The Business Model in Sustainability Transitions: A Conceptualization

Roberto Hernandez-Chea, Akriti Jain*, Nancy M. P. Bocken, Anjula Gurtoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Business models direct a firm’s activity to move in coherence with the objectives of the business. Current literature suggests business models can act as vital forces to facilitate sustainability transitions and highlights the urgent research call to understand the role of business model innovations in stimulating sustainability transitions. This paper addresses this research need by investigating how firms create business model innovations for system-level transformation towards sustainability. Through a systematic literature review and deductive content analysis methodology, we identify and categorize different combinations of innovative activities in a firm’s business model. Furthermore, two cases are illustrated to demonstrate the proposed conceptual model. The proposed conceptualization bridges a significant gap in the theme of sustainability and business and presents a defensible and researchable problem for transitions literature. Specifically, we find (1) shared vision and strategic dialogues among firms in different sectors as essential to develop value propositions and leverage business opportunities for sustainability in the long run; (2) companies ensure sustainable value creation and value delivery in the medium term through creation of an interdependent network of the green supply chain and collaboration with stakeholders; (3) in the short term, companies adopt sustainable practices, controlling daily operations, conducting awareness campaigns and experimenting with collaborations to deliver values based on sustainable practices.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5763
Number of pages25
JournalSustainability
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • sustainable business models (SBM)
  • activity-system approach
  • circular economy
  • sustainability transition
  • transition management
  • transitions studies
  • CIRCULAR ECONOMY
  • VALUE CREATION
  • INNOVATION SYSTEMS
  • SUPPLY CHAIN
  • SOLAR-ENERGY
  • MANAGEMENT
  • IMPLEMENTATION
  • EVOLUTIONARY
  • PERSPECTIVE
  • COEVOLUTION

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