A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

No manager is an island: culture in sensemaking of business networking

Publication Details
Authors: Ivanova-Gongne Maria, Torkkeli Lasse
Publisher: Emerald: 24 month embargo
Publication year: 2018
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Journal acronym: JBIM
Volume number: 33
Issue number: 5
Start page: 638
End page: 650
Number of pages: 13
ISSN: 0885-8624
eISSN: 2052-1189
JUFO-Level of this publication: 1
Open Access: Not an Open Access publication


This paper aims to investigate the role of culture in managerial sensemaking and conceptualization of business networking.


authors apply qualitative methodology through the sensemaking approach
on three Finnish and three Russian managers in mutual buyer–supplier
business relationship dyads.


results imply that the cultural background of the manager determines
his perception of the level at which business networking occurs. Finnish
managers conceptualize business networking as an organizational
strategy, whereas their Russian counterparts conceptualize the
phenomenon squarely at the individual level.

Research limitations/implications

authors suggest that the underlying cause of the differences in the
conceptualization of networking may be that Finnish business networking
relies more on concepts derived from Western European business culture,
whereas Russian networking relies more on the traditional culture.
Consequently, they suggest that the concept of business networking in
extant research may suffer from ethnocentricity. Limitations of the
study include the limited extent of generalizations from its qualitative

Practical implications

results imply that business network relationships should be managed
differently in different cultures, and that depending on the cultural
background of the business partner, managing both the organizational and
the individual levels of business networking is needed.


study contributes to limited literature on culture and the role of
individuals in managerial conceptualization of business networking. This
is one of the rare studies to illustrate differences through individual
sensemaking on both sides of the relationship dyad and account for both
Western European and Russian market environments.

Last updated on 2019-22-03 at 13:07