"Coopetition" in Business Networks -- to Cooperate and Compete Simultaneously
2000 (English)In: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, Vol. 29, no 5, 411-426 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Existing theory and research on relationships among competitors focuses either on competitive or on cooperative relationships between them, and the one relationship is argued to harm or threaten the other. Little research has considered that two firms can be involved in and benefit from both cooperation and competition simultaneously, and hence that both types of relationships need to be emphasized at the same time. In this article, it is argued that the most complex, but also the most advantageous relationship between competitors, is “coopetition” where two competitors both compete and cooperate with each other. Complexity is due to the fundamentally different and contradictory logics of interaction that competition and cooperation are built on. It is of crucial importance to separate the two different parts of the relationship to manage the complexity and thereby make it possible to benefit from such a relationship. This article uses an explorative case study of two Swedish and one Finnish industries where coopetition is to be found, to develop propositions about how the competitive and cooperative part of the relationship can be divided and managed. It is shown that the two parts can be separated depending on the activities degree of proximity to the customer and on the competitors' access to specific resources. It is also shown that individuals within the firm only can act in accordance with one of the two logics of interaction at a time and hence that either the two parts have to be divided between individuals within the company, or that one part needs to be controlled and regulated by an intermediate actor such as a collective association.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 29, no 5, 411-426 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-16526DOI: doi:10.1016/S0019-8501(99)00067-XOAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-16526DiVA: diva2:156199