Discontinuities, competition, and cooperation: Coopetitive dynamics between incumbents and entrants

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Title: Discontinuities, competition, and cooperation: Coopetitive dynamics between incumbents and entrants
Authors: Cozzolino, Alessio
Rothaermel, Frank
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/9566
Date: Dec-2018
Abstract: Research Summary: We advance an integrative model in which distinct types of technological discontinuities (core‐knowledge vs. complementary‐asset) are combined with different appropriability regimes (strong vs. weak) to predict competitive and cooperative dynamics between incumbents and entrants. We posit that incumbents ally with entrants following a core‐knowledge discontinuity when the appropriability regime is strong. When the appropriability regime is weak, incumbents are more likely to acquire entrants. We submit that the additional consideration of complementary‐asset discontinuities reveals a more integrated theoretical model of competition and cooperation between incumbents and entrants. In particular, incumbents tend to cooperate among themselves following complementary‐asset discontinuities, although we highlight theoretical nuances due to different appropriability regimes. We provide falsifiable propositions, and introduce contingencies such as firm‐level heterogeneity and time dynamics. --- Managerial Summary: Interfirm cooperation is one possible avenue for existing firms to address the challenge of responding to discontinuous technological changes. What is not clear, however, is who should the incumbent ally with: other incumbents or new entrants? We provide an integrative framework to help managers to decide when to cooperate with competitors and when to cooperate with new entrants. When the core knowledge of incumbent firms is made obsolete by technological advances and intellectual property is fairly well protected, managers of existing firms should search out collaboration with new entrants. If intellectual property protection is weak, managers of incumbents firms are better off acquiring new entrants. When the downstream complementary resources such manufacturing, distribution, and sales are replaced by radically new technologies, then incumbents best option is cooperate with other incumbents in order to compete against new entrants.
Funding Details: University College Dublin
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Wiley
Journal: Strategic Management Journal
Volume: 39
Issue: 12
Start page: 3053
End page: 3085
Copyright (published version): 2018 Wiley
Keywords: CapabilitiesComplementary assetsCoopetitionInnovationPlatform strategy
DOI: 10.1002/smj.2776
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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