Innovative, new ways of doing business (such as the sharing economy, product-service systems, etc.) are becoming pervasive in all areas of life, but research has been slow in taking stock of emerging practices and their impact.
Amit and Zott (2012) defines a business model as an activity system aiming at the satisfaction of the perceived needs of the market along with the specification of which parties conduct which activities, and how these activities are linked to each other. This approach facilitates a holistic understanding of how businesses interact with their environments and emphasises the right combination of different elements above the importance of a single product or service. New business models change the traditional relationships between businesses and their stakeholders and thus provide a useful framework to analyse disruptive change in business operations from a sustainable development point of view (Schaltegger et al, 2015).
Research carried out aims at the classification of different business models using prevalent management theories in order to analyse current trends, the motivations behind different business models and their impacts on environment and society.
The spread of new models requires fast response from policy makers, who currently employ a piecemeal approach, leaving space for particular interests instead of social considerations. The presentation will identify recent trends in business and will contrast initial expectations with current practices. It will introduce an evaluation framework, which can serve as a basis for political action and will try to define what type of innovative business models serve the long term social interest.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Innovative business models – true alternatives or business as usual?“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.