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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business-to-business relationships in digital ecosystems: an African perspective
Swedish Defence University, Department of War Studies and Military History, Functions and Perspective Division.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2352-2656
(ESP).
2023 (English)In: Information Technology and People, ISSN 0959-3845, E-ISSN 1758-5813, Vol. 36, no 8, p. 69-93Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

In the African context, the threat of the disruption of traditional business value-creation processes, currently facilitated by the growing information technology (IT) ecosystem, came with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Thus, this paper aims to investigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on interfirm relationships within the context of the digital ecosystem in Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs an explanatory–exploratory qualitative approach from an interpretivist stance to investigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on interfirm relationships. The authors conducted seven in-depth interviews with top management executives in a Nigerian technology company, together with the company's archival data that provided the pre, during and post pandemic (2018–2021) business-to-business (B2B) relationship structures, to determine how these relationships have been affected.

Findings

The results suggest that the pandemic had a minimal effect on partnership relationships in the B2B ecosystems of the case company but affected only non-partnership relationships.

Research limitations/implications

The authors' qualitative study is interpretive and the sample size is limited. Hence, there is a need for caution in generalizing the findings. The framework can be further validated across a wider population.

Practical implications

Partnerships can help organizations weather business crises. Consequently, organizations should maintain a healthy number of partnership relations to deal with periods in which challenges emerge in the business landscape. In other words, with tight contracts and a strategic focus on goals and objectives, partnership relations can help organizations weather business crises.

Originality/value

This study builds upon the burgeoning body of literature on digital ecosystems within the African context, which is a relevant contextual contribution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 36, no 8, p. 69-93
Keywords [en]
COVID-19, Digital ecosystem, Business relationships, Business-to-business (B2B), Digitalization, Relationship model
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
War Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-11496DOI: 10.1108/itp-05-2022-0346OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-11496DiVA, id: diva2:1745147
Available from: 2023-03-22 Created: 2023-03-22 Last updated: 2023-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Antai, Imoh

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