The Role of Strategic Motivations and Mutual Dependence on Partner Selection in SME Coopetition


Considering the Significant Economic Impact of SMEs and their Proclivity towards Collaborative Strategies, SME Coopetition Remains under Researched Despite Evidence of its Distinctiveness. Drawing Upon Resource Dependence Theory, We Develop and Test a Model that Considers the Role of Strategic Motivations, Proactive or Reactive, as Determinants of the Emphasis on Mutual Dependence in Partner Selection. We Argue that Coopetition is a Unique Avenue for Constraint Absorption that is Particularly Relevant in SMEs Motivated by Resource Limitations and Perceived Market Necessities. Further, We Argue that SMEs with More Traditional Proactive Strategic Motivations Are More Likely to View Coopetition as an Avenue for Market Exploitation and Thus Less Likely to Select Partners based on Mutual Dependence, Particularly When Engaging with Less Trusted Partners. Our Findings, based on the Study of 104 Firms in the Automotive Sector, Generally Support Our Arguments and Suggest a Number of Implications for the Continued Study of SME Coopetition.


Business and Information Technology

Keywords and Phrases

competition; coopetition; innovation; knowledge; mutual dependence; partner selection; SMEs; strategic motivations; Turkey

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1741-8054; 1476-1297

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Jan 2023