6.4 Conclusion

This chapter explains competitive and cooperative moves that executives may choose from when challenged by competitors. Executives may choose to act swiftly by being a first mover in their market, and their firms may benefit if they are offering disruptive innovations to an industry. Executives may also choose a more conservative route by establishing a foothold within an area that can serve as a launching point or by avoiding existing competitors overall by using a blue ocean strategy. When firms are on the receiving end of a competitive attack, they are likely to retaliate to the extent that they possess awareness, motivation, and capability. While responding quickly is often beneficial, mutual forbearance can also be an effective approach. When firms encounter a potentially disruptive innovation, they might ignore the threat, confront it head on, or attack along a different dimension. Executives may also react to competitive attacks by using fighting brands. Rather than engaging in a head-to-head battle with competitors, executives may also choose to engage in a cooperative strategy such as a joint venture, strategic alliance, colocation, or co-opetition. Regardless of the decision executives make, in many cases any attempt to act on a viable road map will result in progress that will get the firm moving in the right direction.


  1. Divide your class into four or eight groups, depending on the size of the class. Each group should select a different industry. Find examples of competitive and cooperative moves that you would recommend if hired as a consultant for a firm in that industry.
  2. What types of cooperative moves could your college or university use to partner with local, national, and international businesses? What benefits and risks would be created by making these moves?