Coopetition or co-opetition (sometimes spelled "coopertition" or "co-opertition") is a neologism coined to describe cooperative competition. Coopetition is a portmanteau of cooperation and competition, emphasizing the "petition"-like nature of joint work.

Basic principles of co-opetitive structures have been described in game theory, a scientific field that received more attention with the book Theory of Games and Economic Behavior in 1944 and the works of John Forbes Nash on non-cooperative games.

Coopetition occurs at inter-organizational or intra-organizational levels.

At inter-organisational level, coopetition occurs when companies interact with partial congruence of interests. They cooperate with each other to reach a higher value creation if compared to the value created without interaction and struggle to achieve competitive advantage. Often coopetition takes place when companies that are in the same market work together in the exploration of knowledge and research of new products, at the same time that they compete for market-share of their products and in the exploitation of the knowledge created. In this case, the interactions occur simultaneously and in different levels in the value chain. This is the case of the arrangement between PSA Peugeot Citroën and Toyota to share components for a new city car—simultaneously sold as the Peugeot 107, the Toyota Aygo, and the Citroën C1, where companies save money on shared costs while remaining fiercely competitive in other areas. Several advantages can be foreseen, as cost reductions, resources complementarity and technological transfer. Some difficulties also exist, as distribution of control, equity in risk, complementary needs and trust. It is possible for more than two companies to be involved in coopetition with one another.

At intra-organizational level, coopetition occurs between individuals or functional units within the same organization. Based on game theory [1] and social interdependence theories, some studies investigate the presence of simultaneous cooperation and competition among functional units, the antecedents of coopetition, and its impact on knowledge sharing behaviors. For example, the concept of coopetitive knowledge sharing is developed to explain mechanisms through which coopetition influences effective knowledge sharing practices in cross-functional teams.[2] The underlying argument is that while organizational teams need to cooperate, they are likely to experience tension caused by diverse professional philosophies and competing goals from different cross-functional representatives.[3]

History of the word

The word coopetition and its variants have been re-coined several times:

See also


  1. Loebecke, C; Van Fenema, P; Powell, P (1999). "Coopetition and Knowledge Transfer". ACM SIGMIS Database - Special issue on information systems: current issues and future changes. 30 (2): 14–25.
  2. Ghobadi, S. "Knowledge sharing in cross‐functional teams: a coopetitive model". Journal of Knowledge Management. 16 (2): 285–301. doi:10.1108/13673271211218889.
  3. Ghobadi, Shahla; D'Ambra, John. "Coopetitive knowledge sharing: An analytical review of literature". The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management. 9 (4): 307–317.
  4. Paul Terry Cherington, Advertising as a Business Force: A Compilation of Experience Records, Doubleday, for the Associated advertising clubs of America, 1913, p. 144 (full text at Google Books)
  5. "Co-opetition", Los Angeles Times, Nov 20, 1937, p. a4
  6. Lawrence M. Fisher, "Preaching Love Thy Competitor", New York Times, March 29, 1992 full text
  7. Independent, Ray Noorda - Pioneer of 'co-opetition'
  9. Kamen, Dean (March 24, 2009). "US Patent 7,507,169". US Patent Office.
  10. "FIRST values"
  11. Waltrip, Darrell. "For Gordon and Johnson, "coopetition" is a winning strategy.".
  12. Gnyawali, Devi R.; Park, Byung-Jin (Robert) (2011-06-01). "Co-opetition between giants: Collaboration with competitors for technological innovation". Research Policy. 40 (5): 650–663. doi:10.1016/j.respol.2011.01.009.
  13. Gnyawali, Devi R.; Park, Byung-Jin (Robert) (2009-07-01). "Co-opetition and Technological Innovation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises: A Multilevel Conceptual Model". Journal of Small Business Management. 47 (3): 308–330. doi:10.1111/j.1540-627X.2009.00273.x. ISSN 1540-627X.
  14. Ghobadi, S. (2012). "Coopetitive relationships in cross-functional software development teams: How to model and measure?". Journal of Systems and Software. 85 (5): 1096–1104. doi:10.1016/j.jss.2011.12.027.
  15. Ghobadi, S (2012). "Modeling High-Quality Knowledge Sharing in cross-functional development teams". Information Processing & Management. 49 (1): 138–157. doi:10.1016/j.ipm.2012.07.001.


External links

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