Business Model Innovation in New Ventures

  • In the pre-seed phase before entering a market, new ventures face the complex, multi-faceted, and uncertain task of designing a business model. Founders accomplish this task within the framework of an innovation process, the so-called business model innovation process. However, because a set of feasible opportunities to design a viable business model is often not predictable in this early phase (Alvarez & Barney, 2007), business model ideas have to be revised multiple times, which corresponds to experimenting with alternative business models (Chesbrough, 2010). This also brings scholars to the relevant, but seldom noticed field of research on experimentation as a cognitive schema (Felin et al., 2015; Gavetti & Levinthal, 2000). The few scholars that discussed the importance of such thought experimentation did not elaborate on the manifestations of this phenomenon. Thus, building on qualitative interviews with entrepreneurs, the current state of the research has a gap that offers this dissertation the ability to clearly conceptualise the manifestation of experimentation as a cognitive schema in business model innovation. The results extend previous conceptualisations of experimentation by illustrating the interplay of three different forms of thought experimentation, namely purposeful interactions, incidental interactions, and theorising. In addition, the role of individuals in business model innovation has recently been recognised by scholars (Amit & Zott, 2015; Snihur & Zott, 2020). It is noticed that not only the founders themselves but also many other actors play a central role in this process to support a new venture on its way to designing a viable business model, such as accelerators or public institutions. It thus stands to reason that in addition to understanding how new ventures design their business model, it is also important to study how different actors are involved in this process. Building on qualitative interviews with entrepreneurs, this gap offers this dissertation the ability to study how different actors are involved in business model innovation and conceptualise actor engagement behaviours in this context. The results reveal six different actor engagement behaviours, including teaching, supporting, mobilising, co-developing, sharing, and signalling behaviour. Furthermore, it stands to reason, that entrepreneurs and external actors each play a certain role in business model innovation. Certain behavioural patterns and types of resource contributions may be characteristic for a group of actors, leading to the emergence of distinct actor roles. Thus, in this dissertation a role concept is established to illustrate how actors are involved in designing a new business model, including 13 actor roles. These actor roles are divided into task-oriented and network-oriented roles. Building on this, a variety of role dynamics are unveiled. Moreover, special attention is given to role temporality. Building on two case studies and a quantitative survey, the results reveal how actor roles are played at a certain point in time, thereby concretising them in relation to certain stages of the pre-seed phase.

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Author:Sophie MentgesORCiD
Subtitle (English):An Actor Engagement and Role Perspective
Advisor:Stefan Roth
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Language of publication:English
Publication Date:2022/06/28
Year of Publication:2022
Publishing Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Granting Institute:Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Acceptance Date of the Thesis:2022/06/21
Date of the Publication (Server):2022/06/28
Tag:Actor Engagement; Actor Roles; Business Model Innovation; New Venture
Number of page:VII, 291
Faculties / Organisational entities:Kaiserslautern - Fachbereich Wirtschaftswissenschaften
DDC-Cassification:0 Allgemeines, Informatik, Informationswissenschaft / 000 Allgemeines, Wissenschaft
Licence (German):Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitung (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)