Faculty Profile

Morten Høie Abrahamsen

Associate Professor - Campus Stavanger Faculty, Department of marketing


Morten H. Abrahamsen er førsteamanuensis i markedsføring ved BI. Han er siviløkonom og har en doktorgrad (PhD) fra Manchester Business School (2009). Mortens forskningsinteresser er "business-to-business" markedsføring, kunde- og leverandørsamarbeid og industrielle nettverk.

Morten H. Abrahamsen is Associate Professor in Marketing. He has a PhD in marketing, international business and strategy from Manchester Business School (2009). Morten has a wide industrial experience as a management consultant in advertising and marketing communications, and as marketing manager for various companies. Additionally he has a long background as a lecturer with the Norwegian Business School and has been guest lecturer with several other universities. He also runs seminars and workshop for corporate and executive education.

Research areas
Mortens research interest are business relationships and business networks.
Visit Mortens researchblog/personal website at www.networksinbusiness.wordpress.com.

Teaching areas
General marketing management, industrial marketing, international marketing, marketing communications, services marketing and economic history.


Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Havenvid, Malena Ingemansson & La Rocca, Antonella (2017)

Researching the Interactive Business Landscape

Håkansson, Håkan & Snehota, Ivan (red.). No Business is an Island: Making Sense of the Interactive Business World

In this chapter, the authors focus on three challenges related to the attributes of the interactive business world and on the related implications for methodology. The first challenge is how to capture the continuity of business relationships, which implies: (1) Taking a two-sided (bilateral) view when researching business relationships, (2) collecting data on content and consequences of business relationships and (3) developing a research design to capture development over time. The second challenge is how to set boundaries and trace network-like structures, which implies: (1) identifying the relevant relationships that appear to affect each other in a network-like manner, (2) capturing interdependences among relationships (how they affect each other) and (3) researching forces generating network dynamics (how these interdependencies are established and change over time). The third challenge is how to observe and research interaction processes in business relationships, which leave little traces and are difficult to record. This requires the attention on (1) the choice of point(s) of observation, (2) the handling of the subjective understanding of interaction and (3) researching how interaction unfolds. The authors conclude with a discussion on the complexity of handling these challenges, and related methodological choices, when ‘research objects’ are interconnected.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. (2016)

Researching business interaction: introducing a conceptual framework and methodology

The IMP Journal, 10(3), s. 464- 482. Doi: 10.1108/IMP-11-2015-0061

Purpose This paper introduces a conceptual framework and a methodology for researching business interaction. Design/methodology/approach The paper briefly presents what business interaction is from an IMP perspective. It then discusses some epistemological and methodological challenges that this understanding implies, particularly concerning the time- (when) and space- (where) dimensions of interaction, the unit of analysis when researching interaction (who interacts), how the actors explain or make sense of interaction (why they interact), and the way in which (how) they interact). The paper subsequently introduces a conceptual framework that enables analysing interaction on the principal dimensions of time (past, present and future) and space (actor, dyadic and network level), and the ascription or explanation of these dimensions by the actors involved. Findings This framework is then applied to interview data from an empirical case study that demonstrates its methodological as well as practical application as a research technique. The paper ends with a discussion of how this framework can enhance our understanding of business interaction as researchers. Originality/value The data collection and analysis technique represents a novel way to collect, systematize and analyse qualitative data that hopefully will add to our understanding of business interaction.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Håkansson, Håkan (2016)

Market policy and destructive network effects

The IMP Journal, 10(2), s. 195- 220. Doi: 10.1108/IMP-09-2015-0052

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Henneberg, Stephan C., Huemer, Lars & Naudè, Peter (2016)

Network picturing: An action research study of strategizing in business networks

Industrial Marketing Management, 59, s. 107- 119. Doi: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2016.02.006

Our paper is concerned with how managers understand their surrounding network and what strategic actions they take based on this insight. Recent research in the areas of network management and business relationships shows increasing interest in the interplay between cognition and action, particularly on how managers relate perceptions about their business network (“network picturing”) to decision-making and strategizing activities. In this study, we apply a novel research approach combining process research and action research methodology. Our sample is introduced to business network theories and concepts, and the use and adaptation of these concepts results in managerial options being articulated and applied. Our findings add new insight in the field of network strategy and network picturing. Network picturing represents a way to understand the boundaries of the firm and how this understanding affects managers' decisions. This differs from the fundamental distinction between the external and the internal environments of classical strategy analysis. In terms of network picturing, strategizing is a way to understand the resulting actions or network outcomes that managers see as viable within their surrounding network. We also provide a conceptual process exercise as an example of how this insight can be relevant for managers in their decision-making processes.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Håkansson, Håkan (2015)

