This article addresses the historical emergence of business cooperation. We resort to Höpner’s (2007) concepts of organization and coordination in order to analyze how firms progressively engaged in Business Interest Associations (BIAs) and interlocking directorates during the first part of the 20th century. Our inquiry is based on a network analysis on large firms of the Swiss machine, electrotechnical and metallurgy (MEM) sector. Our results show that before the First World War, only major firms were promoting coordination and organization through, respectively, interlocking directorates and BIAs. Although many firms were reluctant to cooperate in the first place, interests beyond the firm level (organization) and the economic needs of firms (coordination) had cumulative effects, and most firms progressively engaged in both mechanisms of cooperation from the interwar period. We argue that differentiating between organization and coordination contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the emergence of non-liberal capitalism.