Far from being just buzzwords, collaboration, co-creation and co-working are also revolutionising traditional working organisation. Another hot ‘co’ trend is coopetition (a combination of “cooperative” and “competition”), an alternative development model that drives competition and innovation.
Coopetition: a new competition strategy
Based on a combination of various management theories, competition and cooperation strategies and game theory, the concept of coopetition is a new approach for companies to maintain a competitive advantage. The basis of the strategy consists in assessing the advantages of competitors joining forces and working together, in order to gain more market share (Source SearchCIO). The ultimate aim of coopetition is that rival organisations pool their knowledge and skills in order to co-innovate, boost their ecosystem and create value.
Coopetition to create products and achieve economies of scale
Coopetition has been practised for over a decade in the aviation, automotive and ICT industries, resulting in some prosperous alliances. Take, for example, Samsung and Sony’s successful collaboration in 2006 to jointly produce LCD screens, reported here by Business Week, alliances between chemical, cosmetics and hygiene groups such as Henkel
(Mir, Le Chat, Lessive X-Tra) and Reckitt-Benckisser (Woolite, Harpic, Nurofen, etc.), or Renault and Daimler’s “strategic cooperation” In 2010. The Harvard Business Review cites other examples of coopetition: again in the automobile sector, Ford and Toyota teamed up in 2013 to design a new hybrid vehicle, while Peugeot-Citroën and Toyota collaborated to build light commercial vehicles for Europe. The tech giants, meanwhile, have also gone in for coopetition: Apple and Microsoft teamed up to develop a mobile OS, including an anti-cloning agreement (Source HBR, Use co-opetition to build new lines of revenues). And let’s not forget the case of Google and Mozilla, whereby Google funded Mozilla’s Firefox web browser, a rival of its Chrome, in order to limit the scope of influence of other rival browsers such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari.