تکامل مدل کسب و کار : در جستجوی سازگاری پویا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|7688||2010||20 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Long Range Planning, Volume 43, Issues 2–3, April–June 2010, Pages 227–246
The business model concept generally refers to the articulation between different areas of a firm's activity designed to produce a proposition of value to customers. Two different uses of the term can be noted. The first is the static approach - as a blueprint for the coherence between core business model components. The second refers to a more transformational approach, using the concept as a tool to address change and innovation in the organization, or in the model itself. We build on the RCOV framework - itself inspired by a Penrosian view of the firm – to try to reconcile these two approaches to consider business model evolution, looking particularly at the dynamic created by interactions between its business model's components. We illustrate our framework with the case of the English football club Arsenal FC over the last decade. We view business model evolution as a fine tuning process involving voluntary and emergent changes in and between permanently linked core components, and find that firm sustainability depends on anticipating and reacting to sequences of voluntary and emerging change, giving the label ‘dynamic consistency’ to this firm capability to build and sustain its performance while changing its business model.
The term business model (BM hereafter) has flourished in the managerial literature since the end of the 90s, especially with the emergence of the Internet and its massive adoption for e-commerce.1 Generally speaking, the concept refers to the description of the articulation between different BM components or ‘building blocks’ to produce a proposition that can generate value for consumers and thus for the organization.2 Broadly, two different uses of the concept can be identified. The first refers to what we might call a static approach. Essentially, this insists that the important word in the expression is ‘model’, and thus on the coherence between its core components. In this approach, a BM is ultimately a blueprint - even a recipe - that fulfils important functions such as enabling description and classification.3 For instance, the generic BMs of low cost airlines are now well documented and regularly referred to as a coherent set of choices that offer the potential for superior performance. In this view, a BM synthesizes a way of creating value in a business.4 This stream helps to describe how an organization functions and generates revenues - more precisely, it assists managers to conceptualise the different activities their company employs to generate value and its mechanisms for value creation. The second use of the concept represents a transformational approach, where the BM is considered as a concept or a tool to address change and focus on innovation, either in the organization, or in the BM itself. In particular, new BMs have been acknowledged as radical innovations with the potential to shake whole industries: Raff, for instance, has noted how the superstore models of Borders and Barnes and Noble alarmed the American book retailing sector. In this approach, a sustainable BM is rarely found immediately, but requires progressive refinements to create internal consistency and/or to adapt to its environment - as Winter and Szulanski argue: ‘The formula or business model, far from being a quantum of information that is revealed in a flash, is typically a complex set of interdependent routines that is discovered, adjusted, and fine-tuned by ‘doing’’5. The static view [of a business model] allows us to build typologies and study [its] relationship with performance …the transformational view deals with the major managerial question of how to change [it] Each of these stances is interesting and has strengths - but also weaknesses. On the one hand, the static view allows us to build typologies and study the relationship between a given BM and performance. From the managerial point of view, it gives a consistent picture of the different BM components and how they are arranged, which can then be communicated and understood (which can be particularly important for entrepreneurs aiming to win the confidence of investors).6 But static approaches are often unable to describe the process of BM evolution since they do not aim to. On the other hand, the transformational view deals with this major managerial question, and thus can help managers reflect on how they can change their BMs. But (as both Yip and Teece point out) it tends to mobilize the BM concept to discuss change rather than looking at how business models change themselves: those (rare) articles dealing with this feature tend to focus on a given BM component – such as Raff on the evolution of the capabilities, Winter and Szulanski on the role of routines, and Johnson et al. on the change in value propositions – but to overlook the interactions between components which Tikkanen et al. note as the hallmark and usefulness of the static approach. In this article, we try to reconcile these two approaches to address the question of how a BM evolves, looking particularly at the dynamic created by the interactions between its building blocks.7 To handle this question, we adopt a deductive approach to identify first the BM's component parts – corresponding to the static approach - and then to deduce how these components change at the organizational level. To do so, we build on Lecocq et al.’s RCOV framework which was inspired by the Penrosian view of the firm. Our interest in Penrose's work lies in her dynamic view of the growth of organizations, and her delineation of the different core components of a firm which allows us to explain firms' growth process by theorizing about the dynamics between these components. Following Siggelkow's argument that illustrative cases assist conceptual contributions by allowing us to ‘get closer to constructs and be able to illustrate causal relationships more directly […] and to unravel the underlying dynamics of phenomena that play out over time’, we illustrate our framework with the case of English Premier League football club Arsenal FC (see Exhibit 1).8 The choice of sector and case organization are justified by the important changes occurred during the last ten years (our study period) in these settings. Professional football has become an important economic sector, particularly in England where Premier League revenues grew five-fold between 1995 and 2005 (to nearly £2 billion), with other big European leagues reporting substantial, two- or three-fold increases. Arsenal