Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the key drivers of coopetition by adopting a managerial and economic framework. A case of coopetition failure is investigated by means of a historical example focused on the Egyptian adventure of the Italian banks in the first decades of the XX century. Design/methodology/approach The authors adopt a qualitative case study and a flexible pattern matching approach to develop theoretical ideas. Because the flexible pattern matching approach was adopted, the authors build the analysis on a tentative analytical framework specified a priori to provide guidance and focus. This approach allows a theory-driven research paradigm. The historical case study is mainly grounded on original sources drawn from some major banking and institutional archives. Findings While several scholars emphasised the relevance of external drivers, the literature has paid less attention to how relational and internal drivers combine. The historical case suggests that key mechanisms supporting the success of coopetition concern planning of common goals, conflicts management, alignment and formalisation of governance. In this vein, internal and relational dimensions seem to be more relevant than environment-context dimension. In addition, the historical example shows that an intra- and inter-firm alignment is required to pursue the implementation of a coopetitive strategy. This suggests the relevance of a holistic approach to investigate coopetition. Further evidence confirms the role of governance mechanisms for the success of coopetition. Originality/value The main contribution of this study is the re-consideration of the drivers of coopetition. In particular, the role of coopetition drivers has been investigated using a historical event: the Italian multinational banking in Egypt in the interwar years.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)205-231
Numero di pagine27
RivistaJournal of Management History
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • Business history
  • Coopetition
  • Egypt
  • Italian banks
  • Management history


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