6From Cooperation to Coopetition

6.1. Introduction

According to Walley (2007), the origin of the term “coopetition” is not clear1. Albert (1999) considered that the notion of coopetition emerged in 1991, but many authors state that the concept was originated by Ray Noorda, founder and manager of Novell society, who coined the term in the 1980s.

The concept of coopetition is relatively complex and demands several levels of analysis, which we have already explored in the general introduction of our book. [DAG 07] suggested approaching the concept of coopetition from three perspectives: macroeconomic (country, the totality of firms), mesoeconomic (relationships between firms, manufacturer–supplier relationships) and microeconomic (firms, groups, individuals, within companies).

“Far from being a compact monolith, the coopetitive strategy is a multidimensional and multifaceted concept which assumes a number of forms and multiple levels of analysis, and for which it is all but easy to grasp its structure, processes and evolving patterns” [DAG 02].

The purpose of this chapter is to study coopetition in association with two concepts: alliances (dyadic level) and a specific form of inter-organizational networks related to business ecosystems. Although in the first phase of our work we studied coopetition in line with the cooperative logic of alliances and agreements, coopetition is increasingly associated with the notion of business ecosystem and constitutes one of its decisive elements. ...

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