Caught in the middle: Buying from markets and selling to networks

Industrial Marketing Management, 49, s. 4- 14. Doi: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2015.05.032

The purpose of this paper is to look at how relationships between buyers and sellers are affected when on the supply side the most important resource is available only through a trading system created from a market perspective, whereas on the customer side the interaction resembles a network where relationships are long-term and complex. The empirical setting of the study is the pelagic industry, where this situation represents a challenge for the Norwegian herring exporters as they try to bridge these two types of interactions. In this industry, the purchasing of the herring is subject to a blind auction by law. At the same time, Norwegian exporters have customers in European seafood markets characterised by long-term relationships and close cooperation between importers, processors, producers and retailers. To analyse this situation, the study applies a qualitative research design including personal interviews with selected respondents in Norway and the three largest Norwegian herring export markets: Germany, Poland and Russia. The authors find that the interaction in these particular supplier–customer relationships is not extended to its full potential. It seems that the market-type transactions create “spillover-effects” to the other relationships, meaning that it is difficult to maintain high-involvement relationships when interaction in connected relationships is limited. Keywords Markets; Networks; Business relationships; Interaction

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Håkansson, Håkan (2015)

Resource heterogeneity and its effects on interaction and integration in customer-supplier relationships

The IMP Journal, 9(1), s. 5- 25. Doi: 10.1108/IMP-01-2015-0001

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study the phenomenon of customer-supplier interaction and integration from a resource perspective. In economic terms, a fish may be seen as a more or less homogeneous resource. If the herring is seen as a homogeneous resource, a market should be the best way to handle the selling and buying. However, if the herring is seen as a heterogeneous resource, a more extensive type of interaction is needed. One interesting aspect with herring is that different business actors apparently see this resource in different ways. Thus, the authors will have a mixed situation, creating possible difficulties for the actors involved. Design/methodology/approach – The authors start this study in Germany, one of the most important export markets for Norwegian herring. Today, Norwegian legislation hinders the possibility of vertical integration and cooperation at the supply side of the network. However, the industry sees opportunities for growth and integration on the marketing side. To examine this issue, the study uses a qualitative design methodology, incorporating personal in-depth interviews with selected respondents in Norway and Germany. Secondary data is also used. To analyse the data, the authors introduce five interaction and integration patterns termed pure exchange – no integration; limited interaction and integration; extensive interaction and developed integration and; indirect interaction and structural integration; and full integration. Findings – The findings suggest that there is a link between how the actors perceive herring as a resource and how they interact with counterparts. The authors find that the actors who see the resource as homogeneous have limited interaction and little or no integration, whereas the actors who see the resource as heterogeneous have a much more extensive interaction and closer ties. Originality/value – The paper is an investigation of the link between the resource heterogeneity and the patterns of customer-supplier integration. Keywords Resources, Norway, Fish, Heterogeneity, Interaction, Exports

Abrahamsen, Morten H. (2013)

Norwegian salmon exporters and the changing structure of Japanese seafood distribution

Økonomisk fiskeriforskning: Ledelse, marked, økonomi, 23(1), s. 28- 36.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. (2013)

Strategi i et nettverksperspektiv

Magma - Tidsskrift for økonomi og ledelse, 16(4), s. 22- 28.

I denne artikkelen skal vi se nærmere på relasjoner i industrielle nettverk. Vi skal vise hvordan økt forståelse for bedrifters relasjoner til kunder, leverandører og samarbeidspartnere kan hjelpe bedrifter til å ta bedre strategiske beslutninger. Vi skal se at bedriftens oppfatning av sin posisjon i nettverket, dvs. dens nettverksbilde, spiller en viktig rolle i dette arbeidet. På slutten av artikkelen introduseres et strategisk rammeverk som kan brukes til å gi bedre innsikt. Til å underbygge dette skal vi bruke empiriske data fra en studie av norske lakseeksportørers forsøk på å endre det japanske distribusjonsnettverket for sjømat.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Håkansson, Håkan (2012)

Networks in transition

The IMP Journal, 6(3), s. 194- 209.

