Coopetition close to the customer - A case study of a small business network

Tomas Johan Lindström, Pia Polsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Coopetition interactions are traditionally divided into competing activities close to the customer, called output activities (e.g., sales and marketing), and cooperating activities far from the customer, known as input activities (e.g., logistics, production and R&D). In many coopetition networks, most of the cooperation has been in input activities, essentially meaning that little research is conducted in coopetition business networkswith cooperative activities close to the customer. This article closes the gap by investigating coopetition in an ICT business network comprising small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the B2B sector. The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of cooperation between competing firms by analyzing the success factors of cooperative activities close to the customer that lead to a positive outcome of coopetition. The results of the study showthat some case companies are more competition oriented, whereas the others are more cooperation oriented. At the activity level of analysis, cooperation occurs in branding, marketing, joint customers, and delivery of services; whereas companies compete in local services, marketing campaigns, and pricing. In addition, our study shows that certain success factors for coopetition are highlighted, particularly in output activities such as activeness, geographical distance and personal resources.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Pages (from-to)207-215
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Coopetition
  • Interaction close to the customer
  • Ouput activities
  • Outcome


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