Looking different vs thinking differently: Impact of TMT diversity on coopetition capability

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College of Business


In this study, we focus on the micro-foundations of coopetition capability and ask: “where does coopetition capability come from?” Drawing upon social psychology and cognitive theories, we seek to offer insights into the micro-foundations of coopetition capability by focusing on the role of top management team (TMT) diversity. We suggest that TMT diversity emerges from two distinct attributes of the team members: surface-level (e.g., age, gender, nationality) and deep-level (e.g., knowledge and experience). We argue that TMT diversity based on surface-level attributes contributes negatively while TMT diversity based on deep-level attributes contributes positively to coopetition capability. We test our hypotheses using a novel dataset that combines primary data and employee level secondary data of a sample of 315 Swedish firms. Results provide broad support for our hypotheses. We discuss the implications of our findings and key limitations of our study.

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Long Range Planning