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Developing and validating a multi-dimensional measure of coopetition

James M. Crick (School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Dave Crick (School of Management, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 3 June 2019

Issue publication date: 14 June 2019




Coopetition, namely, the interplay between cooperation and competition, has received a good deal of interest in the business-to-business marketing literature. Academics have operationalised the coopetition construct and have used these measures to test the antecedents and consequences of firms collaborating with their competitors. However, business-to-business marketing scholars have not developed and validated an agreed operationalisation that reflects the dimensionality of the coopetition construct. Thus, the purpose of this study is to develop and validate a multi-dimensional measure of coopetition for marketing scholars to use in future research.


To use a highly cooperative and highly competitive empirical context, sporting organisations in New Zealand were sampled, as the key informants within these entities engaged in different forms of coopetition. Checks were made to ensure that the sampled entities produced generalisable results. That is, it is anticipated that the results apply to other industries with firms engaging in similar business-to-business behaviours. Various sources of qualitative and quantitative data were acquired to develop and validate a multi-dimensional measure of coopetition (the COOP scale), which passed all major assessments of reliability and validity (including common method variance).


The results indicated that coopetition is a multi-dimensional construct, comprising three distinct dimensions. First, local-level coopetition is collaboration among competing entities within a close geographic proximity. Second, national-level coopetition is cooperation with rivals within the same country but across different geographic regions. Third, organisation-level coopetition is cooperation with competitors across different firms (including with indirect rivals), regardless of their geographic location and product markets served. Indeed, organisation-level coopetition extends to how companies engage in coopetition in domestic and international capacities, depending on the extent to which they compete in similar product markets in comparison to industry rivals. Also, multiple indicators were used to measure each facet of the coopetition construct after the scale purification stage.


Prior coopetition-based investigations have predominately been conceptual or qualitative in nature. The scarce number of existing scales have significant problems, such as not appreciating that coopetition is a multi-dimensional variable, as well as using single indicators. In spite of a recent call for research on the multiple levels of coopetition, there has not been an agreed measure of the construct that accounts for its multi-dimensionality. Hence, this investigation responds to such a call for research by developing and validating the COOP scale. Local-, national- and organisation-level coopetition are anticipated to be the main facets of the coopetition construct, which offer several avenues for future research.



The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions that were used to improve the paper. The authors would also like to thank Professor John W. Cadogan for his insights that contributed to the development of this study.


Crick, J.M. and Crick, D. (2019), "Developing and validating a multi-dimensional measure of coopetition", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 665-689.



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