The study proposes the notion of coopetition capability as an ability to cooperate and compete with rival firms simultaneously. We draw on the tenets of the resource-based and dynamic capability theories as well as insights from in-depth qualitative studies of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in two Sub-Saharan African markets – Kenya and Zambia – to explore the conceptual domain of the coopetitive capability phenomenon. We further examine how external and internal environmental forces trigger the development of coopetition capability, and how coopetitive capability contributes to firm success outcomes. Findings from the study indicate that coopetitive capability is manifested in SMEs’ ability to proactively develop, coordinate, and learn from portfolios of inter-firm relationships with competitors. The study further finds that interactivities between regulatory requirements, customer demands, and firm-specific learning processes are major triggers of SMEs’ propensities to develop and benefit from coopetition capability. The study extends the literature on inter-organizational relationships by highlighting the conceptual domain and drivers of coopetition capability.
- 512 Företagsekonomi