FC was chosen in particular because of the dramatic evolutions of its environment and the significant modifications it has made to its BM over the decade to maintain its status of one of the English Premier League's ‘big four’. The period saw a new logic of ‘football as business’ replace the older, traditional professional sports club structure, entailing diversified revenue sources, increased internationalisation, multiplied sponsorship ties and the development of new resources: over the study period, Arsenal was the largest investor in terms of capital expenditure in its sector. These changes have seen the group's turnover multiplied nearly 650% to over £310m, which we can regard as being a dramatically successful case, with (as the club's Annual Report for 2009 notes) a ‘business model [that is] widely respected’.9 In sum, then, our contribution in this article concerns BM evolution viewed as a fine-tuning process involving intended and emergent changes both between and within its core components. The Penrosian approach also underlines the ongoing dimension of change as a permanent state. A refreshing consequence of our finding is that the sustainability of an organization depends on its ability to anticipate and react to the consequences of evolution in any given component. We label the capability that allows a firm to change its BM while at the same time building and maintaining sustainable performance as ‘dynamic consistency’.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this article we have tried to reconcile two different common uses of the BM concept that we see as being complementary rather than opposed. We have argued that both the static view, which aims to describe the configurations of elements producing (or not) good performance, and the dynamic view, which tries to grasp the ways in which a BM evolves over time, are useful, but that, simply, they fulfil different functions. To integrate the strengths of these two approaches, we chose to consider BM evolutions by focusing on the interactions between its core components. Based on a Penrosian view, we have proposed that the resources and competences of a firm, its organizational system and the value propositions it offers are permanently interacting, in ways that increase or decrease its performance. Thus, our conception insists that, when change occurs in an organization, it does so systemically, so that each changing element may impact the others, keeping the BM is in a permanent state of disequilibrium. We have described BM in terms of relatively broad components, thus avoiding confining the analysis to narrow, pre-defined conceptual categories that may only suit specific kinds of organizations or BMs. On the other hand, we have avoided considering BM in a holistic view which may lead to describing BM change in only general terms without the appropriate detailed analysis. Given this, we have introduced the RCOV framework which we argue is parsimonious but also dynamic, making the potential relations and the feedback mechanisms between the various BM components clear, so as to allow reflection on the changes in an organization's BM and their relationship to its performance. We believe such a framework can offer an effective way to overcome the paradox between using the BM to analyse the consistency of a given firm (implying the notion of a BM as ‘static') and embodying the dynamic view necessary to support managers’ efforts to integrate change and ensure performance over time. managers must attend to their resource/competence portfolio to [try to] generate new value propositions …Arsenal's fans are both a value proposition target and a resource, encouraging [new] Club sponsors For practitioners, our RCOV framework may constitute a useful artefact to help them reflect on the design of their business model and how to change it. The continued evolution of the elements in core BM components means that managers must constantly pay attention to their portfolio of resources and competences - more precisely to the services that those resources can provide - to help generate new value propositions and to modify their organization to best exploit its resources. For example, fans of ‘the Arsenal’ are both the target of some value propositions and a resource, in the sense that their numbers encourage sponsors to want to partner the Club. Over time, the club has developed both yield management and customer relationship competences, so as to both exploit and serve its fan base resource better – and these competences could themselves be the basis from which new value propositions could be proposed as services to other clubs in the future. By underlining the various uses and future potential of their resources and competences, our framework stimulates managers to think creatively about changes they could introduce in their value propositions, in their internal or external organization structures, or to their resources themselves. Managers can also use our framework to think about the systemic interactions between the different components of their BM, and the sequences of causes and consequences they produce. Up to a certain point, managers have an interest in creating a tightly coupled system between their BM's core components so as to attain good performance. In our framework, a BM may be considered strongly coupled when its core components are permanently interacting, allowing the firm to realize its full potential and improve its profits.32 For instance, core components are strongly coupled when the resources are well incorporated within the organizational system, and their potential services fully exploited in proposing existing value propositions, which the organizational system is fully dedicated to producing. Such a strong coupling can create positive feedback between core components (e.g. the value propositions in themselves may become new resources to generate other products and services) and within each core component (e.g. via synergies between value propositions). In the end, it is the creation and the management of these interactions between core components that creates firm performance, and may even serve to start or sustain valuable virtuous circles. However, a tightly coupling system may be difficult to maintain when environmental conditions evolve, or emerging change prompts vicious circles to appear between or within components. In this case, incrementally modifying some BM elements could be insufficient to restore performance and a firm may have to change its BM more radically. Thus, the sustainable performance in the case of BM evolution lies in the ability of managers to identify the consequences of change in one component on