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Cooperation and competition in relationships between competitors in business networks

Maria Bengtsson (Researcher, Department of Business Administration, Umeå Business School, University of Umeå, Umeå, Sweden)
Sören Kock (Professor, Department of Marketing and Corporate Geography, Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Vasa, Finland)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 1 August 1999



Traditionally the relationships between competitors in the industrial market have been based on competition. The network approach and literature about strategic alliances have provided new insights into cooperation between firms based on the value chain. The empirical findings from two in‐depth studies, the rack and pinion industry and the lining industry, show that a firm can be involved in four different types of horizontal relationships at the same time. Apart from relationships consisting of competition or cooperation, a firm can live in symbiosis by coexisting with other relationships, or being involved in a relationship simultaneously containing elements of both cooperation and competition. Consequently, a successful firm needs to focus on relationship management in order to achieve a portfolio consisting of the four types of relationships to other horizontal firms.



Bengtsson, M. and Kock, S. (1999), "Cooperation and competition in relationships between competitors in business networks", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 178-194.




Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

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