Winning Strategies for the 21st Century

Edited by Saïd Yami, Sandro Castaldo and Giovanni Battista Dagnino

As an original strategic management perspective, coopetition has hitherto been underexploited in analysing contemporary firm strategies and behaviours and, more generally, managerial practices and processes. This innovative book provides both theoretical insights and empirical evidence on coopetition.

Chapter 3: Emerging Coopetition: An Empirical Investigation of Coopetition as Inter-organizational Relationship Instability

Wojciech Czakon

Subjects: business and management, strategic management


Wojciech Czakon INTRODUCTION Since the seminal study by H. Mintzberg and J. Waters (1985) we have been aware that any deliberate strategy has its emerging alter ego. Most generally, emergence means ‘patterns realized despite of, or in the absence of intentions’ (Mintzberg, Waters, 1985), that is, all behaviors, processes and actually implemented strategies which have not been previously planned in a rational or formalized process. Emergence refers to responsiveness, intuition and social embeddedness, and points to the gap between what has been planned versus what is actually being done. Relationships between firms attract considerable attention from strategic management researchers. For several years academics focused on competitive relationships (Porter, 1980), yet businesses also cooperate with each other, in various ways and forms. Since the early 1980s, we have been able to observe a soaring interest in alliances, joint ventures, collusions, federations, clusters and so on, collectively called interorganizational relationships or IORs (for a review see: Oliver, Ebers, 1998). The cooperative paradigm revealed itself incomplete in explaining business profitability variance (Dyer, Singh, 1998), just as the competitive paradigm did earlier (Rumelt, 1991). Coopetition is a strategy designed to achieve better performance levels (Brandenburger, Nalebuff, 1996), and ultimately above average profitability, through cooperation with a firm’s competitors. When cooperation appears between competitors or, alternatively, competition emerges between cooperating businesses, such phenomena are also called coopetition. Coopetition seems in this context to be a dynamic phenomenon, much more of a process than of a status rei. While our understanding of the deliberate side of...

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