Technological systems and competent procurers: The transformation of Nokia and the Finnish telecom industry revisited?

Christopher Palmberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientific

31 Citations (Scopus)


The contribution of Nokia to the recent rapid growth of the Finnish telecom industry is significant.
A conventional explanation of Nokia's success, and the growth of the telecom industry, relies on aggregate studies in the Porterian framework that misses the dynamics of the underlying interactions between technologies, institutions, and organizations.
The key proposition advanced in this article is that the role of the public telecom operator (PTO), as a competent technology procurer, has played a hitherto neglected, key role in this success and growth prior to the mid-1980s, after which Nokia achieved its international breakthrough. This proposition is advanced through the application of the Schumpeterian–Dahménian tradition of technological systems and ‘competence blocs’ to case studies in the development of Nokia's switching platform technology and equipment for the NMT-standard, the crucial competence areas underlying Nokia's success.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-148
JournalTelecommunications Policy
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
MoE publication typeB1 Article in a scientific magazine



  • Nokia
  • telecom industry
  • technological systems
  • procurement
  • competence blocs

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