Coopetition—Quo vadis? Past accomplishments and future challenges

Maria Bengtsson, Sören Kock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

434 Citations (Scopus)


Research on coopetition has been conducted for more than two decades. However, several concepts remain that require elaboration. A study on the literature shows that there is a lack of unified definitions, as various definitions have been employed in previous accomplished research. In this article we suggest that the early definition of coopetition, as a dual relationship between firms that simultaneously cooperate and compete needs to be refined. Our new definition suggests that coopetition is a paradoxical relationship between two or more actors, regardless of whether they are in horizontal or vertical relationships, simultaneously involved in cooperative and competitive interactions. We also highlight important contributions to the field, and some shortcomings that point to future challenges for coopetition research. Finally, we put forward five directions for future research: (1) understand the balancing of cooperation and competition, (2) understand the coopetition paradox and engendered tension, (3) apply a multilevel perspective on coopetition (4) understand the dynamics of coopetitive interaction, and (5) understand how coopetition impacts business models and strategy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
VolumeVolume 43
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)180-188
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 02.2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • KOTA2014

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