Sleeping with the Enemy: Doing Business with a Competitor

Case Analysis

How should a company behave in a “multifaceted relationship,” when a supplier, customer or partner is also a competitor? This dilemma is faced by a growing number of companies, especially in high-tech industries and the global. Aside from technology and globalization, trends in regulation, diversification, product features and outsourcing often lead to these diverse relationships. What are the methods for managing them? One answer is “stay away or get out,” but avoiding or leaving … Read more »

How should a company behave in a “multifaceted relationship,” when a supplier, customer or partner is also a competitor? This dilemma is faced by a growing number of companies, especially in high-tech industries and the global. Aside from technology and globalization, trends in regulation, diversification, product features and outsourcing often lead to these diverse relationships. What are the methods for managing them? One answer is “stay away or get out,” but avoiding or leaving complicated relationships can be expensive. Another method is to “divide and conquer”, by carefully partitioning the separate modes of interaction with the other company, the company can act as if the multi-faceted relationship does not exist. An alternative approach is to “centralize intelligence”, either by different departments or business units that interact with the competitors hold each other up, or through the creation of a task force or committee whose function is to pool all information about the relationship . It is simple to urge all companies, unconcerned start in diverse relationships,., But can when such relationships are inevitable, companies that live with and benefit from them learn to layout a better position for the future
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from
Barbara A. Carlin,
Michael J. Dowling,
William D. Roering,
John Wyman,
John Kalinoglu,
Greg Clyburn
Source: Business Horizons
7 pages.
Publication Date: Sep 15, 1994. Prod #: BH017-PDF-ENG
Sleeping with the Enemy: Doing business with a competitor HBR case solution