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Henneberg, Stephan C. & Naudè, Peter (2012)

Sensemaking in Business Networks: Introducing Dottograms to Analyse Network Changes

Industrial Marketing Management, 41(6), s. 1035- 1046. Doi: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2012.02.001

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Henneberg, Stephan C. & Naudè, Peter (2012)

Using actors' perceptions of network roles and positions to understand network dynamics

Industrial Marketing Management, 41(2), s. 259- 269. Doi: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2012.01.008

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Naudè, Peter & Henneberg, Stephan C. (2011)

Network change as a battle of ideas? Analysing the interplay between idea structures and activated structures

The IMP Journal, 5(2), s. 122- 139.

How should a network be organised? In what direction should it change? In networks actors have distinct network positions which are defined by their connected relationships. If an actor wants to change this network position by altering his connected relationships or respond to the actions of others, he will most likely face differing and perhaps conflicting views and ideas about how the network should be organised. This “battle of ideas” will arguably have an effect on the resulting network reconfiguration. To understand network dynamics we therefore need to understand how interaction reflects the actors’ perceptions, ideas and knowledge of their network. This interplay between ideas and action is the focal point of this paper. After expanding on a theoretical framework provided by Håkansson and Waluszewski (2002) which highlights this interplay, we apply it to an empirical study of the Japanese distribution networks of Norwegian fresh salmon. Here, traditional fish distribution is undergoing increasing pressure to change by actors questioning its efficiency.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. (2011)

Sensemaking in Networks: Using Network Pictures to Understand Network Dynamics

Baxter, Roger & Woodside, Arch G. (red.). Interfirm Networks: Theory, Strategy, and Behavior

The study here examines how business actors adapt to changes in networks by analyzing their perceptions or their network pictures. The study is exploratory or iterative in the sense that revisions occur to the research question, method, theory, and context as an integral part of the research process. Changes within networks receive less research attention, although considerable research exists on explaining business network structures in different research traditions. This study analyzes changes in networks in terms of the industrial network approach. This approach sees networks as connected relationships between actors, where interdependent companies interact based on their sensemaking of their relevant network environment. The study develops a concept of network change as well as an operationalization for comparing perceptions of change, where the study introduces a template model of dottograms to systematically analyze differences in perceptions. The study then applies the model to analyze findings from a case study of Norwegian/Japanese seafood distribution, and the chapter provides a rich description of a complex system facing considerable pressure to change. In-depth personal interviews and cognitive mapping techniques are the main research tools applied, in addition to tracer studies and personal observation. The dottogram method represents a valuable contribution to case study research as it enables systematic within-case and across-case analyses. A further theoretical contribution of the study is the suggestion that network change is about actors seeking to change their network position to gain access to resources. Thereby, the study also implies a close relationship between the concepts network position and the network change that has not been discussed within the network approach in great detail. Another major contribution of the study is the analysis of the role that network pictures play in actors' efforts to change their network position. The study develops seven propositions in an attempt to describe the role of network pictures in network change. So far, the relevant literature discusses network pictures mainly as a theoretical concept. Finally, the chapter concludes with important implications for management practice.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Smith, Mike (1992)

Patterns of selection in six countries

Psychologist (Leicester), 5(5), s. 205- 207.

Despite difficulties in comparing results from different researchers in different countries it would seem that patterns of selection in Western Europe and Israel are very similar with the main exceptions of the greater use of graphology in France and the greater use of references in the UK. It would seem that the frequency of use of selection methods is not strongly related to their validity or the time they require from either candidates or selectors. It would seem that selection devices are used because they are non-technical and because they are not new.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Huemer, Lars (2017)

Blikk for bedre ­beslutninger

Ukeavisen ledelse [Kronikk]

Abrahamsen, Morten H. (2016)

Bli en god nettverksbygger!

Stavanger Aftenblad [Kronikk]

Abrahamsen, Morten H. (2011)

Fra norsk fjord til japansk bord

Dagens næringsliv [Kronikk]

Abrahamsen, Morten H. (2011)

Nettverksregionen - vindu eller speil?

