Handbook of Research on Competitive Strategy
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Handbook of Research on Competitive Strategy

Edited by Giovanni Battista Dagnino

The Handbook of Research on Competitive Strategy presents a comprehensive state-of-the-art picture of current strategic management issues and demarcates the major investigation strands that are likely to shape the field into the future.
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Chapter 23: Coopetition: Nature, Challenges, and Implications for Firms’ Strategic Behavior and Managerial Mindset

Giovanni Battista Dagnino, Maria Chiara Di Guardo and Giovanna Padula


Giovanni Battista Dagnino, Maria Chiara Di Guardo and Giovanna Padula INTRODUCTION Dating back to Brandenburger and Nalebuff (1996)’s seminal work, management scholars have started recognizing that interfirm interdependences across multiple industries are characterized by strictly intertwined features of competition and cooperation. Coopetition is the way these interfirm interdependences have been labeled (e.g. in Brandenburger and Nalebuff, 1996). While the ‘flavor’ of coopetition has been to some extent present in the elaboration of thought since the work of Adam Smith (see our comments below on Smith’s 1759 Theory of Moral Sentiments), the recent and steady increase in the attitude of firms to cooperate has made this phenomenon increasingly visible and has started sparking considerable interest in coopetition as a stream of research on its own. We claim that understanding interfirm interdependences as a coopetitive game provides new challenges in the strategic behavior of the firms and call for the need to develop a novel managerial mindset and a coopetitive strategy (Dagnino, 2007). Whereas various authors (Brandenburger and Nalebuff, 1996; Lado et al., 1997; Bengtsson and Kock, 1999; Gnyawali and Madhavan, 2001) have emphasized the growing importance of coopetition for today’s interfirm dynamics, scientific investigation on the issue of coopetition is at the beginning of its lifecycle (Walley, 2007; Tidstrom, 2008). Accordingly coopetition is a theme that tends to attract increasing attention from both strategy research (Baglieri et al., 2008) and practice (Dagnino and Rocco, 2009). This chapter contributes to the debate on coopetition by providing an analytical understanding of the...

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