Business models - A challenging agenda
Why is the business model a useful concept for scholars of strategic organisation?
The concept has gained considerable credence in the business press - but some scholars have questioned whether it really does have value beyond established strategy concepts? In this essay we suggest that understanding the business model as a configuration that is cognitively manipulable may add to our understanding of important organisation issues.
Business models serve many purposes for management researchers and our understanding has been informed by the wider discussion of models amongst scientists and economists. Inspired by these insights, we emphasise that business models can be used to categorise the business world. Exploring the nature of business model categories and what these categories might mean for managers provides a potentially rich agenda for cognitive researchers.
We stress that business models are ‘manipulable instruments’ which can be used to understand the world of business better. With this in mind we can explore how business model thinking can assist entrepreneurial start-ups gain funding and achieve their goals more effectively. We can also examine how different business model conceptions can act as a constraint or an opportunity for managerial thinking in established firms seeking to innovate their models to adapt to new technological, environmental or market challenges.
The working paper for this research can be downloaded at the link below. It forms part of the research be conducted by CENTIVE: the Centre for New Technologies, Innovation and Enterprise.
This article is forthcoming in Strategic Organisation.