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Organizing (for) Business Model Innovation: How firms design the next iteration of organizations to spark BMI

Organizing (for) Business Model Innovation: How firms design the next iteration of organizations to spark BMI In recent years, many firms have fundamentally turned industries on their head. Apple's invasion into the music industry or Ikea's conquest of furniture retail are frequently cited examples. Such innovative business models have profoundly impacted and changed the way people live, work, consume, and interact with each other. To better understand the phenomenon behind, research on business model innovation (BMI) has gained increasing attention over the past years. Literature on BMI holds that innovation must be continuously applied to a firm's core logic of doing business, its business model. However, being the young field it is, many questions are still unexplored and extant research's theoretical foundations are weak. This is particularly true for research on how BMI is drawn to organizational practice and how firms organize for this distinct form of innovation. Despite the increase and popularity of BMI research in entrepreneurship, strategic, and innovation management literature, little is known on the indicated topic. This shortcoming closely ties to organization research and the central research question of the research proposal at hand: How does the organizational design of firms relate to the inception and implementation of BMIs? The question is of great significance for management research and practice as the challenge to achieve BMI in firms is often organizational. BMI is seen as a new class of innovations which is different from, but interlinked with, the innovation of products, services, and processes studied so far. For instance, with regards to internal ventures or spin-offs that strive to find new ways of competing in an industry through BMI, scholars have highlighted that research must develop a new understanding of how firms balance the structural differentiation and various integration mechanisms over time. Considering aspects of organizational design in relation to BMI also helps to explore why some firms are more capable when it comes to BMI. Additionally, the relevance of this field of study is underlined by repeated calls for research. My paper-based dissertation aims to contribute to closing some of the identified gaps at the intersection of organizational design and BMI. My research is primarily based on qualitative, empirical research. The first paper on the ontological state of BMI research has already been successfully published with PalgraveMacMillan as a book. Paper two is under review at Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and paper three and four are under review at Long Range Planning. The overall purpose of my proposed research stay with Professor Casadesus-Masanell at the Harvard Business School (HBS) in Boston is to advance scientific knowledge on BMI particularly with regard to organizational design as well as to work on joint publications. More specifically, my Harvard related activities are threefold: First, I intend to develop a paper for a publication in the highly regarded Journal of Business Venturing under the supervision and in close collaboration with Prof. Casadesus-Masanell. Second, I plan to use my stay in Harvard to submit the key insights of my completed research to a distinguished practitioner-oriented outlet such as the Harvard Business Review. Ultimately, two other papers of my dissertation were heavily inspired by Prof. Casadesus-Masanell and are thus closely related to his research. He has committed to support me in the revision of these articles during my stay with him. My personal ambition to advance this field is closely related to past and current research of Prof. Casadesus-Masanell as well as HBS. Prof. Casadesus-Masanell has, in fact, produced outstanding work and succeeded in publishing in the respective field in top-ranked journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Long Range Planning, or the Harvard Business Review among others. He has committed to support and co-author publications as my research perfectly embeds in his research agenda. I have already enjoyed the privilege of working with Prof. Casadesus-Masanell on a case study about Hilti on the topic of organizational design in the context of BMI and I was impressed with his conceptual farsightedness. We have talked about our research which has motivated us to take our collaboration to higher academic levels. Ultimately, the research gaps as indicated above are a featured field of study at HBS. This is, for instance, reflected by the Organization Lab (O-Lab) which is an initiative closely related to my own research field. A stay abroad will give me the opportunity to exchange with leading-edge scholars and executives involved here. In this sense, a stay at Harvard offers a unique setting to deepen and extend my studies on BMI from a theoretical stance and organization research in specific. To work with him and his group will also greatly improve my academic skill set and publishing-related knowledge, helping me to prepare for my planned academic career.

Key Information

Researchers from SCCER CREST: Prof. Dr. Oliver Gassmann, Roman Sauer
Work Package / Task: 1.3
Research Partners: University of St. Gallen
Keywords: Innovation, Business Innovation, Business Model Innovation, Business Models
Start date: 01.01.2017
End date: 31.12.2017
Status: completed

Competence Center for Research in Energy, Society and Transition
In case of questions, please contact the Management Office
In case of questions, please contact the Management Office.
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