Interfirm coopetition: antecedents, tensions, and performance outcomes

  • Chandrasekararao Seepana

Student thesis: Phd


While the research on the phenomenon of coopetition has increased significantly during the recent years, scholars in the operations management discipline have started to embrace it more swiftly. However, this line of enquiry often embodies loosely connected body of works, underdeveloped concepts, and a little work that could comprehend the significance of (a) interrelationships among antecedents that could lead firms to pursue coopetition, (b) relationships among tensions and tensions management, and (c) complementarity between firm-specific strategic resources and capabilities to generate performance benefits – the three important yet interrelated areas within interfirm coopetition research. To shed light on these knowledge gaps, this thesis is conducted to examine the overarching research question – “How the interrelationships among antecedents, and tensions, and resources and capabilities influence various outcomes within horizontal interfirm coopetition?”. The study utilizes survey data collected from 313 firms that engage in horizontal coopetition relationships in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. The findings of the thesis contributes to existing body of knowledge in operations management as well as strategic alliances. When it comes to the antecedents, the research findings reveal the importance of interplay between key variables of strategic intent, knowledge sharing, and ambidextrous managers for firms in their pursuit of coopetition relationships. It forwards that when complemented with knowledge sharing routines, a firm’s strategic intent could better guide the firm’s ambidextrous managers to pursue a successful coopetition. As for the tensions, the findings demonstrate that engaging in coopetition relationships alone will not directly lead to partner’s opportunism. However, firms’ interdependence positively mediates the relationship between coopetition and opportunism when formalization simultaneously moderates the relationships involving coopetition and interdependence as well as coopetition and opportunism. When it comes to the performance outcomes, findings reveal that a firm’s use of entrepreneurial orientation as a strategic resource, and potential absorptive capacity and strategic intent as strategic capabilities lead to innovation and operational performance benefits for the firm from its engagement in coopetition. However, these capabilities moderate the relationship between entrepreneurial orientation on performance outcomes differently. Overall, while addressing various knowledge gaps in extant literature, the thesis findings make significant contributions to extant coopetition research.
Date of Award1 Aug 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorFahian Huq (Supervisor) & Antony Paulraj (Supervisor)


  • Radical innovation
  • Coopetition
  • Formalization
  • Opportunism
  • Interdependence
  • Operational performance
  • Absorptive capacity
  • Entrepreneurial orientation
  • Knowledge sharing routines
  • Ambidextrous managers
  • Strategic intent
  • Horizontal coopetition
  • Incremental innovation

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