David and Goliath: causes and effects of coopetition between start-ups and corporates

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Hora, W., Gast, J., Kailer, N., Rey-Marti, A., & Mas-Tur, A. (2018). David and Goliath: causes and effects of coopetition between start-ups and corporates. Review of Managerial Science, 12(2), 411-439. (ABS_2021: 2; VHB_3: B)

Publication type

Article in Scientific Journal


Coopetition (collaboration between competitors) among young firms (i.e. start-ups) and larger, more established firms (i.e. corporates) may be beneficial for both partners as each party typically has something to offer that is missing in the other. Start-ups often develop innovative ideas, are flexible and agile, willing to take risks, and aspire to achieve high growth, but they tend to lack the required resources, capabilities, and knowledge due to their newness and smallness. Corporates have resources, routines, and experience that enable them to work efficiently but lack a certain innovation capability. Research has suggested that coopetition represents an opportunity for start-ups facing restrictions in resources, while corporates benefit from start-ups’ innovative ideas. However, it is yet unknown whether start-ups and corporates engage in coopetition with each other and, if so, how and why they do this. This study seeks to fill this void by exploring the motives of coopeting start-ups and corporates, how they manage their coopetitive relationship, and what implications occur including potential benefits and risks. We present a multiple case study based on qualitative data collected through 70 interviews with Austrian-based start-ups and corporates representing 35 coopetitive partnerships. Discussing the findings based on our data, we propose relationships concerning coopetition and its role to enlarge resource- and technology-bases as well as its role in the development of dynamic capabilities.


Organizational Units

  • Chair of Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management

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