A Narrative Approach to Corporate Relations: The Historical Background on Telenor’s Success
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionEnterprise & Society. 23 (2), (512 - 547). 10.1017/eso.2020.66
This article examines the development of buyer-supplier relations in the telecom sector. The literature on telecoms in Scandinavia has been dominated by the narrative praising the trusting and collaborative relations between Telia, the Swedish public telephone operator (PTO), and Ericsson, the equipment supplier. The Norwegian PTO, Telenor, diverted from this path and was a pioneer in preferring competitive tenders and arm’s length relations with its suppliers starting in the 1970s. The article argues that Telenor’s history and nationality had a significant impact on its business strategy. In addition, the article examines why some business narratives persist while others remain unknown. One finding is that shareholder-friendly narratives have a handicap because they focus on self-interest and money, and not societal values.