Competition as a Part of Contemporary Business Environment

The current business trend warrants consideration of formation of alliances between competitors as part of business strategies in view of the increasing market forces that a single firm might not withstand in isolation. Firms need to cooperate in order to maximize their gains, but they also need to compete as the latter is the norm in any business. This paper examines the concept of co-opetition, which refers to simultaneous cooperation and competition between firms. The concept will be looked at in general as a business strategy in competing firms. Subsequently, the concept will be considered from the perspective of the nature of competition in the port industry In the process of deciding how to carry out a business, the current increasingly complex business environment makes it logical not to limit a firms analysis to the competitive environment. In addition, dependence on competitive environment only attracts purely antagonistic relations between players in a particular market. In fact, there might be cooperative relationships within a competitive market without necessarily causing non-competitive or unfair monopolistic practices. Indeed, competition and cooperation can exist simultaneously between two players (Hernandez et al., 2008). For example in the motor industry, Toyota and General Motors manufacture an almost identical car (Toyota Corolla/Chevrolet) which they cooperated to design, but they sell the vehicles separately and in ways that seek to outdo each other. In other words, cooperative strategies or rather alliances can be formed to create or expand an existing market, and once they are formed, the firms in the alliance can still use competitive strategies to gain an upper hand. This based on the principle that business is not always a zero-sum game where win-lose is the only possibility. There could be some scenarios in which a win-win situation is achieved through collaboration and others in which lose-lose happen without it.