The fast-paced, highly dynamic and uncertain environment puts forward higher requirements for organizations’ supply chain toughness and full-cycle product service. Constructing symbiosis has become an important strategy for organizations to grasp opportunities, create new demands and win the future. However, the relevant theoretical research is still in the exploratory stage, which is powerless for the development of practice.By systematically combing the relevant literature of symbiosis, this paper summarizes the time context, journal distribution, research methods, application theory and research objects of symbiosis research. Specifically, the quantity of literature on inter-organizational symbiosis has increased rapidly. The research on symbiosis reflects the characteristics of typical interdisciplinary research fields. In particular, we find that with the rapid development of the theory and practice of ecosystem, ecosystem symbiosis has become a hot topic. These findings lay the foundation for further revealing the key issues of symbiosis.The theoretical contribution of this paper is mainly reflected in three aspects: First, it analyzes the concept of symbiosis from the perspectives of process and outcome. Meanwhile, it refines the key dimensions of symbiosis. Second, it makes a comparative analysis between dual inter-organizational symbiosis and ecosystem symbiosis from three aspects, including symbiotic dimension, symbiotic effect and influencing factors. Based on the social network theory, the resource dependence theory, and so on, it explains the differences between them. On this basis, it finds that there are some limitations in existing studies, reflected in the concept, process and mechanism of the formation and evolution of symbiosis, and the lack of a comprehensive analytical framework. Third, based on the “5W1H” analytical framework, this study takes the formation and evolution of symbiotic relationship as the main topic, explores symbiosis from the perspective of integration, and proposes future research issues.In summary, this paper sheds light on the conceptual system and research context of symbiosis, reveals the differences between dual inter-organizational symbiosis and ecosystem symbiosis, and also provides directional guidance for deepening and promoting the theoretical research in related fields.
A Review and Prospects of Inter-orgnizational Symbiosis
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 43, Issue 10, pp. 68 - 84 (2021) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.20210519.401
 Cai Li, Lu Xifeng, Shan Biaoan, et al. Does discovery opportunity and creation opportunity transform into each other? based on multi-actors perspective[J]. Management World, 2018, 34(12): 81-94,194.
 Ge Baoshan, Xu Tite. Shoot and catch: The evolutionary path and symbiosis mechanism of entrepreneurial opportunity and resource[J]. Studies in Science of Science, 2020, 38(8): 1417-1427.
 Li Xueling, Huang Xiang, Shen Jia, et al. A literature review of institutional entrepreneurship and prospects: Based on "5w1h" analytical framework[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2015, 37(4): 3-14.
 Zhang Yuli, Xie Wei. Chinese economic reform, business venturing and entrepreneurship[J]. Nankai Business Review, 2018, 21(5): 4-9.
 Zhu Xiumei, Lin Xiaoyue, Wang Tiandong. Dynamic evolution mechanism of digital entrepreneurial ecosystem——Based on the case study of hangzhou yunqi town,chinese journal of management[J]. 2020, 17(4): 487-497.
 Adner R. Ecosystem as structure: An actionable construct for strategy[J]. Journal of Management,2017, 43(1): 39-58.
 Agostini L, Nosella A. Interorganizational relationships in marketing: A critical review and research agenda[J]. International Journal of Management Reviews,2017, 19(2): 131-150.
 Amit R, Han X. Value creation through novel resource configurations in a digitally enabled world[J]. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal,2017, 11(3): 228-242.
 Andersson M, Xiao J. Acquisitions of start-ups by incumbent businesses: A market selection process of “high-quality” entrants?[J]. Research Policy,2016, 45(1): 272-290.
 Autio E. Strategic entrepreneurial internationalization: A normative framework[J]. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal,2017, 11(3): 211-227.
 Bhawe N, Zahra S A. Inducing heterogeneity in local entrepreneurial ecosystems: The role of MNEs[J]. Small Business Economics,2019, 52(2): 437-454.
 Bruton G D, Zahra S A, Cai L. Examining entrepreneurship through indigenous lenses[J]. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,2018, 42(3): 351-361.
 Cai L, Chen J Y, Peng X Q, et al. The effect of symbiosis strategy on opportunity creation: Case study of new ventures in China[J]. International Journal of Technology Management,2016, 72(1-3): 171-191.
 Cui V, Yang H B, Vertinsky I. Attacking your partners: Strategic alliances and competition between partners in product markets[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2018, 39(12): 3116-3139.
 Fisher G. Online communities and firm advantages[J]. Academy of Management Review,2019, 44(2): 279-298.
 Gatignon A, Capron L. The firm as an architect of polycentric governance: Building open institutional infrastructure in emerging markets[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2020.
 Griffin-El E W, Olabisi J. Breaking boundaries: Exploring the process of intersective market activity of immigrant entrepreneurship in the context of high economic inequality[J]. Journal of Management Studies,2018, 55(3): 457-485.
 Hudnurkar M, Rathod U, Jakhar S K. Multi-criteria decision framework for supplier classification in collaborative supply chains: Buyer’s perspective[J]. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management,2016, 65(5): 622-640.
 Khanagha S, Ansari S, Paroutis S, et al. Mutualism and the dynamics of new platform creation: A study of Cisco and fog computing[J]. Strategic Management Journal,2020.
 Li J, Chu C W L, Wang X R, et al. Symbiotic ownership, cultural alignment, and firm performance: A test among international strategic alliances[J]. International Business Review,2012a, 21(6): 987-997.
 Li J, Young M N, Tang G Y. The development of entrepreneurship in Chinese communities: An organizational symbiosis perspective[J]. Asia Pacific Journal of Management,2012b, 29(2): 367-385.
 Malthouse E C, Buoye A, Line N, et al. Beyond reciprocal: The role of platforms in diffusing data value across multiple stakeholders[J]. Journal of Service Management,2019, 30(4): 507-518.
 Pan J L, Lin J. Construction of network entrepreneurial platform leadership characteristics model: Based on the grounded theory[J]. Journal of Business Economics and Management,2019, 20(5): 958-978.
 Salvato C, Reuer J J, Battigalli P. Cooperation across disciplines: A multilevel perspective on cooperative behavior in governing interfirm relations[J]. Academy of Management Annals,2017, 11(2): 960-1004.
 Sarma S, Sun S L. The genesis of fabless business model: Institutional entrepreneurs in an adaptive ecosystem[J]. Asia Pacific Journal of Management,2017, 34(3): 587-617.
 Spigel B. The relational organization of entrepreneurial ecosystems[J]. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice,2017, 41(1): 49-72.
 Spigel B, Harrison R. Toward a process theory of entrepreneurial ecosystems[J]. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal,2018, 12(1): 151-168.
 Thompson T A, Purdy J M, Ventresca M J. How entrepreneurial ecosystems take form: Evidence from social impact initiatives in Seattle[J]. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal,2018, 12(1): 96-116.
Cite this article
Lu Shan, Cai Li, Zhan Tianyue, et al. A Review and Prospects of Inter-orgnizational Symbiosis[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2021, 43(10): 68-84.