This article predicts that strategic planners in organisations of the future need to consider the potential benefits of collaborating, co‐operating and co‐ordinating with others serving the same markets, rather than pursuing conventional “competition”. The author defines this new mindset as “co‐opetition”. It has been observed that the competitive psychology represents oneself as being better than others, and stresses the winning of more resources at their expense. The antithesis is active co‐operation, wherein one embraces competitors in partnership to the benefit of all. It is argued that the new business environment demands new kinds of business relationships, and that “co‐opetitive” partnerships have emerged as a more effective response to changed environmental threats and opportunities. Co‐opetition can deliver synergy if carefully planned, managed and controlled, and preconditions for achieving this outcome are examined. Equally, weak management of a relationship can produce the opposite effect, so preconditions for survival are also discussed. The conclusion is that, on balance, co‐opetition deserves marketing planners' close attention.
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