Many of the most successful companies in recent years – Google, Facebook, Samsung, Uber – have used business model innovation to create new opportunities and disrupt existing markets. Cyrine Tangour of the Fraunhofer Center discusses her interest in this topical area of research.
Track: Reflections on Business model innovation and Future Vision: Breaking disciplinary silos (note the R&D Conference has been postponed)
Can you describe some recent findings in this area that are of interest to you personally?
Business model research is becoming a specialized discipline in management, which is boundary-spanning and multidisciplinary. It assimilates a range of theories including: creativity and design theories, engineering theories and organisation theories.
In the contemporary economic landscape, business model innovation is an essential driver of a company’s competitive advantage, however, successful business models seem to result from trial and error exercises rather than from a systematic process. This offers an opportunity for scholars to increase the ability of firms to engage more systematically into business model innovation.
However, academic contributions seems to be evolving in silos, more in line with author’s respective interests, than with firms’ needs. This makes the whole scientific effort less cumulative. Personally, I am interested in a reflection on business model innovation across disciplinary silos and its implication for future research.
What do you think are the most disruptive influences impacting developments in your track?
Many management scholars have attempted to ground business model innovation within existing theories.
- The theory of ambidexterity, is used by Markides (2013) to reveal the difficulty of managing two different and conflicting business models simultaneously within an organization.
- The theory of open innovation (Chesbrough, 2010b) is used to explain drivers and mechanisms for open business model innovation, which allows companies to benefit from external and internal knowledge. More generally, Chesbrough (2010a) defends a technology driven view of business models. He refutes the existence of an objective value for a technology per se and emphasizes the need for a business model to commercialize the invention and express its latent economic value.
- Economic views, Amit and Zott (2001) root the four main sources values creation activities they advance in economic theories such as resource-based view of the firm (complementarities) and the transaction cost theory (efficiency). In parallel, Tidd and Bessant (2013) define business model innovation in the opportunity space alongside innovation in products, processes and positions.
- Dynamic capabilities, Demil and Lecocq (2010), ideas are rooted in the theory of dynamic capabilities and the resource based view, describing it as dynamic process of interaction between the organization’s structure, its values and its profit formula.
If someone was new to this topic what would you suggest they read to get a quick overview of the issues?
- Gassmann O, Frankenberger K and Sauer R (2016) Exploring the field of business model innovation: New theoretical perspectives. Cham, s.l.: Springer International Publishing.
- Foss NJ and Saebi T (2017) Fifteen Years of Research on Business Model Innovation. Journal of Management 43(1): 200–227.
- Teece DJ (2010) Business Models, Business Strategy and Innovation. Long Range Planning 43(2-3): 172–194.
- Zott C and Amit R (2010) Business Model Design: An Activity System Perspective. Long Range Planning 43(2-3): 216–226
Reflections on Business model innovation and Future Vision: Breaking disciplinary silos was to be one of the tracks at the 2020 R&D Management Conference, it has been postponed and will be held at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in 2021 – see more information here.
Track chair: Cyrine Tangour, Pharm.D. Research assistant at the Fraunhofer Center for International Management and Knowledge Economy – IMW, in Leipzig Germany. Visit her LinkedIn profile here.