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 4: Learning in Coopetitive Environments

Philippe Baumard

Subjects: business and management, strategic management


Philippe Baumard INTRODUCTION Coopetitive environments (Brandenburger and Nalebuff, 1996) are characterized by situations where firms simultaneously compete and cooperate with competitors. Such situations impede the generation of proprietary and discretionary learning, by forcing competitors to selectively share critical knowledge about their assets (Baumard, 2008). Coopetition can arise from partial or incomplete interest in a rival’s domain, where it does not require a full entry or deployment into it. Dagnino and Padula (2009) hence note that coopetition is not restricted to situations of simultaneous cooperation and competition, but rather extends to every form of strategic interdependency, where partially congruent and divergent interests need to be managed simultaneously. How do they differ from more traditional ‘collective strategies’ (Hawley, 1950; Astley and Fombrun, 1983)? Whilst collective strategies are temporary arrangements that increase the chance of success of previously or geographically competitive firms, coopetition translates into a more durable form of inescapable coexistence. In order to distinguish between the forms of dependency that link firms in such a fate, Astley and Fombrun (1983) have borrowed from Hawley’s (1950) work on the coexistence between species in a biotope to describe the forms of durable arrangements that maintain the flow of interactions between firms. They suggest that the dependence upon a shared resource (commensalism), the mutual and symmetric dependence on core assets (symbiotic relations), or the dependence of a smaller player upon an architecture generated by a large incumbent (parasitism) trigger different environmental configurations, such as federations or conglomerates. While mixed motives (Axelrod, 1984; Schelling, 1960)...

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