University of Oulu

Ojansivu, I., Laari-Salmela, S., & Hermes, J. (2022). The social impact of the Nokia-Elcoteq business relationship: Examining the consequences of legitimating relationship norms. Journal of Business Research, 149, 193–206.

The social impact of the Nokia-Elcoteq business relationship : examining the consequences of legitimating relationship norms

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Author: Ojansivu, Ilkka1,2; Laari-Salmela, Sari1; Hermes, Jan1
Organizations: 1Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Finland
2Department of Management and Marketing, Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Melbourne, Australia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-03-08


The process through which social impact occurs in business relationships has largely remained unexamined. In this paper, we draw on relational contracting theory to examine relationship norms and the social impact of their legitimation. Our data consist of 27 years of historical secondary data about the business relationship between Nokia and its subcontracting partner Elcoteq (1984–2011). We reveal how the legitimation of the role integrity and contractual solidarity norms causes social impact within this relationship and how harmonization with the social matrix norm leads to social impact both within and outside of the relationship. As a result, we introduce a concept network view of social impact. This concept thus contributes to the business relationship literature by conceptualizing the ripple effect of one business relationship on a connected network.

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Series: Journal of business research
ISSN: 0148-2963
ISSN-E: 1873-7978
ISSN-L: 0148-2963
Volume: 149
Pages: 193 - 206
DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.05.005
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (