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Paper info: Business relationship digitization process: A conceptual framework


Business relationship digitization process: A conceptual framework


Jari Salo
Aalto University
Jari Salo

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 21st IMP-conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2005.



Although research into business relationships digitization and information technology impacts on these relationships has grown in recent years, the focus has been predominantly on singular impacts, not on the business relationship digitization process. In this paper, the author addresses how digitization impinges on business relationships as well as provides an illustration of the process of the business relationships digitization. Drawing from the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing based business relationship literature and evolving digitization literature the author develops a conceptual framework that includes six factors and their elements as describing business relationships digitization. Theoretical results reveal that business relationship digitization is a complex process and that there are many factors and their elements that impact on the process. These are discussed in detail. It is noteworthy, that digitization success is dependent on many inter-organizational contingencies like the interpersonal trust and the target of exchange. Overall, the paper provides several conceptual and managerial insights into business relationship digitization process. The author also suggests future studies around this novel and emerging phenomenon.