Does cooperation enhance competitiveness? : assessing the impacts of collaborative business relationships
Thesis DisciplineBusiness administration
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Commerce
Collaboration among firms is now a ubiquitous phenomenon. Many theoretical and managerial perspectives argue that firms that collaborate will outperform those firms that take independent approaches. This thesis reports the results of a study of New Zealand firms that examines the relationship between firm performance and participation in collaborative relationships. Environmental conditions and a firm's strategic orientation are also considered. Given the prevalence of cooperation, the thesis also investigates why many firms do not collaborate. The results of the moderated regression analysis indicate that there are no performance differences, across any of the performance measures used in the study, between firms involved in collaborative activity and firms that choose to remain independent. There is, however, some evidence suggesting that collaborating firms have higher performance levels than firms that would like to collaborate, but are unable to do so. The results also suggest that a firm's strategic orientation influences performance; customer- and technological-orientation both exhibit a positive association with firm performance. The thesis critically evaluates and tests the widely stated but little-tested argument that interfirm collaboration is usually beneficial.