Winning Strategies for the 21st Century
Edited by Saïd Yami, Sandro Castaldo and Giovanni Battista Dagnino
Chapter 6: The Role of Architectural Players in Coopetition: The Case of the US Defense Industry
Colette Depeyre and Hervé Dumez INTRODUCTION In recent years, papers on coopetition have flourished. They have highlighted the fact that firms can compete in product development, marketing strategies and relationships with customers and suppliers, and, at the same time, cooperate to develop, for example, non-market strategies (defining standards, trying to capture states). Some theoretical issues, however, remain unexplored. Research programs focus almost exclusively on firms that compete and cooperate on a horizontal level; the role played by other actors – customers, regulators – has not been investigated. Yet these actors can have an architectural role in coopetitive behaviors and structures. Two phenomena are of particular interest. First, a lot of papers have dealt with coopetition between firms and a few ones with coopetition within firms; however, the interaction between both forms of coopetition in relation to horizontal and vertical dimensions has not been studied as such. For example, when a firm decides to cooperate with a competitor, it often places its own subsidiaries in competition with those of its competitors. The customers and regulators, as architects of coopetition, can try to shape this complex synchronic dimension. Second, coopetition deploys and changes over time (diachronic dimension). Firms can cooperate for a time then return to fierce competition, and vice versa. Again, it can be assumed that customers and regulators can have an impact on the successive forms of coopetition through their interactions with firms. To try to highlight these theoretical issues, we have completed a longitudinal case study within a specific industry. It...
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