CLARIFYING BUSINESS MODELS: ORIGINS, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF THE CONCEPT
Alexander Osterwalder University of Lausanne and BusinessModelDesign.com Yves Pigneur University of Lausanne email@example.com Christopher L. Tucci Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
ABSTRACT This paper aims to clarify the concept of business models, its usages, and its roles in the Information Systems domain. A review of the literature shows a broad diversity of understandings, usages, and places in the firm. The paper identifies the terminology or ontology used to describe a business model, and compares this terminology with previous work. Then the general usages, roles and potential of the concept are outlined. Finally, the connection between the business model concept and Information Systems is described in the form of eight propositions to be analyzed in future work. Keywords: business models, business model concept I. INTRODUCTION Following an article in CAIS discussing the relationship between strategy and business models [Seddon, Lewis et al. 2004] we believe that some clarifications need to be discussed in the domain of business models. Admittedly, the topic of business models led to a lot of publications by journalists, business people, consultants and academics. It is discussed in various different domains, such as e-business, information systems, strategy, and management [Pateli and Giaglis 2003]. Yet, despite all the ink spilt and words spoken, business models are still relatively poorly understood [Linder and Cantrell 2000], particularly as a research area. For example, a survey we conducted with members of the IS community on the ISWORLD mailing list shows that there is a divergence of understanding among people and particularly between business-oriented and technology oriented ones. We asked the participants for their definitions of what they understand to be a business model... [continues]
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