Stavanger Aftenblad [Kronikk]

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Halinen, Aino & Naudè, Peter (2018)

Making sense of the future: The role of visioning in network strategizing

[Academic lecture]. 24nd Workshop on Interorganisational Research.

Huemer, Lars & Abrahamsen, Morten H. (2016)

Interdependencies between first nations and salmon farming companies

[Academic lecture]. IMP Asia in Africa 2016.

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Naudè, Peter & Halinen, Aino (2016)

How far can managers see? The role of visioning in network strategizing processes

[Academic lecture]. 32nd IMP Conference.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. (2015)

Understanding network interaction

[Academic lecture]. IMP Journal Seminar and Workshop no. 3 - Lugano.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Håkansson, Håkan (2015)

Mackerel vs. salmon: How differences in relationship availability shape network interaction

[Academic lecture]. IMP Journal Seminar and Workshop no. 2 - Uppsala.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Håkansson, Håkan (2015)

Relationship availability and network interaction

[Academic lecture]. 31st IMP Conference.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Håkansson, Håkan (2014)

Market meets network

[Academic lecture]. 30th IMP Conference.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Håkansson, Håkan (2014)

Resource heterogeneity and patterns of customer-supplier integration

[Academic lecture]. IMP Journal Seminar 2014.

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Henneberg, Stephan C., Huemer, Lars & Naudè, Peter (2012)

Perceiving Network Opportunities – An Action Research Study of Strategizing in Business Networks

[Academic lecture]. 28th IMP Conference.

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Henneberg, Stephan C. & Naudè, Peter (2010)

Time and Space Dynamics in Networks: Does Network Perceptions Reflect Network Position?

[Academic lecture]. 26th IMP Conference, Corvinus University.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Håkansson, Håkan (2010)

Traditional Fishmarkets vs. Direct Distribution: Japanese Seafood Distribution Coping with a New Reality

[Academic lecture]. CIMaR, Handelshøyskolen BI.

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Naudè, Peter & Henneberg, Stephan C. (2009)

Sensemaking in Networks: Using Dottograms to analyse network changes

[Academic lecture]. The 25th IMP Conference.

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Naudè, Peter & Henneberg, Stephan C. (2009)

Using dottograms to analyse network change

[Academic lecture]. Business Marketing Management Conference, Copenhagen Business School.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Naude, P. (2008)

Towards a conceptual model explaining network change

[Academic lecture]. 23rd annual IMP Conference.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Naudè, Peter (2008)

Explaining change in networks

[Academic lecture]. FIBE Konferansen, Norges Handelshøyskole.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Naudè, Peter (2008)

Towards a conceptual model explaining network change

[Academic lecture]. 223rd IMP Conference, Uppsala University.

Abrahamsen, Morten H. & Engelseth, Per (2007)

The Demise of Traditional Fish Distribution Structures in Japan? A case study of fish supply chains from Norway to Japan

[Academic lecture]. 22nd IMP Conference, Manchester Business School.

Abrahamsen, Morten H.; Håkansson, Håkan & Naudè, Peter (2007)

Perceptions on change in Business Networks: A case study of Norwegian Salmon exporters and Japanese Importers

[Academic lecture]. 22nd IMP Conference, Manchester Business School.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2009 Manchester Business School Ph.D.
1992 UMIST, University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology Master of Science
1990 UMIST, University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology Bachelor
2009 Manchester Business School Ph.D.
1992 UMIST, University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology Master of Science
1990 UMIST, University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology Bachelor
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2011 - Present NTNU Trondheim Business School Associate Professor ll
2010 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Associate Professor
2008 - 2010 BI Norwegian Business School Lecturer
2006 - 2008 BI Norwegian Business School Doctoral Research Fellow
1996 - 2008 BI Norwegian Business School Part-time teacher
2005 - 2006 University of Stavanger Assistant Professor (part-time)
2001 - 2004 Pro&Contra AS Marketing Consultant
1998 - 2001 Fasett AS Marketing Communication/Advertising Consultant
1996 - 1998 BI Norwegian Business School Manager, Executive Education
1992 - 1995 Næringslivsskolen AS Marketing Manager, later General Manager