Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

John B. Ford

Committee Member

Anusorn Singhapakdi

Committee Member

Edward Markowski


Coopetition was formalized as a strategic management concept in the early 1990s by Ray Noorda, CEO of Novell, who coined the term and proposed that often, in order to achieve growth in an organization or industry, "You have to cooperate and compete at the same time" (Davis 1993). Although the individual ideas of cooperation and competition in the business environment have been well-established for some time, the formal idea of contemporaneous cooperation and competition, or cooperation among competitors, is relatively new in business and academic literature. Why is this hybrid concept important? The literature to date on coopetition and its antecedents suggests that they constitute a phenomenon that extends beyond the individual paradoxical constructs of competition and cooperation (Chen 2002). In a business environment that has historically stressed competitive advantage, the assertion that the best strategy often has multiple winners is a powerful one (Brandenburger and Nalebuff 1996). This research expands the concept of coopetition to an area in which it has not yet been studied: the nonprofit arts sector. It provides a comprehensive literature review, a posited model of coopetition and related hypotheses, and two proposed studies: a qualitative exploratory study to examine coopetition in the nonprofit arts setting, and a quantitative study to empirically assess the model and hypotheses.

Contributions of this research include: (1) an in-depth literature review of the first ten years of theoretical and empirical research on the concept of coopetition, (2) a literature review of the concepts of competition and cooperation in the context of the nonprofit arts environment, (3) presentation of a conceptual framework of coopetition in the nonprofit arts environment and related hypotheses based on the literature, and (4) qualitative and quantitative studies of the concept of coopetition in a nonprofit arts setting and a resulting understanding of how nonprofit arts coopetition in artistic, operational, marketing, and fund development contexts has the potential to impact organizational improvement in terms of participant organizational financial performance and organizational effectiveness. From an academic standpoint, this research adds to the literature in the areas of nonprofit marketing/management and coopetition/strategic management. From a nonprofit arts management and marketing standpoint, the qualitative and quantitative studies indicate that the range of potential strategic and tactical options for achieving organizational improvement is broader than traditionally contemplated, with opportunities that can be envisioned and leveraged through coopetition.


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