طراحی مدل کسب و کار : چشم انداز سیستم فعالیت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|7689||2010||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||5200 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Long Range Planning, Volume 43, Issues 2–3, April–June 2010, Pages 216–226
Building on existing literature, we conceptualize a firm's business model as a system of interdependent activities that transcends the focal firm and spans its boundaries. The activity system enables the firm, in concert with its partners, to create value and also to appropriate a share of that value. Anchored on theoretical and empirical research, we suggest two sets of parameters that activity systems designers need to consider: design elements - content, structure and governance - that describe the architecture of an activity system; and design themes - novelty, lock-in, complementarities and efficiency - that describe the sources of the activity system's value creation.
Consider the case of FriCSo, a young engineering company that has achieved a significant technological breakthrough in friction reduction technology.1 Friction is the arch enemy of mechanical systems - it reduces the power of machines, leads to overheating, and causes wear, breakdown and seizure in moving parts. Suppose FriCSo's technological invention can reduce friction by over 15,000%: surely such a staggering technology - with clear and wide applicability to products and industrial applications that involve moving parts (such as machine manufacturing, automobile, shipbuilding, etc.) - will be a sure bet for commercial success? Or will it? business model design is a key decision for a new firm entrepreneur and a crucial - perhaps more difficult - task for managers charged with rethinking an old model to make their firm fit for the future. Once a target industry (say, automobile) has been chosen, what kind of company should be built to commercialize the intellectual property? What ‘model’ or ‘template’ should a firm adopt in order to embed itself into the existing ecology of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and the myriad tier one, two and three industry suppliers? Should it choose to become a machine manufacturer, building machines that embed the new technology, and selling them to the OEMs? Or would it be better to build and operate a factory (a ‘job-shop’) that would perform the surface treatment of moving parts for clients who would outsource that step in their commercial production line to the focal firm's factory? Or would it be better to opt for a pure R&D firm model, and simply sell the technology (e.g., via licensing agreements) to third parties such as machine manufacturers? Each of these choices involves a fundamentally different business model, that is, implies a different set of activities, as well as the resources and capabilities to perform them - either within the firm, or beyond it through cooperation with partners, suppliers or customers. And each choice will have implications for the venture's performance potential - it will affect what capital expenditures are necessary, what prices can be charged and what margins earned, and, perhaps most importantly, which customers and competitors the new firm will deal with. In other words, the design of the business model is a key decision for an entrepreneur who creates a new firm – and a crucial - perhaps more difficult – task for general managers who are charged with rethinking their old model to make their firm fit for the future. Once the template is set, the activities are in place, and the resources have been developed and honed, that template will be difficult to change, due to forces of inertia and resistance to change. Given the vital importance of the business model for entrepreneurs and general managers, it is surprising that academic research (with a few exceptions) has so far devoted little attention to this topic. We need a conceptual toolkit that enables entrepreneurial managers to design their future business model, as well as to help managers analyze and improve their current designs to make them fit for the future. This article draws attention to the system of activities performed by the focal firm as well as by third parties (partners, suppliers, customers) as part of the focal firm's business model. We believe that improved knowledge about how to describe the architecture of the activity system, e.g., its key design parameters, will bring the importance of the topic to the forefront of managers' and researchers' thinking, and help them design better business models. In particular, we suggest concepts that are intended to: • give managers and researchers a ‘language,’ concrete tools and a tight framework for business model design that can foster dialogue and promote common understanding; • highlight business model design as a key task of the entrepreneurial manager; • emphasize the importance of system-level design, as opposed to partial optimization (for example, whether a particular activity should be outsourced or conducted in house). We start by describing the firm's activity system and explain how it captures the essence of its business model, and then support this idea with a brief review of the recent literature on business models. We draw on our own recent work on business models to suggest two sets of parameters that activity systems designers need to consider: design elements (content, structure and governance) that describe an activity system's architecture, and design themes (novelty, lock-in, complementarities and efficiency) that describe the sources of its value creation.2
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Benefits of an activity system perspective on business models In this article, we argue that the activity system perspective on business models is consistent with the various approaches that have been advanced in the literature. A business model can be viewed as a template of how a firm conducts business, how it delivers value to stakeholders (e.g., the focal firms, customers, partners, etc.), and how it links factor and product markets. The activity systems perspective addresses all these vital issues, and gives managers and academics a language and a conceptual toolbox to address them and engage in insightful dialogue and creative design. To return to FriCSo, who had developed a world-class technology for friction reduction, and then had to decide on its future business model. As Loch et al report, the founders and their venture capital investors jointly decided to reject the choice of a machine manufacturing business model, as it would have been too capital-intensive and would have