With Maria Bengtsson (Umea University), Anne-Sophie Fernandez (University of Montpellier) and Malin Näsholm (Umea University), we wrote a research article entitled "Small and large firms’ trade-off between benefits and risks when choosing a coopetitor for innovation" that just got published in Long Range Planning.
More precisely, this research investigates the extent to which small and large firms differ when assessing the benefits and risks provided by competitors as partners in innovation. Scholars have shown that coopetition can provide both significant benefits and risks for participating firms. The risks associated with firm competition and the trade-off firms make between the risks and benefits that can be obtained through coopetition must be considered when choosing a partnering firm. In addition, we argue that the firm size could affect the evaluation of benefits and the willingness to take risks such that small and large firms differ in their decision making. Therefore, we address the following questions: First, when choosing a coopetitor with which to innovate, to what extent do small and large firms differ in their evaluation of the benefits and risks associated to coopetition? Second, how does this evaluation influence firms’ willingness to coopete? We draw on research on coopetition to hypothesize that small and large firms differ in their evaluation of the six most important benefits of coopetition. To test our hypotheses, we rely on an experimental research design based on a choice-based conjoint (CBC) analysis applied to a sample of innovative Swedish firms. Our results confirm that small and large firms value the benefits and risks associated with coopetitors differently. We show that small firms are less reluctant to coopete than large firms, especially if coopetition allows them to reduce their costs and learn from their coopetitor. In contrast, we show that large firms agree to coopete if coopetition enables them to reduce their time-to-market.
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