the other components and on overall BM performance. Managers have then to introduce deliberate changes to create or facilitate changes, or to reduce or counter their effects, to maintain or increase performance. We have called this capability ‘dynamic consistency’ - that is, the capability to anticipate change sequences and implement incremental or radical changes to adapt the BM to maintain or restore ongoing performance. This capability requires managers to have a deep knowledge and understanding of their BM and of the relations on which it is built. It may be that the reasons performance in new firms – or in mature firms with new BMs – tend vary more is that managers in these situations have not yet completely understand what their BM is, how it works, and what the relationships are between its core components, that seem to at first sight to be only loosely coupled. A progressive process of discovering more about these relations over time will enable managers to fine-tune their BM more effectively and preserve its efficiency. From the academic point of view, we propose that the Penrosian approach helps to ground the concept of BM in a solid and parsimonious theoretical framework. We see the BM concept as suffering from an under-theorized approach, or from a fragmented theorization based on such diverse theories as transaction costs or entrepreneurship theories. Her approach to the antecedents of firm growth provides analytical categories that help us anchor the concept and to provide a clear understanding of the BM dynamic, especially by underlining the permanence of the reciprocal relationships between core elements. At first glance, our view of BM seems to mirror configurational perspective literature, in that it uses the idea of a consistent set of relations between components. In this literature, the consistency (the fit) refers to the coherence and reinforcing effects between organizational attributes more than to the existence or mastering of any one isolated attribute.33 While we share some arguments with this approach - in considering that the study of a BM should focus on the relationships between its core components more than on their isolated attributes - our line is more distant from it in not identifying a definitive list of elements included in core components, or their characteristics for high-performing business models. Thus we do not identify what is the good set of resources, the best organizational form or the right kind of products and services for a given BM – but rather recognize the permanent state of disequilibrium inherent in any BM's on-going functioning. In our BM approach, the line of reasoning is different: a model may only be said to be consistent when the various choices about its RCOV core components lead to a sustainable performance – so, in effect, profit is the indicator for BM consistency. Such an approach allows room for new models that may not yet have been created, or even identified. As new BMs are created regularly in every industry, it is impossible to identify every RCOV configuration that might lead to sustainable performance. On the contrary - the essence of our BM approach is to give managers a frame and tools to help them to create consistent new configurations for new ventures, for firms in mature industries or for small firms competing against giants. Configuration can be taken as a given set of elements and the relations between them. But a complete list of all the possible elements from which a BM may be configured – and all the possible relations between them - is unforeseeable. An RCOV approach may (at least at a first stage) suggest some basic core components and inter-component relationships to help managers to create the BM and understand the evolution in its activity. (However, we may, progressively, be able to identify good configurations for well known BMs in some industries, such as the successful low cost airline BM). A business model may only be said to be consistent when the choices about its core RCOV components lead to sustainable performance Moreover, in our approach, the lack of consistency between elements does not reflect an abnormal situation, as it does in the configurational literature (for instance in Miles and Snow's consideration of the ‘reactor’ configuration) but is virtually the normal BM state. The Penrosian view enables us to introduce the idea that disequilibrium is a permanent characteristic of firm's business models, by underlining several processes affecting the individual elements, the core components and their inter-relationships, such as the knowledge accumulation that attends the exploitation of resources, the discovery by the organizational system of new applications for the services of resources, the increasing efficiency produced by economies of scale or scope, the synergies created over time between and within components, or how environmental evolutions can increase or decrease the value of specific resources. Thus, changes in a BM – following incremental evolutions or radical redesign decisions - are permanent, and will periodically produce new opportunities or threats. For instance, as Arsenal's BM has evolved over the last decade, it has left the Club with a significant debt (£268m), and a partial dependence on the continued strength of demand for real estate, two consequences that made it extremely sensitive to the 2008/09 financial and economical crisis. However, while the dynamics of its BM constituents may leave firms in a permanent state of disequilibrium, sustained low performance demonstrates inconsistency between the elements: such a ‘miss-fit’ calls for radical BM innovation. Finally, our framework promotes a dynamic vision of strategy which avoids the drawbacks of both the approaches based on sustainable competitive advantage (e.g. Industrial economics and Resource Based View) which suggest competitive advantage must be protected, (i.e. there should be no major changes in an operating BM), as well as those approaches - e.g. hypercompetition theory - which hold that, amid the chaos of unending change caused by today's repeated environmental jolts and uncertainties, competitive advantage can no longer be seen as sustainable. A dynamic consistency view of strategy proposes concepts and tools that allow managers to monitor consistency, and take sequences of decisions to change their business profitably: we believe the business model concept is a good candidate with which to study this ‘dynamic consistency’. The open-ended interactions between core components and managers' entrepreneurial initiatives mean business models are always changing … Managers must monitor consistency to ensure sustainable performance