Planning for coopetition to mitigate risks: Findings from three studies

In an economic environment characterized by competitive intensity and uncertainty, many companies are turning to inter-organizational cooperation to acquire key resources and capabilities, and to share risk. Increasingly, some of these collaborations are undertaken with competitors (and labelled coopetition). Coopetition therefore is emerging as an attractive strategy to achieve economies of scale, obtain complementary resources, advance knowledge, and reduce distribution risks. However, coopetition can also be characterized by opportunistic behaviors and lack of trust between partners, which can hinder any positive effects that coopetition may have on organizational performance. The current study explores the decision-making process employed when establishing coopetition, while addressing the potential impact on both risks mitigation, and long term strategy. Our findings reveal two approaches to coopetition planning, namely formal and personal. Each approach bears a different impact on risks and future strategy.