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Paper info: When partners decide to leave. Termination of a joint company between competitors


When partners decide to leave. Termination of a joint company between competitors


Annika Laine and Sara hman

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.


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Industrial relationships consist of different phases, ranging from establishment to termination. Ofall phases, the termination process has been studied least. In order to get a holistic understanding ofindustrial relationship, more research is needed within this area. Several researchers have recentlystressed the importance of studying the termination of business relationships. There is especiallyscarce research about termination of relationships between competitors although earlier researchwithin the field shows that these can be more vulnerable to termination than vertical relationships.The objective of the paper is to analyse the termination of a joint company between competitors.The research questions are: Why was the joint company terminated? And: How is the terminationprocess formed? The empirical part of the paper is based on a case study consisting of personalinterviews. The findings of the study show that the reasons for termination can be found on threedimensions: external, company and individual related. The most prominent reason was therecession, which forced the companies to cooperate on an international market in order to survive.The process of termination consists of the following phases: harmony, negligence, withdrawal,communication and break-up. These findings are described in models. Generally the empiricalresults differ from previous research within the field, as communication and assessment took placelater on in the termination process.