Archive for the ‘Kaleidoscope - Thesis’ Category

Seriously frying doughnut

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

“Do we need hypothesis in our research?” In a week, two friends asked me this question. When I asked Professor Dr. Yuhara Sukra, MSc the same question, he answered me with these following questions:

(1) What is a research?
(2) What is the objective of your research?

I flipped the pages of the draft of my thesis and answered based on what I had written. Intensely the Prof. listened to me and then asked another questions…

(3) What is a hypothesis?
I answered precisely like what I had memorized since my sophomore year in college.

(4) So, do you need to put any hypothesis in your research?

I did not have any idea…

“Let’s say… that you are going to cook something … making doughnut, for instance!” The professor started his analogy.

I grumbled, “I do not cook!”

“Making doughnut is your research! So, what is your research?”

“In this case, making doughnut?” I replied in a full confusion fashion. Prof. YS did not protest.

“What is the objective of your research?”
“Making doughnut?”
“What kind of doughnut?”
“A nutty doughnut?”

Prof. YS raised his eye brows. I changed my answer.

“A delicious doughnut?”
He agreed…

“OK… do you need a hypothesis…?”
Prof. Yuhara asked in a cool tone. A reflection of his wisdom and kind heart.

While making Doughnut? No… I do not need hypothesis, I need a help… or a ride to the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts… but come to think of it, I’m not a doughnut lovers… Can I skip the doughnut? Can I just have a slice chessy with smoked beef pizza?

Hmmmm, to cover the emptiness of my mind, I intuitively answered, “No?”

Again Prof. YS agreed “Why?”

“Because, I just want to make a delicious doughnut!”

“So, what should you report to your professor?”

“The steps to make a delicious doughnut? The result?”
“Yes…, that’s right! No need of any hypothesis…!” I saw a light, I was being enlightened.

“Let’s go further… If you have two kinds of flour… Hmmm… What kinds of flour do you know suitable for making doughnut?”

I almost screamed, “I do not know! I never cook, Professor?”

He ignored my response, “Potato flour and wheat flour, for example… And if you want to know which flour makes a more delicious doughnut! Do you need a hypothesis?”

I nodded.
“What is your hypothesis?”
“That the type of flour effects (or does not effect) the taste of the doughnut!”
My professor nodded and said, “You are now ready to make doughnut!”

Oh! No!
Can I skip the doughnut?

The Occurrence of Coopetition and Its Driving Factors (Abstract)

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011



What makes firms cooperate with their direct competitors? This research focuses on this issue, adopting transaction cost economics and resource based view as theoretical perspectives, coopetitive joint venture as proxy of coopetition, and event history analysis as techniques of data analysis. Resource based view perspective confirms that direct competitors sometimes possess similar knowledge and a common market vision that may encourage them to establish coopetition. Transaction cost economics explains how firm manages the extremely risky business of coopetition in which individual business incentives of direct competitors may lead to opportunistic behaviors. Coopetitive joint venture is every joint venture that involves two or more firms that share the same four digits of USSIC code. Using a database of joint ventures of five industries and event history analysis, the research identifies six firm and two industry level driving factors of the occurrence of coopetition. Five industries employed in this research are (1) car, (2) airlines, (3) telephone, (4) banking, and (5) software industries.

Firm level analysis includes the relationships between the occurrence of coopetition and: (1) number of prior collaborative agreement, (2) cultural distance of parent firms, (3) similarity of parent firms’ country, (4) similarity of firm and target firms’ country of origin, (5) industry similarity of parent and target firms, and (6) target firms’ country risk. In general, the results of the analysis at the firm level conclude that coopetition is more likely to occur, if (1) the number of prior collaborative agreement increases, (2) the cultural distance of parent firm increases, (3) the target firm is located in the country of (at least) one of the parent firms, (4) the target firm operates in the different industry from the parents, and (5) the target firm is located in a country with low business risk.

Industry level analysis comprises two factors, (1) number of firm involved in coopetition, and (2) time lag between every two consecutive coopetition occurred in an industry. Regardless of minor exceptions found in airlines, telephone and software industries, coopetition in an industry is more likely to occur when (1) the number of firms involved in coopetition increases, and (2) the time lag between every two consecutive coopetition decreases.

Keywords: coopetition, resource based view, transaction cost economics, event history analysis

Professors’ Committee Meeting

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

March 4, 2011


At the open door of the meeting room.

I greeted all the professors with “Selamat Siang, Profesor,Pak,Bu!”(*)

The head of the meeting, a great professor - who had educated countless number of high ranked government officers and non-government business people in this country - sat on the chair at the head of the table nearest to my way in.

