Calls for papers


International Journal of Technology Management
International Journal of Technology Management


Special Issue on: "Coopetition and Innovation"

Guest Editors:
Ricarda B. Bouncken, University of Bayreuth, Germany
Sascha Kraus, University of Liechtenstein and University of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Paavo Ritala, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland

Inter-firm relationships have become an important means to cope with ever-intensifying business dynamics and higher uncertainties (e.g. Renna & Argoneto, 2012). In this context, coopetition has been gaining momentum. Coopetition is a combination of collaboration and competition taking place in the context of a relationship, a business strategy or a business model, in which firms compete and cooperate with each other at the same time (Bengtsson & Kock, 2000; Gnyawali and Park, 2009; Ritala et al., 2014). Therefore, it is clear that collaboration and competition are not mutually exclusive, but actually often coexist and even create benefits from their joint dynamics.

Practical examples of coopetition and innovation are numerous. For instance, Toyota and General Motors in their joint development of fuel cell-powered cars; Sony, Sharp and Samsung in TV sets; Hewlett Packard, IBM and Seagate in their Linear Tape-Open (LTO) programme. Despite these examples and the rapidly growing number of related scientific publications (Bengtsson and Kock, 2014), scholars agree that coopetition as a research field is still in its infancy stage, as the body of literature is fragmented and limited in the sense that some research avenues have been explored very well while others have been almost neglected (Kock et al., 2010; Osarenkhoe, 2010). One of the less explored ones is the complex relationship between coopetition and innovation.

Compared to simple alliances among market players, coopetition entails crucial benefits for innovation activities, even though the risk of competitive (re)actions and opportunism are high in the complex and uncertain innovation process. Several empirical studies already stress the positive relationship between coopetition and various types of innovativeness (Quintana-Garcia and Benavides-Velasco, 2004; Gnyawali and Park, 2011; Bouncken and Fredrich, 2012; Ritala, 2012; Bouncken & Kraus, 2013).

However, despite the tempting advantages, firms need to consider specific risks and challenges when it comes to coopetition focused on innovation activities, too. Due to its inherently competitive nature, coopetition is fraught with the risk of opportunism and knowledge leakage (Ritala and Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, 2009). Both issues are of particular importance when dealing with coopetitive innovation as they can hamper the generation of radical innovations (Cassiman et al., 2009). Coopetitive dynamics represent a certain vulnerability for firms who need to carefully balance knowledge sharing against knowledge withholding (Baumard, 2009). Additionally, the conflicting logics of cooperation and competition imply that firms are friends and rivals at the same time: friends who share and rivals who withhold and protect information and knowledge. Therefore, there is a need for various types of research within the domain of coopetition and innovation, in order to shed more light to this multifaceted and complex phenomenon.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Coopetition and different types of innovation performance for firms, relationships and networks
  • Governance models of coopetition and innovation
  • Knowledge sharing and protection in innovation-related coopetition
  • Simultaneously creating and appropriating value from innovation in coopetition
  • Business models for coopetition and innovation
  • Coopetition and innovation within networks and ecosystems
  • Risks of coopetition in innovation context
  • Coopetition in the innovation process in diverse industries
  • Management of separation and integration alternatives in coopetition
  • Economic, cognitive and emotional tensions in coopetitive innovation processes
  • Inter-national stimuli and challenges of coopetition innovation
  • Coopetitive innovation behaviour and inter-cultural influences
Empirical (qualitative and quantitative) and theoretical/conceptual papers are welcome.

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).

All papers are refereed through a peer review process.

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page.

Important Dates

Manuscripts due by: 30 November, 2014

Notification to authors: 31 January, 2015

Final versions due by: 31 March, 2015