Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing
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Handbook of Business-to-Business Marketing

Edited by Gary L. Lilien and Rajdeep Grewal

This insightful Handbook provides a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of business-to-business marketing. It supplies an overview and pioneers new ideas relating to the activity of building mutually value-generating relationships between organizations – from businesses to government agencies to not-for-profit organizations – and the many individuals within them.
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Chapter 20: Learning in Coopetitive Relationships

Hillbun (Dixon) Ho and Shankar Ganesan


Hillbun (Dixon) Ho and Shankar Ganesan The current business environment poses increasingly thorny challenges to organizations because of increased globalization, cut-throat competition, fast-paced technological innovations, quick product obsolescence and ever-changing consumer needs. These challenges force organizations to look beyond traditional strategies such as differentiation, cost leadership and niche segmentation if they want to outperform their rivals. As a result many firms have adopted cooperative strategies with their downstream and upstream partners to create win–win situations and positive outcomes for the entire value chain. This practice is consistent with marketing academics’ sentiments about the importance of building and maintaining long-term relationships with suppliers and customers across the entire supply chain. Over the past two decades this relationshiporiented philosophy has permeated marketing literature and the business press (Ganesan 1994; Morgan and Hunt 1994). Current literature provides a deep understanding of firms’ vertical relationships, but knowledge of horizontal relationships among firms that occupy similar positions along a supply chain is rather limited. The result is that cooperation between firms that serve the same customer or market segment has drawn limited attention from marketing academics. The focus of this chapter is on cooperation and competition at the same time among firms, a concept often referred to as ‘coopetition’. The paucity of research in this area is unfortunate, because alliances among competitors have become popular in the business community. For example, General Motors and Toyota have collaborated to manufacture automobiles, Siemens and Philips have jointly developed semiconductors, Canon has supplied photocopiers to Kodak, and...

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