Chapter 1 defines cooperative strategy, and compares it with competitive and corporate strategy. Cooperative strategy can help to improve competitive strategy by enhancing the qualities that afford competitive advantage. It can also strengthen corporate strategy by making the corporate mission more attainable. The chapter notes the growing use of cooperative strategies in various forms. The range is wide and includes collaborations between two or relatively few organizations such as joint ventures and research and development partnerships; multi-partner alliances such as oil-exploration consortia, industry-wide associations, innovation networks, global supply chains, collaborations through information and communications technology platforms; and public–private partnerships. The chapter recognizes the importance of information technology in assisting the management and coordination of alliances and networks, but notes that it cannot substitute for trust-based personal relationships between key actors crucial for successful cooperation. The chapter then describes how the book is organized into parts and chapters.
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