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Modern Notation of Business Models: A Visual Trend


  • Tatiana Gavrilova

    () (Graduate School of Management of the St. Petersburg University, Russia)

  • Artem Alsufyev

    () (Graduate School of Management of the St. Petersburg University, Russia)

  • Anna-Sophia Yanson

    () (Graduate School of Management of the St. Petersburg University, Russia)


Information overflow and dynamic market changes encourage managers to search for a relevant and eloquent model to describe their business. This paper provides a new framework for visualizing business models, guided by well-shaped visualization based on a mind mapping technique introduced by Tony Buzan. The authors’ approach amplifies Alexander Ostervalder’s ideas on the new level of abstraction and well-structured description of business models. It also seeks to simplify the Osterwalder model. As a result, the new form of visualization enhances perception, increases the quality of business communication and decreases cognitive pressure. To evaluate the proposed framework’s efficiency, the authors conducted a pilot study involving a survey of 22 experienced top-managers of Russian companies and examined their perceptions of three ways of describing the same business model: a linear text, a Canvas business model by Osterwalder, and a business model mind mapping template. We used Mindjet, the popular mind- mapping software, to conduct the experiment. Results confirmed the hypothesis that the mind-mapping visualization framework we developed is ‘cognitive scaffolding’ and is positively associated with managers’ and employees’ improved perception and understanding of the business model, which allows them to communicate, share and manipulate business model knowledge easily.

Suggested Citation

  • Tatiana Gavrilova & Artem Alsufyev & Anna-Sophia Yanson, 2014. "Modern Notation of Business Models: A Visual Trend," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 8(2), pages 56-70.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:fsight:v:8:y:2014:i:2:p:56-70

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    • Tatiana Gavrilova & Artem Alsufyev & Anna-sophia Yanson, 2014. "Modern Notation of business models: а visual Trend," Foresight-Russia Форсайт, CyberLeninka;Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования «Национальный исследовательский университет «Высшая школа экономики», vol. 8(2 (eng)), pages 56-70.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jean Guinet & Dirk Meissner, 2012. "Open Innovation: Implications for Corporate Strategies, Government Policy and International R&D Spillovers," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 6(1), pages 26-36.
    2. Voelpel, Sven & Leibold, Marius & Tekie, Eden & von Krogh, Georg, 2005. "Escaping the Red Queen Effect in Competitive Strategy:: Sense-testing Business Models," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 37-49, February.
    3. repec:hig:journl:v:6:y:2012:i:1:p:26-36 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kenneth R. MacCrimmon & Christian Wagner, 1994. "Stimulating Ideas Through Creative Software," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(11), pages 1514-1532, November.
    5. Henry Chesbrough & Richard S. Rosenbloom, 2002. "The role of the business model in capturing value from innovation: evidence from Xerox Corporation's technology spin-off companies," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(3), pages 529-555, June.
    6. Denis Ivanov & Mikhail Kuzyk & Yury Simachev, 2012. "Fostering Innovation Performance of Russian Manufacturing Enterprises: New Opportunities and Limitations," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 6(2), pages 18-42.
    7. Shafer, Scott M. & Smith, H. Jeff & Linder, Jane C., 2005. "The power of business models," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 199-207.
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    More about this item


    business model; mind mapping; visualization; Canvas business model; innovation activity;

    JEL classification:

    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D


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