Business models tend to be complex, as they span boundaries and link dimensions of corporate strategy, technological capabilities and innovation processes of the firm.
In their paper “Business model innovation – state of the art and future challenges for the field” the authors Patrick Spieth, Dirk Schneckenberg, Joan E. Ricart consider three inductive, theory-building avenues: ‘explaining the business’, ‘running the business’ and ‘developing the business’.
- Explaining the business – This aspect relates, for example, to questions about the role of organisational ambidexterity and balancing explorative and exploitative phases in business model innovation. It equally comprises cause effect relationships for business model innovation: Do volatile environments drive business model innovation of firms? Or does business model innovation create environmental volatility?
- Explaining the business – This covers firm-level and intra-firm collaboration for business model innovation, and generates a set of intriguing question. How can firms for example systematise business model innovation as subject within their corporate innovation frameworks and develop it as an organisational capability? Which structural, monetary and motivational measures are available and appropriate to incentivise business model innovation efforts at firm-level and in intrafirm collaboration?
- Running the business – The focus here is on the inquiry of potential connections between design and strategy thinking for the practice of business model innovation. Do techniques of product or process design have the potential to inform value reflection and directional as well as functional decisions on business model innovation? How is business model innovation different from traditional, product or process-related innovation processes? How can firms ideally create supporting conditions and organize these types of business model innovation processes with entrepreneurs and in established companies?
Further of discussion of this model can be found in this post by Dr Steve Bone.
The field of business model innovation is still in an emergent stage and provides a wide range of opportunities for scholars to undertake future studies. The topic is relevant, the potential is great and the research field merits further development.