So, he was the first to respond to my greeting.

He nodded and I accepted his nodding as a permit.

I stepped in to the room.

Before my third step of entering the room, the head professor commented, “Ah, you still speak Indonesian!”(**)

I turned back and almost automatically replied, “just a little, Professor!”

The professor was still holding my dissertation draft written in English.

I won my way to my chair.

(*) Good Morning, Professor, Sir, Ma’am! [English]

(**) Masih bisa Bahasa Indonesia, toch? [Bahasa Indonesia]

In Quest for a Construct

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

What is a construct (in term of dimensionality of a variable?) Is it a property? an element? a requirement? a motif? a reason? or all? of a dimension?

In the weekly meeting with my professor, I was lost (as usual)…

In case of a 4 quadrant-typology of Coopetition….

Castaldo and Dagnino, 2004 used Trust as construct of competition and cooperation to conclude Coopetition. Trust is a precondition of Cooperation but an exclusion of Competition.

Padula and Dagnino, 2007 used Interest Convergence as construct… Convergent interest is the reason(?) to cooperate, Divergent interest to compete.

And related to the paradoxicalness or dualism of Coopetition caused by the two different logics (of competition and cooperation), should a construct deployed (for explaining – later maybe measuring – Coopetition) be the same but with opposite ‘direction’?

(At this moment, my Professor shook his head, ‘what direction?, I don’t get it!’ He said. I said to myself… ‘I don’t get it either’… Totally lost… At that time… I thought, I miss-interpreted the term of Econometrics sign as direction? Didn’t, I? I was not sure… I am not sure)

I tried to hang on…

For example if we want to use Z as a construct, it has to satisfy these two condition:
(a) in Competition, it normally (oh concept of Normality?) values HIGH and (b) in Cooperation, LOW and vice-versa

My professor stared at me for a couple of seconds and made an affirmative gesture…
“But you have to be more precise…!’

“So, what is the construct to be observed, Professor?”
He spontaneously replied… “Any suggestion? You name it!”

Very smart answer… With that the meeting ended…

Shortly before finishing this note, I had a conversation with my beloved KSB (or Kakak for short). Kakak explained that A construct is defined to comply with the research objective(s).

We talked in several lines and came to a conclusion that in the shade of the research objective (and perspective, maybe…?) a construct can be anything of a variable, though commonly it means a part (property - element) of a variable….

Hmmm…. Sounds relieving…

So, if I go further in to multidimensionality then I will have a (or several) construct(s) separately dedicated only to unique dimension…

How we assign the construct(s) in every (i) dimension does not matter…(?)
In one dimension it can be a part of, in the other is the precondition of the variable…. … and so on…. .

As long as, a construct is backed up by firm-theoretical reasoning.
Back again to the common sense of scientific methodology…

Content Analysis: The Steps

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

This is a part of “Methodology” section in the Content Analysis we are now doing…

Totally 143 articles on “Coopetition” will be analyzed.  Articles are categorized in Published and Unpublished groups.  Published refers to a journal article and Unpublished includes the conference and workshop proceedings, internet (manuscript) files, thesis, research and working papers of research institution and universities.

All articles first are saved in PDF files, indexed in the EndNotes Library then converted into RTF format due to the software’s requirement.  Deformed words ad paragraphs caused from the conversion are restored.  To sustain  the validity and reliability of the analysis and to minimize the word redundancy,  the references and acknowledge parts, properties  of journal, workshop, conference, university and institution are removed.   Leave the articles only with name of authors and footnotes.   First step of our Content Analysis, the text preparation has completely done…

Second step that is defining codes and networks (of codes) also has already been done.  This task involved writing simple syntax for grouping the words and drawing relations between every code.  Queries are in our consideration in forming the “families” (or the subfamily) of nodes.

Third step is analyzing the files using the software.  Output will be saved in the format that can be read by Statistical Software, since it is the central part of the next step.  In the fourth step, the magnitude of relationships can be measured to indicate their significance.

Writing the report in the form of article is done in parallel with other steps.  So even though it is the fifth step, it commenced right after we decided to do this work.  Consultations, (frequently tough) discussions and literature review backed this step up.

Hmmm, I’m thinking to apply similar work to my Research Methodology class… Can not wait…!

Coopetition: Orthogonality, Multidimensionality, Framework and Measurement

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Dagnino and Padula, 2007

 ”We assume that coopetition is not a fully dichotomic construct, which may be depicted as a fixed point along a continuum between competition and cooperation or two opposite game structures: fully convergent versus fully divergent interest structure.  It is instead a multidimensional variable, which may assume a number of different values, especially when observed in an orthogonal structure between the two constructs of competition and cooperation.”


