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Digital Business Model, Digital Transformation, Digital Entrepreneurship: Is There A Sustainable “Digital”?

Author

Listed:
  • Peter M. Bican

    () (Chair of Technology Management, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, 90762 Fürth, Germany)

  • Alexander Brem

    () (Institute of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, University of Stuttgart, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
    Mads Clausen Institute, University of Southern Denmark, 6400 Sønderborg, Denmark)

Abstract

Digitalization plays a major role in contributing towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Without transformation of existing businesses, both economic and environmental challenges of the future cannot be solved sustainably. However, there is much confusion on interrelationships and terms dealing with digitization or digitalization: Digital business model, digital transformation, digital entrepreneurship. How do these terms interrelate with and to digitalization, and how do they support firms to grow sustainably? To answer this question, we identified seven core digital-related terms based on a structured literature search within the management and economics domain, namely: Digital, Business Model, Digital Business Model, Digital Technology, Digital Innovation, Digital Transformation, and Digital Entrepreneurship. Thereafter, we analyzed prior literature for deriving a common understanding and definition as a basis for interrelations within a conceptual framework. Definitions were presented in a case study setup with twelve innovation and research and development (R&D) managers from various business units of a German high-tech company. Based on these insights, we propose a conceptual framework on how Digital Readiness, Digital Technology, and Digital Business Models might sustainably relate to Innovation, moderated by a Digital Transformation Process. With this approach, we aim to equip practitioners and researchers alike in handling and addressing change through digitalization sustainably.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter M. Bican & Alexander Brem, 2020. "Digital Business Model, Digital Transformation, Digital Entrepreneurship: Is There A Sustainable “Digital”?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(13), pages 1-15, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:13:p:5239-:d:377366
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    digitalization; business model; digital business model; digital technology; digital innovation; digital transformation; digital entrepreneurship; sustainable business model;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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