coopetition as a small business strategy.pdf

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Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Journal of Small Business Strategy Hence, for small firms, partnerships with competitors are indeed predicated on mutual benefit, trust, and commitment. The findings for commitment and trust are consistent with the work of Morgan and Hunt (1994) who emphasize the roles of commitment and trust in mediating successful business relationships not involving competitors. However, mutual benefit also becomes critical when working with a competitor, and particularly, benefits related to the resources and information the firms will acquire and the market positions the firms will assume. With regard to the trust dimension, small firms are more likely to partner with competitors perceived to be honest and reliable. Other key aspects of trust include the sense that partners will be loyal to the relationship, and not arbitrarily leave for alternative relationships, and they will consistently honor their commitments. Further, trust is strongly influenced by openness in information sharing. For the commitment dimension, the central concern appears to be the perception that the other party is dedicated to strengthening not only their own pos1t1on, but the relationship's position in the marketplace. Hence, commitment is to the success of the dyad, and so, to the achievement of market advantage by the other party. Similarly, each party has a sense of obligation and responsibility for goals and activities that contribute to relationship outcomes as opposed to organizational outcomes alone. Yet, trust and commitment must also be coupled with a clear sense that both parties actually benefit from the relationship. While under-emphasized as a unique dimension in other research, mutual benefits obviously can take many forms. The current research suggests that small firms are especially concerned with obtaining resources otherwise unavailable to them, including key forms of information that can serve to enhance their market performance. The 51 Vol. 18, No. 1Spring/Summer2007 perception of mutual benefit appears to be greater when the prospective partner is smaller in size that the entrepreneur's firm. The findings also indicate that the three dimensions are significantly correlated with each other. While trust and commitment demonstrated higher inter-correlations, both were positively associated with mutual benefit. It may well be that trust and commitment are more dependent upon one another. At the same time, it would seem that mutual benefit can occur even absent high levels of trust or commitment, while actual levels of benefit realized are subject to uncontrollable influences even where trust and commitment are high.
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  • Fall '19
  • partner, Firm, Journal of Small Business Strategy

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