Coopetition or Co-opetition (sometimes spelled "coopertition" or "co-opertition") is a neologism coined to describe cooperative competition. Coopetition is a portmanteau of cooperation and competition.
Basic principles of co-opetitive structures have been described in game theory, a scientific field that received more attention with the book Theory of Games and Economic Behavior in 1944 and the works of John Forbes Nash on non-cooperative games. It is also applied in the fields of political science and economics and even universally [works of V. Frank Asaro, J.D.: Universal Co-opetition,2011, and The Tortoise Shell Code, novel, 2012].
Coopetition occurs when companies interact with partial congruence of interests. They cooperate with each other to reach a higher value creation if compared to the value created without interaction, and struggle to achieve competitive advantage.
Often coopetition takes place when companies that are in the same market work together in the exploration of knowledge and research of new products, at the same time that they compete for market-share of their products and in the exploitation of the knowledge created. In this case, the interactions occur simultaneously and in different levels in the value chain. This is the case of the arrangement between PSA Peugeot Citroën and Toyota to share components for a new city car - simultaneously sold as the Peugeot 107, the Toyota Aygo, and the Citroën C1, where companies save money on shared costs while remaining fiercely competitive in other areas. Several advantages can be foreseen, as cost reductions, resources complementarity and technological transfer. Some difficulties also exist, as distribution of control, equity in risk, complementary needs and trust. Not only two companies can interact within a coopetitive environment, but several partnerships among competitors are possible.
The word coopetition and its variants have been re-coined several times:
- In 1913 by the Sealshipt Oyster System
- In 1937 by Rockwell D. Hunt
- Around 1975 by Doug Chamberlin in a class at Adrian College, responding to an instructor's request for an appropriate new word with which to refer to "conflict over how to divide up the benefits produced by cooperation." Incorporated in 1981 college textbook Thinking About Politics: American Government in Associational Perspective (N.Y: D. Van Nostrand, 1981), chapter 9, p. 257. Text is available on-line .
- In the decade of the 1980s, V. Frank Asaro, J.D., wrote and circulated his 465 page non-fiction work, Primal Synthesis: A Balance Between Order and Chaos, which culminated in a letter from best-selling author Spencer Johnson, M.D., dated February 9,1990, urging its publication. This resulted in the later publication of Universal Co-opetition, and The Tortoise Shell Code, a novelization of co-opetition.
- Around 1992 by Raymond Noorda to characterize Novell's business strategy.
- In 1995, Daniel Ervin, CEO of Phoenix Fire Inc., which is an international business development agency that focuses on building business partner channels for technology companies, started using the word Coopertition to describe the approach of creating a partnership between two or more competing software vendors. This type of partnership enables vendors with nominal overlap in their solution portfolio to quickly gain more market share together than when they are operating apart.
- In 2000, FIRST Robotics had a competition game titled Co-Opertition FIRST. In 2009, FIRST cofounder Dean Kamen received a patent titled "Method for Creating Coopertition" (spelled as one word, with no hyphen), which involves giving FIRST Robotics teams some points scored by other teams, to encourage cooperation even as they compete. US FIRST now claims a trademark on the term on its Web site.
- In the mid-2000s, "coopetition" began to be used by Darrell Waltrip to describe the phenomenon of drivers cooperating at various phases of a race at "high speed" tracks such as Daytona and Talladaga where cooperative aerodynamic drafting is critical to a driver's ability to advance through the field. The ultimate goal for each driver, however, is to use the strategy to win.
See also 
- Competitive altruism
- Cartels are not an example of coopetition because their goal is to limit competition, and the goal of coopetition is to take advantage of the complementary resources of the firms in order to reach lower costs and manage new innovation possibilities, still regarding competition in a further moment.
- Co-Opertition FIRST
- Philosophy of FIRST
- Paul Terry Cherington, Advertising as a Business Force: A Compilation of Experience Records, Doubleday, for the Associated advertising clubs of America, 1913, p. 144 (full text at Google Books)
- "Co-opetition", Los Angeles Times, Nov 20, 1937, p. a4
- Lawrence M. Fisher, "Preaching Love Thy Competitor", New York Times, March 29, 1992 full text
- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/ray-noorda-422415.html Independent, Ray Noorda - Pioneer of 'co-opetition'
- Kamen, Dean (March 24, 2009). "US Patent 7,507,169". US Patent Office.
- "FIRST values"
- Waltrip, Darrell. "For Gordon and Johnson, "coopetition" is a winning strategy.".
- Adam Brandenburger, Barry Nalebuff 1996 Co-Opetition : A Revolution Mindset That Combines Competition and Cooperation ISBN 0-385-47950-6
- Bengtsson, M., Kock, S. (2000) Coopetition in Business Networks – to Cooperate and Compete Simultaneously Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 29, pp 411–426
- Dagnino Giovanni Battista & Padula Giovanna (2002) Coopetition strategy: towards a new kind of interfirm dynamics for value creation, EURAM 2nd annual conference, Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship, Sweden 8–10 May.
- Asaro, V. Frank (2011) Universal Co-opetition: Nature's Fusion of Cooperation and Competition. ISBN 978-1-936332-08-3. * Asaro, V. Frank (2012) The Tortoise Shell Code, a novel. ISBN 978-1-936332-60-1
- Strategic co-opetition: The value of relationships in the networked economy, A perspective from IBM
- The website to accompany the book Co-opetition by Adam M Brandenburger and Barry J Nalebuff
- Summary of Co-opetition: A Revolutionary Mindset That Combines Competition and Cooperation by Brandenburger and Nalebuff, 1998.
- Channel Register: The ugly truth about coopetition
- Coopetition in the new economy: Collaboration Among Competitors
- FIRST Values: Coopertition
- 2010 FIRST Robotics Competition:Coopertition Award
- Patent 7,507,169: Method for Creating Coopertition