A node in an orthogonal structure bears properties (or value or degree of) both axes.  So putting coopetition in an orthogonal structure actually is mapping it in the Cartesian chart with cooperation and competition as axes (See figure 1, Mandal, 2004).  Under orthogonality, the axes (in this case the dimension of competition and cooperation) can also hold the construct of (every) pair of  dimensions.  Briefly,  it accommodates  multidimensionality.  So, for example coopetition can be seen in the orthogonal relation of convergent-divergent of interest (Padula and Dagnino, 2002; Padula and Dagnino, 2007) or trust-distrust between firms (Castaldo and Dagnino, 2004).


Adopting orthogonality, a framework to explore (or just to define as we depict a typology of) coopetition can be drawn.    By transforming the degree of construct in to two level (for instance, low – high) a typical framework with four quadrants can be formed.


Points to ponder:


By exploiting the orthogonality (I think) measurement(s) of coopetition can also be found….

What construct of the competition-cooperation constructs (other than trust, interest, innovativeness, knowledge creation/sharing…) should be involved?


How to accommodate the dynamics of Coopetitive relationship?



Embeddedness Perspectives of Coopetition

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008





Academy of Management Review 2001, Vol. 26, No. 3, 431-445.


A Review in Searching of  the Theoretical Perspectives


The research question “How does the network of cooperative linkages among competitors influence their competitive behavior toward each other?”  is explained under the embeddedness perspective of competitors. By this term, a competitor perceived as a part of (a) network(s) and the network in which the competitor embedded influences its competitive action.

 Graphically, the nodes in the network represent competing firms and the lines between nodes signify cooperative relationship. That is how the network got its name, the cooperative network.  The cooperation and the competition in the study comprise those that take place across different contexts.  Contexts referred to domains or maybe activities as Bengtsson and Kock (2000) mentioned.  The relationship line in the model should accommodate  the  flow of assets, information and status between nodes.

 The multilevel model of the structural embeddedness of coopetitive dynamics  (Figure 1) becomes the pinpoint of the study.  Multilevel model captures the relationships in the level of firms, between pair of firms and in the industry.  Action likelihood (AL) or the probability of a firm to initial taking competitive action and Response likelihood (RL) or the possibility of a firm to take the first move to response to the competitive action of a competitor are put jointly in one entity.  Figure 1 also shows how ND serves as moderating variables, So to simplify, we may have two correlation measures g and h denote consecutively AL and RL. The value of the measures are between +1 and -1.  Over all there will be seven pairs of correlation to be analyzed.

 Briefly, centrality explicates the superiority of firm in possessing assets, information and status.  Structural autonomy referred to the focal firm’s resource of structural holes.  The more structural holes a firm has, the more structural autonomy it will be.   A structural hole exist, if for example, A has ties to both B and C – but B and C are not tied, they only can connect through A (Figure 2).  Tied means having cooperative relation.   Structural Equivalence means similarity in assets, information and status.  Network Density expresses the interconnectedness of the network, or if relate it simply to the number of structural holes, the greater number of structural holes the higher the density.





C =  centrality                        SA = structural autonomy                

SE = structural equivalence             ND = network density

AL = action likelihood                       RL = response likelihood

 Figure 1          The Multilevel Model




Figure 2         Structural Hole

Under the proposition that network density diminishes structural autonomy effects (to action and response likelihood), the dynamics of competition are captured.  As an example, if the density of network increase, then we will find condition in Figure 2 turn to be as in Figure 3a (with D as a loose node) then Figure 3b.  Increasing network density makes B and C cooperate.  Due to relation efficiency and effectiveness, A may retain its connection with B but terminate the connection with C, since A can also know everything about C through B. Then allocate the resource to build cooperation with D.




(a)                                                                           (b)


 Figure 3          Network Density and Structural Autonomy


Although not exclusively define the coopetition, this paper proposes a radiant view to study the coopetition in the network, interconnectivity and dynamics. Dynamics give space for a relationship to change over a time span.  Cooperation with direct competitor should be build on the basis of differential flows of assets, information and status.

Wide Perspective of Coopetitors

Monday, November 3rd, 2008




Allan Afuah


Strategic Management Journal

Strat. Mgmt. J., 21: 387–404 (2000)


  A Review in Searching of  the Theoretical Perspectives


            The focus of this study are the coopetitors[1] which include: the suppliers, customers and the complementors.  Direct competitors together with coopetitors might be categorized as alliance partners – the parties with whom a firm has collaboration.  Alienation of the direct competitors is possibly  done on the reason that previous studies have already taken the subject in account (?) and given less attention to coopetition.

