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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Mutual uncertainty preparedness in business relationships

Published: May 25, 2021


Thomas Ritter, Copenhagen Business School; Michael Kleinaltenkamp, Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin; Carsten Lund Pedersen, Copenhagen Business School


Illustrated by the current Covid-19 crisis, business relationships can serverely be impacted by forces that are outside the control of either sides of the relationship. Given this uncertainty, or sudden strategic surprises, and the need for managers involved in a business relationship to handle such situations successfully, we propose the novel concept of mutual uncertainty preparedness, which conceptualizes the degree to which partners create crisis readiness in the relationship to act when a crisis eventually materializes. Based on different streams of literature, we suggest fitness and motivation as conceptual dimensions of mutual uncertainty preparedness. We also develop a theoretical framework to discuss the consequences of mutual uncertainty preparedness. This initial discussion of mutual uncertainty preparedness points towards a research agenda on preparedness in business markets.