The emerging role of coopetition within inter-firm relationships

Zach Zacharia, Michael Plasch, Usha Mohan, Markus Gerschberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Increasing environmental uncertainty, more demanding customers, rapid technological growth and rising capital costs have all forced firms to evolve from collaborating with buyers and suppliers to collaborating with their competitors and that is called coopetition. The purpose of this paper is to better understand the antecedents and outcomes associated with coopetition. Design/methodology/approach: Building from the existing literature and three theoretical foundations, resource-based theory, resource dependence theory and game theory, the authors develop a model showing the antecedents and outcomes of coopetition and associated propositions of coopetition. Using a semi-structured interview process of 21 industry executives, the authors offer empirical support for the proposed coopetition model and propositions. Findings: Firms are increasingly dependent on the knowledge and expertise in external organizations to innovate, solve problems and improve supply chain performance. This research suggests that there is a value for firms to consider coopetition as a part of their inter-firm strategies. Research limitations/implications: The semi-structured interview process used in this research provided a wealth of information and executive experiences in coopetition. The interviews, however, only provide a single perspective of collaborative engagements with competitors. Multiple perspectives of each project would add value to this research. Originality/value: Collaboration among buyers and suppliers have been well researched; however, there has not been as much research on coopetition. This research provides a new area for future research for academics and offers suggestions for managers to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their coopetition projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)414-437
Number of pages24
JournalThe International Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2019


  • Asia
  • Buyer–supplier relationships
  • Case study
  • Strategic management
  • Supplier management


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