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New challenges in competitiveness: knowledge development and coopetition


  • Ana Villar

    (Universitat Jaume I)

  • César Camisón Zornoza

    (Universitat Jaume I)

  • Montserrat Boronat

    (Universitat Jaume I)


The main aim of this paper is to suggest how collaboration with competitors -coopetition - established for the joint creation of knowledge, could be a new opportunity that managers must evaluate as a strategic option. The literature on strategic alliances and knowledge creation is considered, together with the specific trend of alliances with competitors. Then, the process continues with the discussion of circumstances and characteristics in which coopetition could be a superior option, making it possible to develop new knowledge. Our research shows that in the case of coopetition, the two sides of the behaviour -competitive and cooperative- provide greater incentives to improve knowledge development. As this is a theoretical paper, deeper analysis is required to prove whether the advantages of strategic alliances with competitors over other alternatives are superior forms of organizing the process of knowledge creation in high-technology industries. With regard to practical implications, managers must consider the option of this kind of inter-organizational agreement with competitors as an alternative and an opportunity for integrating knowledge faster than they would in isolation. The originality of this paper lies in showing that the objective of coopetition must be the joint creation of new knowledge by partners, and in differentiating this type of cooperation from another in which the aim is to absorb knowledge from one of the partners. We present this kind of coopetition as a new strategic option that managers must evaluate, and this is the first attempt to discuss and differentiate the two types of alliances in a coopetition environment. El principal objetivo de este trabajo es sugerir cómo la colaboración con competidores, conocida con el término coopetición, establecida para la creación conjunta de conocimiento, puede suponer una nueva oportunidad que los directivos deben evaluar como una opción estratégica. Para el desarrollo del trabajo se tiene en cuenta la literatura relacionada con la creación de conocimiento y con alianzas estratégicas, junto con las especificidades de las alianzas con competidores. El trabajo continúa con la discusión de las circunstancias y características en las que la coopetición puede ser una opción superior, haciendo posible el desarrollo de nuevo conocimiento. Nuestra investigación muestra que en el caso de la cooperación con competidores, las dos características de esta relación ¿ competitiva y cooperativa -, proveen mayores incentivos para mejorar el desarrollo de conocimiento. Al tratarse de un trabajo teórico, en futuras investigaciones se debería realizar un análisis más profundo para contrastar si las ventajas de las alianzas estratégicas con competidores son superiores efectivamente a otras formas de organizar el proceso de creación de conocimiento en industrias de alta tecnología. Con respecto a las implicaciones prácticas, los directivos deberían considerar esta opción de acuerdos inter-empresariales con los competidores como una alternativa y una oportunidad para integrar conocimiento más rápido que el desarrollo de manera aislada por una sola empresa. La originalidad de este trabajo residen en mostrar que el objetivo de la coopetición puede ser la creación conjunta de conocimiento por los socios, y en diferenciar este tipo de cooperación de otros en el que el objetivo es únicamente absorber conocimiento de los socios. Presentamos esta opción de coopetición como una nueva opción estratégica que los directivos deben evaluar, y esto supone el primer intento en diferenciar estos dos tipos de alianzas en un entorno de coopetición.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana Villar & César Camisón Zornoza & Montserrat Boronat, 2009. "New challenges in competitiveness: knowledge development and coopetition," Working Papers. Serie EC 2009-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  • Handle: RePEc:ivi:wpasec:2009-04

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert M. Grant & Charles Baden-Fuller, 2004. "A Knowledge Accessing Theory of Strategic Alliances," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 61-84, January.
    2. Francisco Requena & Guadalupe Serrano & Joan Martín Montaner, 2009. "The effects of immigration on the productive structure of Spanish regions," Working Papers. Serie EC 2009-01, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    3. von Hippel, Eric, 1987. "Cooperation between rivals: Informal know-how trading," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 291-302, December.
    4. Ingemar Dierickx & Karel Cool, 1989. "Asset Stock Accumulation and Sustainability of Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(12), pages 1504-1511, December.
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    Coopetición; creación de conocimiento; alianzas estratégicas Coopetition; knowledge creation; strategic alliances;

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