Coopetition: theories and methods

Head: F. Le Roy

StrategiesWhen dealing with coopetition strategies it is necessary to reflect on the importance of theoretical and methodological approaches which we try to put into perspective in this research program.

The main questions refer to the perimeter of the research object and its enrolment in the theoretical framework of strategic management but also in other related fields. Several theoretical perspectives are mobilized by researchers such as:

  • classical approaches of competitive rivalry based on the analysis of market structure and the more recent contributions of competitive interactions
  • approaches based on resources and competences and the current dynamic capabilities framework
  • approaches of organizational learning, …

These perspectives provide a partial view of the phenomena and invite to reflect on a relevant analytical (specific) framework that could help understand the complexity. It does not preclude considering related fields in management research such as marketing, management control, finance or information systems that could help explain in a more practical angle the coopetitive behavior of firms.

The main complexity also leads to a second questioning which considers the different levels of analysis such as:

  • interpersonal
  • organizational
  • inter-organizational
  • network

A third questioning aims at the reflection of the dynamic behaviors that are part of the temporality. The current thinking tends to emerge models and typologies necessary to understand coopetition strategies.

In terms of methods, given the scope of the exploratory phenomenon studied, mainly based on qualitative research, it is important to reflect on the appropriate (or specific) methods in order to capture the dimensions such as ambiguity, duality, paradox, …