Collaboration and competition : exploring the effects of alliances and networks on rivalry

A.P. de Man

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The increase in collaboration between companies has a marked effect on competition. Counter to intuition, collaboration may lead to an increase in rivalry. Most companies collaborate for offensive instead of defensive reasons. They aim to innovate and learn, rather than corner markets and raise prices. Moreover, three new forms of competition have come into being that stimulate rivalry. The first form is co-opetition. Companies cooperate and compete simultaneously. Three types of co-opetition are distinguished: direct, indirect and asynchronous. A second new form of competition is group-based competition, which occurs when groups of companies compete with other groups of companies. The final new form of competition is organization-form-based competition, which occurs when a group of companies collaborates with for example a vertically integrated enterprise. A final reason why the recent trend towards collaboration may not pose a threat to competition is that collaborative structures are rarely stable. Instead companies enter and exit networks on a continuous basis. Any competition-limiting effect is therefore bound to be temporary. This analysis of competition in and around networks and alliances aims to explore the nature of competition in a network economy. It shows that alliances and networks only curb competition when three specific conditions are met. Implications for governmental policy, management and research are defined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-26
JournalJournal on Chain and Network Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


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