University of Oulu

Coopetitive networks of microenterprises in the craft beer industry

Saved in:
Author: Härkönen, Jere1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, International Business
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Pages: 62
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : J. Härkönen, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-11
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Mainela, Tuija
Reviewer: Mainela, Tuija
Jansson, Kaisu


The objective of this thesis was to explain the optimal cooperative patterns of microenterprises in the same industry. Main research teams of the study where business networks and interconnectedness of the firms joined together with the coopetition approach which means simultaneous cooperation and competition of the companies. The research approach is taken to the Craft beer industry to find empirical data to verify theoretical concepts. Therefore the main research question is stated as How microenterprises utilize strategic partnerships with the competitors in the craft beer industry?

The craft industry and microbreweries have shown a unique level of cooperation throughout the years, but they have not been connected to the academic field. Microenterprises have been also left to the minor role in the coopetitive literature. The network approach and strategic nets provide justified motives for the coopetitive ties.

The study was conducted by gathering experiences and qualitative data from the 19 Finnish microbreweries. 17 of them were contacted through an open-end online survey and 2 were interviewed to find deeper insights of themes. It was evident that microbreweries in Finland have a large network horizon or strategic net to their size which is utilized more occasionally. Some breweries find cooperation with other breweries very essential and utilize it in their marketing and product development and some simply use it as support net. Microbreweries do not see themselves as the top competitors in the industry but as competitors to large industrial breweries. The low competitive pressure enables microbreweries to benefit greatly for their cooperation with other breweries.

The results indicate that microenterprises would benefit from coopetitive ties if they manage to focus their competitive efforts to other channels than to themselves. Open information exchange not only benefit the companies, but the customers are also receiving better quality products. It is arguable how well the methods of the craft beer industry could be taken to the high technology field. However, it would be very intriguing to find out.

see all

Copyright information: © Jere Härkönen, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.