pitted the small start-up against powerful and entrenched competitors with similar activity systems and resource advantages that it would have found hard to beat. Instead, FriCSo adopted the business model of a machine tool manufacturer, positioning itself as a supplier to the powerful players, focusing on selling them products that had great value added through their intellectual property. (Another advantage was that automotive industry suppliers were used to buying tools, so this business model was familiar to them.) In fact, the choice of the business model was vitally important in this case: it did not simply determine future profit potential - rather, it was the key to the young firm's survival. If the founders had opted for a machine manufacturing model, they would probably not have received the equity capital they needed from their VC investors – lacking funds to finance ongoing research and development efforts, the firm could well have gone out of business. Why is the activity systems perspective advantageous for managers and academics concerned with past, current and future business models? First, a focus on activities is a natural perspective for entrepreneurs and managers who must decide on business model design. Should activities X and Y, which are central to the business model, be governed within or outside their firm's boundaries? How should X and Y best be organized, given the firm's (and its potential partners') pre-existing strengths and weaknesses, core competencies and disabilities?17 The importance of activities-based thinking is also evident from the extensive managerial literature on outsourcing.18 an activity system perspective encourages systemic, holistic thinking in business model design, instead of concentrating on isolated choices. Second, the activity system perspective encourages the firm in systemic and holistic thinking when designing its business model, instead of concentrating on isolated, individual choices (such as ‘make or buy’ decisions about particular products, or outsourcing a particular activity). The message to managers is clear: look at the forest, not the trees - and get the overall design right, rather than concentrating on optimizing details. The fast-growing Spanish fashion retailer Inditex, which manages global brands such as Zara, has clearly understood and internalized this message and made business model thinking a corporate priority. Their Annual Report begins by explaining the Inditex business model and highlighting its innovative elements.19 The company has made many activity system choices that, viewed in isolation, might seem inefficient. For example, they perform many generic activities in-house, such as dyeing and cutting fabric, and washing, ironing and ticketing finished garments. They have also chosen to outsource sewing to small workshops located close to their Spanish production facilities. Both of these choices might seem questionable: but, taken as a whole, Inditex's carefully designed activity system allows it to bring new garments from the design stage to the shop floor in record time - days as opposed to months - which makes a big difference in the fast moving fashion business. Third, a focus on activities allows us to relax several assumptions made in the transaction cost economics (TCE) literature - for example, that the governance challenges of firms involved in an exchange will be homogeneous. Focusing on activities allows us to concentrate on the focal firm that must decide on its business model design, e.g., how to link a new activity into its current business model, and who should govern that activity. Indeed, of the two parties involved in a bilateral exchange, in practice only one - the focal firm - has to make a decision about its business model, e.g., whether to outsource an activity or not: for its counterpart - a specialized provider of services - this question is irrelevant. Moreover, much TCE literature assumes homogeneity in firms' production capabilities and costs - assets are assumed to be equally productive in the hands of different firms, given similar governance arrangements and transaction characteristics. Indeed, in the TCE analysis of governance structures, production costs are largely determined by transaction attributes rather than by the attributes of the firms involved in the exchange.20 By contrast, much of the recent strategy literature acknowledges firms' differential resource endowments and heterogeneity in the way these are deployed in activities. An activity systems perspective on business models encourages the incorporation of those ideas, and thus promotes a synthesis of theoretical perspectives. [as well as] their transactional dimension, we might consider more carefully the social aspects of relationships between various business model participants drawing on different resources… A fourth advantage of our proposed conceptualization is that it embodies rich possibilities for further theoretical development and refinement. For example, we might consider more carefully how activities are produced by organizational actors drawing on various resources - that is, we might consider the social aspects of relationships between business model participants, as well as the transactional dimension of their relationships. In their landmark contribution, Weick and Roberts explain how the ‘heedfully’ performed interrelated actions of organizational actors minimize the risk of serious accidents during the taking off and landing of planes on aircraft carriers.21 These developments are valuable because they point to the importance of social action and interaction as the micro-foundations of business model performance. To explore the relationship between individual actions, organizational activities and business model performance further, scholars could also draw on activity theory, which has received scant attention in the management and organization literatures to date.22 The activity system perspective on business models encourages researchers and managers to consider what goes on within the ‘black box’ of activities, and suggests possibilities for probing deeper and gaining a better understanding of the micro-mechanisms of business models, for example by drawing on social theories of action. To summarize, the main contribution this paper is to develop an activity system perspective on the business model. The activity system perspective could be an important step toward fostering improved empirical understanding of past and current business models, the development of cumulative predictive theory on business model design, and the development of new and exciting business models for the future.