Internal Coopetition

Heads : T. Seran

Internal coopetition is defined as the jonetworks-3017398_960_720int and simultaneous occurrence of cooperation and competition across business unit (Tsai 2002; Luo 2005; Hong and Snell 2015; Seran, Pellegrin-Boucher, and Gurau 2016; Song, Lee, and Khanna 2016; Brown, Gianiodis, and Santoro 2017; Tippmann et al. 2018; Chiambaretto, Massé, and Mirc 2019), functional areas (Luo, Slotegraaf, and Pan 2006; Strese et al. 2016; Nguyen et al. 2018; Bendig et al. 2018) and between teams (Lin et al. 2010; Baruch and Lin 2012; Luft 2016; Ghobadi, Campbell, and Clegg 2017).

This phenomenon is sometimes called intra-organizational coopetition, inter-units coopetition, multi-units coopetition, cross-functional coopetition or internal coopetition. Indeed, coopetitive relationships could appear between the subsidiaries of a multinational company or between the different strategic business units, cross-functional or between teams. In the global organization for example, competition and cooperation coexist, as the sub-units are encouraged to collaborate with each other in sharing knowledge, financial/human resources or value chain rationalization to achieve synergy gains while competing for limited resources, corporate support, market expansion and global position.

In contrast to the interorganizational coopetition, in which the partner companies generally wish to cooperate, internal coopetition can be forced by headquarter or result of business units deliberate will. Also, if the inter organizational coopetition is at horizontal level generally, the internal coopetition can be both horizontal (between units) and vertical (between headquarters and functional units when their activities or functions are similar).

Our research team aims to deeper investigate the different aspects and dimensions of internal coopetition management. Among all of our research areas, we try to shed new light on:

  1. The sources of internal coopetitive tensions: what are the sources of internal coopetitive tensions? the objective is to build a typology of internal tensions and management tools associated.
  2. The coopetitive organizational design: What are the organizational designs suits to internal coopetition: a mixte of decentralization, centralization? Do internal coopetitive can be developed in other organization than multi-units organizations or multinational company?
  3. Does internal coopetitive foster innovation and organizational learning?
  4. How specific are management control systems in oriented internal coopétitive organization? Separation, integration or combination management principles are valid for internal coopetition? or new principle has to be discovered ?

The research group ‘Internal coopetition’ aims to develop research in intra organizational coopetition. We would like to welcome you to debate these questions in order to enrich our knowledge and develop the quality of our contributions.”