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Sustainable business models as boundary-spanning systems of value transfers
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM).
2018 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786, Vol. 172, p. 4514-4531Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sustainable innovation requires collaboration across organizational boundaries, hence in this research, we take a boundary-spanning perspective on the business model. This perspective focuses on how value is created and captured across organizational boundaries, by investigating the value transfers between the focal organization and the external network of business model actors. We analyze the business models of 64 innovative sustainable organizations from The Netherlands in terms of how environmental and social sustainability is manifested in the content, structure, and governance of their business models. We find that environmental sustainability is mainly represented in value creation content, whereas social sustainability is achieved by serving underprivileged user groups and mainly is reflected in value capture content. We observe that social sustainability in both for-profit and non-profit organizations is often achieved by having an imbalance in value exchanges that is compensated elsewhere in the business model. In terms of business model structure we show that sustainable organizations use the same underlying business model structures as can be found in conventional firms. All in all, we demonstrate that 'analyzing the environmental and social sustainability of organizations using the boundary-spanning perspective on business models provides complementary insights to the traditional component-based view of the business model.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCI LTD , 2018. Vol. 172, p. 4514-4531
Keywords [en]
Environmental and social sustainability, Business model structure, Business model architecture, Value creation and capture, Value network, Multi-sided platform
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-222429DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.11.033ISI: 000423002500131Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85038850223OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-222429DiVA, id: diva2:1186321
Note

QC 20180228

Available from: 2018-02-28 Created: 2018-02-28 Last updated: 2018-02-28Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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