Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Major Professor

Russell Crook

Committee Members

Annette Ranft, Anne Smith, Chad Autry


Competition and cooperation represent two foundational elements within the strategic management research domain. While substantial research examining competition or cooperation exists, research assessing these two paradoxical actions simultaneously has been limited. This study leverages the attention based view of the firm and insights from literature examining organizational ambidexterity to further understand if, and how, these two seemingly contradictory actions are managed and leveraged by firms. First, this research identifies and assesses the extent to which attention within the firm shapes competitive and cooperative action. Further, this research conceptually defines and empirically tests curvilinear relationships between competitive and cooperative action and subsequent firm performance. Finally, this study predicts and tests the performance implications associated with balancing competitive and cooperative actions.

The findings suggest that attention to cooperation is associated with subsequent cooperative action, and that the curvilinear relationship between cooperative action and firm performance is moderated by cooperative action diversity such that high levels of action diversity lead to poorer performance. In the context of competitive actions, the results are found to be nonsignficant, but present valuable opportunities for future research.

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