Balancing Opportunistic Behavior in Times of Coopetition – A Case Study of German Automotive Suppliers

Fojcik, T. M., Schilling L., & Proff H. (2013).  Balancing Opportunistic Behavior in Times of Coopetition – A Case Study of German Automotive Suppliers. Gerpisa colloquium.

While in the past, cooperations in the automotive industry mostly took place in the vertical dimension of the supply chain, today it is ascertainable that a growing number of cooperations arise at the horizontal level and thus between direct competitors. The large number of examples in the supplier industry indicates that automotive suppliers attempt to combine resources and competences with direct competitors to ensure competitive advantages and firm performance. But in this context the paradox of coopetition, i.e. the simultaneous cooperation and competition of at least two companies, occurs. The concomitance of cooperation and competition leads to opportunism among the involved collaboration parties, which in turn, is supposed to be one of the main threats of the success of cooperations in the automotive industry as well as other business sectors. But conversely, opportunism can stimulate competition and finally entails competitive advantages for at least one collaboration party. Insofar, in coopetition settings the consideration of opportunistic behavior is crucial, because strong (low) opportunism can either have a positive (negative) effect on competitive behavior or a negative (positive) effect on cooperative actions. Thus, the purpose in case of the coopetition paradox is rather to find a balance of opportunism between cooperative and competitive actions. lire la suite

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