Clashes between contending
market regimes: a challenge for
ﬁrms in converging industries
Maria Bengtsson and Marlene Johansson
Department of Entrepreneurship, Umea
School of Business,
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual framework that describes three
contending market regimes in converging industries, and to use this framework to study clashes
between different regimes and the implication they have on ﬁrms’ competitive strategies. More
speciﬁcally, the challenges of competitors simultaneously acting in accordance with a competitive,
a cooperative, and a co-opetitive market regime.
Design/methodology/approach – An exploratory case study of the interaction between ﬁrms
within the IT and telecom industry is conducted.
Findings – The paper brings forward clashes between different market regimes in converging
industries and six propositions are formulated. The study furthermore shows how ﬁrms respond
differently to a demand-driven convergence, some act in accordance with a competitive regime and try
to exclude others whereas others act in accordance with the co-opetitive regime and cooperate with
competitors to develop new product offers.
Research limitations/implications – The paper concludes that there are several challenges in
transforming from a competitive to a co-opetitive regime, and there is therefore a need to further
explore the clashes observed in this study.
Originality/value – Few empirical studies have been conducted of the converging IT and telecom
industries and this paper reveals several new insights about this market context and the challenges it
provides. The paper develops a theoretical framework for an analysis of converging industries and
provides an insight about clashes that develop between different market regimes. It also describes the
challenges ﬁrms are facing as a result of these clashes.
Keywords Co-opetition, Industry convergence, Acquisition, Market regimes, Competitive strategy,
Telecommunications industry, Information technology
Paper type Research paper
Over the last decade, research has begun to acknowledge the convergence of industries,
which is deﬁned by Choi and Valikangas (2001) as the blurring of industry boundaries
by the converging of value propositions, technologies and market. The phenomenon
has been observed in the media, telecommunication, computing, electronics, and the
nutraceuticals and functional food industry (Gambardella and Torrisi, 1998; Wirtz,
ring et al., 2006; Elliot, 2006; Bro
ring and Leker, 2007; Srinivasan et al., 2007).
Two different types of changes within these industries are distinguished within
the literature – convergence takes place on both the supply side and the demand side
(Malhorta and Gupta, 2001; Pennings and Puranam, 2001; Bro
ring et al., 2006; Bro
and Leker, 2007).
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Received November 2010
Revised December 2010
Accepted December 2010
European Business Review
Vol. 23 No. 5, 2011
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited