Management Research Seminar Series

A strategy-as-practice study of coopetition in the New Zealand wine sector: It’s not what you say but the way that you do it
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
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This study contributes to our understanding of the dark side of the entrepreneurship/marketing interface in respect of potential unwanted and undesirable behaviour that in certain cases may be detrimental to businesses. It employs a strategy as practice perspective in respect of regional coopetition within New Zealand’s wine sector. Coopetition is: “a dynamic and paradoxical relationship which arises when two companies cooperate together in some areas, such as strategic alliances but simultaneously compete with each other in other areas”.

Owner/managers of 25 vineyards were interviewed to understand their views towards the potential paradox of coopetition and how this manifested itself in the strategies employed. Another 13 interviews were undertaken with employees that worked at the cellar door of the vineyards; that is, the part of the business that sold direct to customers. Observations were undertaken at the 13 cellar doors to establish whether what owner/managers claimed was actually implemented as strategy in practice. The interview findings indicate that there are a number of potential benefits of coopetition, such as sharing equipment and knowledge that have positive impacts on firms and the wider industry cluster. However, the observational data found dysfunctional behaviour among certain front-line practices that were inconsistent with the views of owner/managers. Some practices were subtler than others, but still unhelpful in potentially bringing back repeat custom or even increasing tourism to regional clusters that was viewed as important in firms’ business models. This has implications for the way owner/managers recruit, train and incentivise employees.