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‘Partnership is all about exploring and exploiting’: Corporate partnership theory with Frank Elter

Let’s kick off this partnership issue of Ignite News with a more academic approach. Dr. Frank Elter, chief scientist at Telenor Research (and an associate professor at NHH – Norwegian School of Economics), talked to us about how to ensure that value creation is part of your next partnership deal.

What is it that companies really want to get out of a corporate partnership?

Frank Elter: There are two essential things that most companies aim to achieve. First, we want to exploit the partner’s service, for example using their services or accessing their customer base. Second, we want to explore something new with them, creating something together. 

Partnership is essentially all about “exploring and exploiting.” Exploring is the more difficult of the two, as the outcome is something unknown and can be difficult to describe. But today, we’re clearly seeing a shift, as more partnerships are being formed in the “explore” category to innovate and create growth.

What are the most important things for companies to consider before partnering?

The next wave of digitalization is all about connecting the digital and physical in real time. In this video, veteran strategy researcher Frank Elter explains how companies can overcome the challenges of partnerships and reap the rewards.

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