Abstract

While the business mantra Innovate or die has evolved into managerial common sense when it comes to product- or process-innovation, the realization that it is also possible to innovate a firm’s business model has just started to make its inroads into managerial thinking (Chesbrough, 2010). Extant research has shown a positive relationship between business model innovation and firm outcomes like competitive advantage (Mitchell & Coles 2003), or firm performance (Brettel et al., 2012; Morris, 2013), even under varying environmental regimes (Zott & Amit 2008). However, while the outcomes of business model innovation are well understood, prior research missed to identify and investigate antecedents of innovative business models, leaving the important question “What factors give rise to and shape business model designs?” (Zott & Amit, 2007) unanswered. Accordingly, this study shifts its focus from the performance consequences of business model innovation to its antecedents. Building upon George & Bock (2011) we propose that new business models are shaped by individual-, organizational-, and environmental-level processes, resulting in the use of a multilevel lens to build our research model.

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