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The business model: Theoretical roots, recent developments, and future research

Author

Listed:
  • Zott, Christoph

    (IESE Business School)

  • Amit, Raphael

    (The Wharton Sschool)

  • Massa, Lorenzo

    (IESE Business School)

Abstract

The paper provides a broad and multifaceted review of the received literature on business models, in which we attempt to explore the origin of the construct and to examine the business model concept through multiple disciplinary and subject-matter lenses. The review reveals that scholars do not agree on what a business model is, and that the literature is developing largely in silos, according to the phenomena of interest to the respective researchers. However, we also found some emerging common ground among students of business models. Specifically, i) the business model is emerging as a new unit of analysis; ii) business models emphasize a system-level, holistic approach towards explaining how firms do business; iii) organizational activities play an important role in the various conceptualizations of business models that have been proposed, and iv) business models seek not only to explain the ways in which value is captured but also how it is created. These emerging themes could serve as important catalysts towards a more unified study of business models.

Suggested Citation

  • Zott, Christoph & Amit, Raphael & Massa, Lorenzo, 2010. "The business model: Theoretical roots, recent developments, and future research," IESE Research Papers D/862, IESE Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0862
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    Keywords

    Business model; strategy; technology management; innovation; literature review;
    All these keywords.

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