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Collaborating with Complementors: What Do Firms Do?

Collaboration and Competition in Business Ecosystems

ISBN: 978-1-78190-826-6, eISBN: 978-1-78190-827-3

Publication date: 26 August 2014


The study considers the interdependencies between complementors in the business ecosystem and explores the nature of collaborative interactions between them. It sheds light on the organizational and the strategic contexts in which such interactions take place, and shows how they may influence the pattern and the benefits of collaboration. The evidence presented is based on fieldwork followed by a detailed survey instrument administered to firms in the semiconductor industry. The findings, while reinforcing the shift in the locus of value creation from focal firms to collaborative business ecosystems characterized by information sharing and joint action among complementors, illustrate the organizational and the competitive challenges that firms face in their pursuit of joint value creation.



I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA) and ATREG, Inc., for their excellent partnership, and to the many industry executives who provided me with valuable insights over the course of this project. Many colleagues provided feedback on the survey design. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the help of Matthew Bidwell, Katherine Klein, John Paul MacDuffie, and Anne Parmigiani. I am thankful to the Global Initiatives Research Program and the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School for the financial support. Justin Mardjuki and Yingnan Xu provided excellent research assistance. All errors are mine.


Kapoor, R. (2014), "Collaborating with Complementors: What Do Firms Do?", Collaboration and Competition in Business Ecosystems (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 30), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 3-25.



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