Co-operation and competition characterise the inter-firm relationships in strategic alliances. This article proposes a paradox approach to studying co-operation and competition. It explains the paradox perspective and pro- vides an analytic framework for the paradox of co-operation and competi- tion. In the light of the paradoxical nature, it advocates a multi-paradigm approach to co-operative and competitive strategies, which combines stra- tegic positioning, the resource-based view andgametheory. Thearticle sug- gests that the multi-paradigms can not only encompass the contradictions of the paradox from the different perspectives, but also emulate the individual ones and provide a holistic picture. The multi-paradigm approach therefore establishes a better methodology basis than fragmented orthodox theories in exploring the contradictory, interactive and dynamic nature.
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