Linlin Chai, PhD

Assistant Professor


Intra- and Inter-Business Relationships

An old adage says, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer”; however, executives may recognize that most of the key business relationships are a lot more complex. It is not as simple a clear cut of either friend or foe. In fact, it is all about managing the dynamic between cooperation and competition, balancing and rebalancing between cooperation and competition in a firm’s relationship portfolio. The joint occurrence of cooperation and competition in a relationship is called coopetition, which can occur at various levels spanning from the individual to network level. Understanding how organizations manage the dynamic coopetitive relationships is critical for today’s business performance because the marketplace has shifted away from stand-alone competition to networked competition. Linlin has examined a range of coopetitive relationship issues at both the inter-firm and intra-firm levels.

Linlin is currently conducting research on coopetitive relationship, the joint occurrence of competition and cooperation at both the inter-firm level and intra-firm level. At inter-firm level, she explores the bright and dark sides of coopetition between firms and the conditions for the positive and negative impacts on firm performance. This research will enhance our understanding of the nature of the coopetitive relationship and offer valuable insights for managers on how to manage inter-firm coopetition paradox. At intra-firm level, she examines how a firm can strategically manage tensions arising from the coopetitive relationship between the marketing function and supply chain function. This research offers a new theory of synergy to syncretic rent.

She has presented her research in various international and regional academic conferences, including the American Marketing Association Educator’s Conference (AMA) and Decision Science Institute Conference (DSI). She is also invited to review submissions to academic journals and conferences such as the American Marketing Association Educator’s Conference, Journal of International Marketing, and Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing.

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