This is a theoretical research report that advocates the achievement of competitiveness in formulating strategies of co-operation with industry participants through the establishment of collaborative networks. A collaborative network is reviewed from a theoretical perspective to add insight into the subject as a mechanism for firms to achieve competitiveness and sustainability. The theory of collaborative networks is explored further in identifying the interdependent components of collaborative networks to better understand their establishment and management. The literature on government policy is also examined from an industry competitiveness perspective, with particular emphasis on the influence of government policy in ensuring successful collaborative networks that achieve industry competitiveness.By using a single case design in the South African Automotive Sector, the interdependent components are linked to the organisational design of the collaborative network. The research was exploratory in developing and extending the theory into an integrated model in assessing the competitiveness of the automotive industry.The research found that the ability to participate in a collaborative network is a strategic resource that firms need to acquire. The research confirmed the establishment and development of the network structure, strategy, dynamics and culture as the enabling platform for successful collaboration with in a network. The research found that the governance structures within the collaborative network are critical in establishing the balance between competition and co-operation and in evolving relationships into partnerships that define the collaborative network as a strategic organisation. The research also found collaborative networks are unique manifestations that achieve efficiencies beyond economic benefit for the participants of the network to the achievement of socio-economic benefit for the industry in the form of entrepreneurship development, job creation and skills transfer.