Review of Managerial Science

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 1025–1053 | Cite as

In search for the ideal coopetition partner: an experimental study

  • Sascha KrausEmail author
  • Fabian Meier
  • Thomas Niemand
  • Ricarda B. Bouncken
  • Paavo Ritala
Original Paper


Coopetition (collaboration between competitors) has the potential to provide major benefits or losses to participating firms. Entering a partnership with a competitor is a strategic decision with potential long-term consequences rendering the choice of partner of key importance. Existing research has investigated partner’s strategic attributes, but not how the inter-organizational factors between coopetiting firms affect partner selection and on which layers those effects occur. We use a vignette study for reducing this gap, representing the first experimental study on the field of coopetition research. The results from our study from 874 evaluations of potential coopetition partnerships by key informants from Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland offer insights into how the possible partner’s role, resource alignment and the planned activity affect partner selection. The findings suggest that the partner’s role in the markets—i.e. whether it is a direct or an indirect competitor—is critical in partner selection. The planned activity and resource configuration is also found to influence the evaluation of possible coopetition partners. Overall, the results of this first experimental study in coopetition research provide important implications to both theory and practice.


Coopetition Partner selection Experiment 

JEL Classification

D74 L26 L10 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sascha Kraus
    • 1
    Email author
  • Fabian Meier
    • 1
  • Thomas Niemand
    • 1
  • Ricarda B. Bouncken
    • 2
  • Paavo Ritala
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for EntrepreneurshipUniversity of LiechtensteinVaduzPrincipality of Liechtenstein
  2. 2.Chair of Strategic Management and OrganizationUniversity of BayreuthBayreuthGermany
  3. 3.School of Business and ManagementLaappeenranta University of TechnologyLappeenrantaFinland

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