Chance, strategy and change: The structure of contingency in the evolution of the Nokia Corporation, 1986–2015

Jaakko Aspara, Juha-Antti Lamberg, Antti Sihvonen, Henrikki Tikkanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Earlier research has analyzed how chance influences strategic choices, yet it has largely ignored the processes that chance events generate. We address this issue by analyzing how chance events and political dynamics co-produce strategic change. We study the history of the Nokia Corporation between 1986 and 2015, focusing on the event structures that led to the divestment of core businesses on two separate occasions. Our findings show how chance events and resulting political dynamics generate periods of collective indeterminacy where multiple, competing strategic scenarios become apparent. These emerge either directly from chance events or indirectly from political dynamics as coalitions translate chance events into their preferred scenarios. The search for a new strategic direction then ensues through the emergence and elimination of alternative scenarios until an acceptable scenario is converged upon, ending the period of collective indeterminacy.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalAcademy of Management Discoveries
Publication statusPublished - 12.01.2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • Marketing Logics and Strategizing
  • Business, Markets and Societal Dynamics
  • 512 Business and Management
  • strategic change
  • chance
  • organizational politics
  • event structure analysis
  • Nokia Corporation

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Strategic and entrepreneurial praxis


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