Coopetition in Inter-firm Relationships: A Conceptual Development of Coopetition as a Process and a Strategy and an Empirical Investigation of the Outcomes in an International Context

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https://helda.helsinki.fi/dhanken/handle/123456789/167954
Title: Coopetition in Inter-firm Relationships: A Conceptual Development of Coopetition as a Process and a Strategy and an Empirical Investigation of the Outcomes in an International Context
Author: Dahl, Johanna
Contributor: Hanken School of Economics, Department of Management and Organisation, Management and Organisation
Belongs to series: Economics and Society – 310
ISSN: 0424-7256 (printed)
2242-699X (PDF)
ISBN: 978-952-232-333-0 (printed)
978-952-232-334-7 (PDF)
Abstract: This thesis focuses on the simultaneous existence of cooperation and competition between firms, and falls under the research area of coopetition. In recent years, coopetition, inherently complex and paradoxical in nature, has attracted increasing attention in both business practice and research. As a result, coopetition is confirmed as a phenomenon of contemporary importance to companies varying in size and industry. Moreover, from a research standpoint, coopetition has been established as a distinct theoretical approach to explain inter-firm relationships and, in particular, cooperation between directly competing firms. Yet, to advance extant knowledge on coopetition, calls have been made for research scrutinizing the interaction process and focusing on the handling of simultaneous cooperation and competition, at multiple levels of analysis starting from the individual. To this end, the overall aim of this article-based thesis is to develop a theoretical understanding of how coopetition is maintained as a process and as a strategy, alongside an empirical understanding of the interplay between cooperation and competition. The thesis answers three interrelated research questions, addressing the dynamics of coopetitive interaction, the deliberate and emergent features of coopetition, and the balancing of cooperation and competition. Article 1 contributes by conceptualizing change in coopetitive interactions through three mechanisms. The outlined mechanisms are inter-organizational learning manifested in cooperation between competitors, intra-organizational learning based on exchanges of contrasting experiences between individuals within the organization, and the development of the external business environment. The article further contributes by developing the notion that the nature of the change process underlying coopetition, in terms of the generative change mechanism and predefined or discontinuous character, depends on the balance and strength of the cooperative and competitive interactions. In Article 2, the theoretical contribution comprises a framework explaining coopetition as a deliberate and/or emergent strategy. By integrating research on strategy-as- practice and, thus, focusing on the social nature of coopetition, the framework delivers four scenarios on how coopetition strategy manifests in an organization. The framework implies that coopetition strategy ought to be explained as an activity occurring across multiple levels in an organization, and at an institutional and inter-organizational level. Furthermore, the framework broadens extant views on individuals who influence strategy and activities that may be consequential for the strategy. Article 3 contributes to discussions on the influence of different levels of strength of the cooperative and competitive interactions on relational outcomes. The contextual contribution lies in the study’s examination of coopetition in relation to the internationalization process and among a group of SMEs operating in a traditional manufacturing industry. Empirical results imply that the continuity, scope, and strategic impact of opportunities gained through coopetition vary with the balance and strength of the cooperative and competitive interactions.
URI: https://helda.helsinki.fi/dhanken/handle/123456789/167954
Date: 2017-04-07
Subject: coopetition
inter-organizational relationships
inter-organizational learning
change
strategy-as-practice
deliberate strategy
emergent strategy
international opportunities
SMEs


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