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Business interaction between competitors – towards a model for analyzing strategic alliances

Jose Novais Santos (ISEG - Lisboa School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal)
Cristina Sales Baptista (ISEG - Lisboa School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Portugal)

IMP Journal

ISSN: 0809-7259

Article publication date: 19 October 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the intercompetitor relationships response to the contextual developments, the interaction processes between participants and the relationship nature and outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

A model to study intercompetitor strategic alliances, within the theoretical realm of business relationships and industrial networks, is proposed. Methodological challenges related to this phenomenon are put forward and manners to overcome them are suggested.

Findings

The proposed model encompasses four components: interaction context, relationship nature, interaction processes and relationship outcomes. The specificities of intercompetitor interaction are considered, leading to the inclusion of the relationship nature’s dimension that tackles the coopetition character of such relationships. Further, since the relational aspects of the relationship are highlighted, in relation to the economic exchanges’ characteristic of vertical relationships, it is expected, in the horizontal business interactions, that coordination processes prevail over adaptation processes.

Originality/value

Strategic alliances established between competitors are a growing phenomenon that may entail many benefits to those involved in these relationships. Still, business interactions between competitors are not sufficiently investigated and conceptualized. It is argued that an enlarged view of intercompetitor relationships is attained by using a dyadic and network perspective.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from FCT – Fundação para a Ciencia e Tecnologia (Portugal), national funding through research grant (UID/SOC/04521/2013). The authors thank Håkan Håkansson, Roberta Bocconcelli and Simone Guercini for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper. The authors also thank the two anonymous reviewers for thoughtful developmental feedback.

Citation

Santos, J.N. and Baptista, C.S. (2015), "Business interaction between competitors – towards a model for analyzing strategic alliances", IMP Journal, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 286-299. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMP-07-2015-0038

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited