderated mediation results show that when balancing capability is high and ambivalence response is low, the conditional indirect effects of tension on performance turn from negative to positive. I discuss how the recent theory on ambivalent responses of wise actors versus wise systems can explain this intriguing pattern of moderated mediation.

Keywords
paradox, tension, emotional ambivalence, co-opetition, management, balance, performance
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138383 (URN)10.5465/AMBPP.2017.17710abstract (DOI)
Conference
77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Atlanta, Aug 4-8, 2017
Available from: 2017-08-21 Created: 2017-08-21 Last updated: 2018-06-09

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Raza-Ullah, Tatbeeq

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