Title: Is coopetition different from cooperation? The impact of market rivalry on value creation in alliances

Authors: Paavo Ritala

Addresses: Lappeenranta School of Business, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FI-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland

Abstract: Alliances between competitors (i.e., coopetition) are traditionally considered risky because there is a threat that the firm|s intellectual property (especially proprietary knowledge) is acquired by a competitor and used for competitive purposes. However, there is evidence that coopetition also offers significant value creation opportunities. These distinctive risks and benefits arise from the fact that the collaborating firms are rivals in the end-product and strategic resource markets. This study contributes to the current literature by conceptually analysing the impact of market rivalry on the basis of value creation in interfirm alliances. The results imply that coopetition is not risky or beneficial by definition. In particular, the way that the competing firms design and manage the alliance with respect to market rivalry and their common and specialised knowledge actually determine how the benefits and risks in such a relationship are structured.

Keywords: coopetition; competition; cooperation; market rivalry; intellectual property; proprietary knowledge; value creation; interfirm alliances; collaboration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2009.022955

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2009 Vol.3 No.1, pp.39 - 55

Published online: 04 Feb 2009 *

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