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The Many Functions of Contracts – How Companies Use Contracts in Interorganizational Exchange Relations

Hurmerinta-Haanpää, Anna

Liikejuridiikka 2/2021 s. 221–233


The article is about the doctoral dissertation "The Many Functions of Contracts – How Companies Use Contracts in Interorganizational Exchange Relations". In 2020, the world changed as covid-19 emerged at the end of 2019 and quickly spread around the globe. One of the first successful vaccine was developed in partnership by BioNTech and Pfizer. Collaboration between BioNTech and Pfizer was guided by a shared vision and trust, they believed that they would be able to resolve any contractual issues later in a fair fashion with mutual understanding.

Three things that influenced the success story are particularly relevant. First, the contract laid out how the parties would collaborate. So the contract included principles to guide parties’ behavior. Second, these principles clearly highlighted that the parties were partners with a common vision and goal, and not adversaries that needed to control each other or to safeguard themselves against the opportunistic behavior of the other party. Third, relational governance, that is trust, complemented formal governance, that is, the contract. In the doctoral dissertation, it is argued that these counterproductive contracting practices stem from traditional economic and legal theories, such as the neoclassical economic model and the classical contract law system. (Edilex-toimitus)

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