Purpose – Competition and cooperation co‐exist in various sub‐fields of organizational strategies, while a research gap remains in the links between how managers perceive their cognitive relations with rival partners and how they choose a strategy. The purpose of this paper is to investigate how different focuses of competition and cooperation are put in core and supportive strategic importance based on business manager's individual perception toward a particular rivalling cognition. Design/methodology/approach – A conceptual model is developed composed by several hypotheses. An empirical study is conducted by analysing data collected from 89 pharmacies, including public hospital pharmacies and community service, private chain retailing pharmacy, and independent pharmacies, out of hundreds of outlets in a capital city in China to test hypotheses. By using factor analysis and correlation analysis, several hypotheses are supported in linking competitive cognition with either core marketing strategies or supportive marketing strategies. Findings – Observational results indicate that large and small pharmacies, motivated by relational perceptions among competitors, tend to rely selectively on some strategic tools of competition and cooperation in terms of their different business nature. Practical implications – These results are valuable for business managers in the healthcare industry, enabling them to rethink their relations with strategic partners and their strategies. Originality/value – The paper's findings enrich understanding of how a competing environment influences strategic orientation of competition and cooperation under a collaborative marketing framework.
European Business Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 30, 2011
Keywords: Competition; Cooperation; Rival groups; Business size; Marketing strategy; Pharmacies; China
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