            The newness of the study is the explanation of impact of technical change which a firm decided to exploit on the cooperators’ capabilities which at the end these change of capabilities also have impact on the performance of the firm.  It seems that the research is  examining the indirect impact of technical change on firm’s performance(?).    

            The expositions on critical role of coopetitors, impact of innovation on the capabilities of a firm, impact of technological change on coopetititors and network xternalities and coopetitors are verified by resourceful literatures and examples.  The QWERTY and the Drovak keyboard case becomes an remarkable example to emphasize that it will be very difficult to apply innovation or technological change over the technology with very high level of establishment. In this example, innovation regarded as eradicating the customers’ capabilities and that is why up to this day the QWERTY systems continues to exist without any significant opponent.  Even though the newer technology claimed to be increasing the typing speed up 20 to 40%, the customers showed high reluctance  to learn the system and left behind the QWERTY.   So, if technology will be an issue in the coopetition research, level of establishment should be under consideration.

            The examples and the literature reviews then lead to three research hypothesis.  Hypothesis 1 has two parts, and the first two of the hypothesis deal with supplier, the other with customers.


Ø      Hypothesis 1 a:  The more a firm’s suppliers’ capabilities are rendered obsolete by a technological change, the poorer the firm will performance.

Ø      Hypothesis 1 b:  In the face of  a technological change that is capabilities obsoleting to suppliers, firms that switch to new suppliers perform better than those that stay with old suppliers.

Ø      Hypothesis 2: Incumbents who are vertically integrated backwards will perform worse than those who are not in the face of a technological chat that renders the capabilities of the suppliers obsolete.


A firm that are vertically integrated with its suppliers means that the firm still keep the relationship with the former suppliers and has them fulfill the requirement of the new technology based on the earlier one.


Ø      Hypothesis 3: the more a firm’s customers’ capabilities are rendered obsolete by a technological change, the poorer the firm will perform.


            All the hypothesis reflected that the cooperation side of coopetition has been chosen as the central theme of the research.  All the hypothesis are constructed under the argument of coopetitors’ critical role during innovation.  The competition side left unobserved.  Even competition as control variable is referred to competition that occurs between direct competitors not between coopetitors. 

            The hypothesis empirically tested  by the change from Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) to Reduced Instruction Set  Computer (RISC) technology happened in the computer workstation makers.  Hypothesis testings conducted on the base of semi-log functional forms indicate that  all hypothesis are accepted.

            An addendum on network externalities appended to the hypothesis to support case study on complementary.   Later the behavior of  Sun and DEC in applying the technical change – the first radically focus on the new technology and the other while trying to maintain both technologies lessened its performance –  is put as the story of the availability of complementary product and the size of network externalities.

            The uncertainty of whether the poorer performance is due to complementor capabilities obsolesce or to network  externalities is one of the unfolding continuity of the research.  Exploration on impact of a technical change on the alliance partners’ capabilities and then to the firm’s performance is suggested to be done.  The last question left as the next research question is why some firms were able to switch while other not.

            This paper surely is an excellent example how an empirical study on coopetition should be performed.  It covered ingenious literatures and examples and took the wide definition of coopetitors yet missed the direct competitor and the competition the two aspect that should be bring the competitive side of coopetition.  In my opinion, the narrow or restricted definition of coopetition that is simultaneously cooperate and compete with direct competitors will  coopetition more straightforwardly.  A lot of readings to go…

[1] I have followed some researchers to write coopetition, coopetitors and coopete without using hyphen  between the oo difthong, while others and Aftuah use it.


My Favorite Diagram

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Hi… I am reading some articles on Coopetition. A very small yet significant step to conquer my reluctance and sluggishness  in getting touch with my thesis.  All the articles I read keep mentioning, quoting, comparing and discussing their research frame works with these articles: Bengstsson and Kock (2000), Aftuah (2000), Gnyawali, et al. (2001) and even the earlier as Lado, et al. (1997) and Dowling (1996).

            The first is my favorite, the diagram is the center of  magnetism.  I once called it the structure of coopetition, or the coopetition structure.  What then I found is it missed the dynamic of a relationship.  Galvano and Garrafo (2008) in their working paper add the element of time and movement direction to the two-end-continuum. Hmm, can I  include the term in my study?  I wonder! I’m searching of (a) theoretical perspective(s) still! 


 Coopetition Structure


Working on the Thesis - A Confession

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Forgive me…. for it’s been a long time since the last time I put myself on the thesis …
If only working on the thesis were as fun as playing the computer games…angry with myself

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