Cooperation have in previous research been seen as a negative impact on competition and
vice versa. This thesis is building on a concept called coopetition in which cooperation and
competition is studied simultaneously. Coopetition have been studied in terms of the level of
cooperation and competition. However, we found a possible link between coopetition and
complexity in previous literature. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore whether
complexity can develop an understanding for what organizations within a company group
cooperate and compete about as well what they want to cooperate and compete about.
The four main cornerstones in the theoretical frame of reference is cooperation, competition,
coopetition and complexity. We begin by defining these concepts, describing previous
research and discuss various factors of the concepts. Finally, we further develop the possible
link between coopetition and complexity.
For reaching our purpose we study a company group in the travel industry. We are
conducting unstructured interviews with people at leading positions in the company group.
Our analysis is done by thematic network analysis in six steps.
The empirical data is coded, basic themes are found and a condensed version of the
interviews is presented together with a short presentation about the company group.
In the analysis we present two global themes, cooperation and competition. These are both
derived from the basic themes and organizing themes. The factors of complexity are the
Our conclusion is that complexity can categorize wanted and actual cooperation in the
company group in the sense that complexity has to be lowered for cooperation to exist.
Regarding competition, we did not draw any conclusion to our purpose due to lack of data.
However, we find that competition is mainly seen as negative in the coopetitive situation
The implications of this thesis is that complexity can further refine the concept of coopetition
but the causality have to be further tested. In a managerial perspective, leaders should focus
on decreasing the factors of complexity if cooperation is wanted. We also suggest that it is
important to understand if people in organizations are positive towards cooperation and
negative to competition or the other way around.
2011. , 60 p.