Coopetition for sustainability: Between organizational benefit and societal good

Siarhei Manzhynski*, Frank Figge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable development requires coopetition, that is, the cooperation of organizations that compete at the same time. Research on coopetition for sustainability is sparse. From a sustainability perspective, coopetition contributes to sustainability when it makes a positive contribution on the societal level. Existing research on coopetition however focuses on organizational outcomes. In this paper, we link organizational and societal outcomes of coopetition. We show that for the simple case of two coopting firms and an economic and an environmental dimension, there are 51 different combinations that make a positive contribution to sustainability. All but one of these combinations consist of a mix of positive and negative outcomes. We identify four types of trade-offs that can occur in coopetition for sustainability and that point to different pathways of achieving sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-837
Number of pages11
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Business Strategy and The Environment published by ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • coopetition
  • industrial symbiosis
  • sustainable development
  • tensions
  • trade-offs

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