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Unpacking the relationship between a coopetition-oriented mindset and coopetition-oriented behaviours

James M. Crick (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 3 September 2020

Issue publication date: 11 March 2021




Earlier work has suggested that assumptions, values and beliefs about the importance of cooperating with competitors (a coopetition-oriented mindset) should manifest into behavioural forms of coopetition, such as resource and capability-sharing activities. Yet, limited research surrounds the complexities of this link. The purpose of this study is to unpack the relationship between a coopetition-oriented mindset and coopetition-oriented behaviours under the moderating roles of industry experience and degree of internationalization, guided by resource-based theory and the relational view.


The chosen empirical context was the Canadian wine industry because wine producers are often involved in coopetition strategies and have varying degrees of internationalisation. Preliminary interview data were collected from 18 managers to shape the operationalisations. Then survey data were collected from 195 Canadian wine producers. After checking the statistical data for all major assessments of reliability and validity (together with common method variance), the hypothesised and control paths were tested through hierarchical regression.


A coopetition-oriented mindset had a positive and significant association with coopetition-oriented behaviours. Surprisingly, this link was negatively moderated by industry experience. Additionally, degree of internationalisation yielded a positive moderation effect. These moderators highlight situations where a coopetition-oriented mindset is (and is not) likely to manifest into coopetition activities.

Practical implications

If firms aim to engage in behavioural forms of coopetition, they should manage assumptions, values and beliefs associated with the advantages of collaborating with their competitors. Industry experience can limit the extent to which business’ coopetition-oriented mindsets manifest into coopetition-oriented behaviours. This could be explained by decision makers possessing information that discourages them from working with certain (untrustworthy) rivals because of the potential harmful effects on their performance. Companies should use their industry experience to avoid working with rival entities that will create negative outcomes, such as tensions (e.g., conflict, power imbalances and opportunistic behaviours), lost intellectual property and diluted competitive advantages. Nonetheless, industry experience might signify that there are more risks than rewards linked with these business-to-business marketing strategies. Higher levels of internationalisation can help firms to recognise that coopetition-oriented behaviours may lead to performance-enhancing opportunities in their overseas markets.


This investigation contributes to the business-to-business marketing literature with new evidence on how organisations can foster a coopetition-oriented mindset to engage in coopetition strategies. The negative moderation effect from industry experience highlights that knowledge of competitors’ activities can limit the extent to which coopetition-oriented behaviours are implemented. Moreover, the positive interaction effect from degree of internationalisation extends the growing body of knowledge pertaining to coopetition in an international arena. Collectively, these results show that while a coopetition-oriented mindset is a critical driver of coopetition-oriented behaviours, there are certain contingencies that can strengthen or weaken this association. Finally, by integrating resource-based theory and the relational view, this paper could explore the different forms of coopetition, in terms of organisation-wide mindsets and firm-level behaviours. This paper concludes with some managerial recommendations, alongside a series of limitations and avenues for future research.



The author would like to thank the Centre for Service Management at Loughborough University for the financial support leading to this study.


Crick, J.M. (2021), "Unpacking the relationship between a coopetition-oriented mindset and coopetition-oriented behaviours", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 3, pp. 400-419.



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