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The cooperation-competition interplay in the ICT industry
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2018 (English)In: The journal of business & industrial marketing, ISSN 0885-8624, E-ISSN 2052-1189, Vol. 33, no 4, p. 495-505Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Building on a business network perspective, the paper addresses the following question: Why do firms move between cooperation and competition in the context of high-tech industry? Hence, the purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the complex cooperation–competition interplay between actors in a business network.

Design/methodology/approach: A single case study within the information and communication technology industry is undertaken and illustrates the cooperation–competition interplay in projects of technology.

Findings: The authors discuss the implications of interdependence on relationship dynamics. The main argument is that business relationships survive despite periods of competition if interdependence is high. Thus, firms move between a state of cooperation and a state of competition within business relationships, rather than ending the relationships when starting to compete.

Practical implications: This study suggests that managers need to pay attention to how different degrees of interdependence lead firms to be embedded in cooperative or competitive forms of relationships.

Originality/value: The paper contributes to the ongoing debate about cooperation, competition and coopetition within international business and industrial marketing literature. An interesting aspect in the paper is the cooperation–competition interplay, which is associated with positioning. A centrally positioned actor will choose who to bring into the partnership, with positioning concomitantly changing from project to project. The willingness of being a central actor, i.e. a project leader, places traditional buyer–supplier partners in competition. Thus, cooperation and/or competition becomes contextual.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 33, no 4, p. 495-505
Keywords [en]
Cooperation, Competition, Business relationship, Business network, ICT industry, Interplay
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-338349DOI: 10.1108/JBIM-02-2017-0038ISI: 000431295000008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-338349DiVA, id: diva2:1171939
Available from: 2018-01-08 Created: 2018-01-08 Last updated: 2018-07-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Complexity in the 'Extended' Business Network: A Study of Business, Social, and Political Relationships in Smart City Solutions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Complexity in the 'Extended' Business Network: A Study of Business, Social, and Political Relationships in Smart City Solutions
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis an 'extended' business network is investigated. The ‘extended’ view refers to the inclusion of socio-political actors in the firm’s business network. Building on a business network perspective, the thesis’ purpose is to understand how interactions between business, social, and political actors influence the development of smart city solutions. Based on the findings from the four articles included in the thesis, a complexity lens for further understanding of interaction with socio-political actors is presented. It argues that reaching success in the relationship entails finding a balance between economic and social needs.

Through the analysis of two smart city projects developed in Brazil, this study investigates the influence of socio-political actors on firms’ cooperative and competitive behavior as well as their decisions relating to resource allocation. The findings illustrate that decisions to cooperate or compete are associated with centrality. The firm’s willingness to be a central actor, i.e., a project leader, places traditional buyer-supplier partners in competition. In addition to this, resource allocation is closely linked to customization. In cities demanding a high level of customization of the smart city solution, companies will be encouraged to allocate resources to exploitation, while in cities requiring a low level of customization, exploration will be chosen instead. But knowledge about how to allocate resources is closely linked to the centrality issue, since a central actor may enjoy better access to a large pool of resources and information. Consequently, the final outcome in relational terms can lead to win-lose rather than a win-win situation if rivalry for centrality between business partners intensifies over time.

The study of such complex interaction contributes to the industrial marketing and business network literature by providing a practical perspective and showing how socio-political actors can be a source of competitive advantages for companies. In addition, this thesis suggests that managers need to cope with the complexity inherent in such type of relationships, primarily due the fact that interaction with socio-political actors has important competitive implications for firms. Ultimately, the thesis offers a framework for investigating complexity in actors’ interactions and resource heterogeneity that complements our understanding of intraorganizational relationships, opening opportunities for a new perspective and better comprehension of the influence of socio-political actors in firms’ business networks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Department of Business Studies, 2018. p. 89
Series
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 191
Keywords
complexity, extended business network, centrality, smart city solutions, cooperation-competition, exploration-exploitation.
National Category
Social Sciences Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-347691 (URN)978-91-506-2694-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-05-25, Hörsal 2, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10 C, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-03 Created: 2018-04-06 Last updated: 2018-05-14

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Leite, EmilenePahlberg, CeciliaÅberg, Susanne

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