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Business model innovation

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Faculty/Lead unit

Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Information Systems

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Erwin Fielt
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Business models are increasing becoming an important focus of innovation activities of practitioners and innovation studies of academics. When organizations want to introduce new products or services or need to transform their existing products or services, a viable business model is a critical requirement for commercial success. For example, many Internet services are provided for free and, therefore, challenging their providers to find alternative sources of revenue such as advertisements or premium services. In addition, the innovation of the business model itself is often a way for organizations to create new business and gain competitive advantage. For example, when Apple introduced the iPod it also introduced the iTunes store to offer their customers a business model that provided a total solution for digital music.

However, business model innovation as a type of innovation is still poorly understood compared to more traditional types of innovation, for example, product, service or process innovation. Business model innovation requires understanding how the underlying assumptions about value creation can change and what drives systematic innovation across the different elements of a business model. In addition, the relationship between business model innovation and product, service or process innovation needs to be studied more explicitly. Moreover, business model innovation is often context specific, for example, in the manufacturing industry there is currently a large momentum for new business models based on ideas about a new industrial revolution (e.g., Industry 4.0).

Research activities

In this project you can expect to be involved in the following activities:

  • Studying the academic literature on business models, innovation, and strategy
  • Conducting empirical research into business model innovation (e.g., case studies, surveys, simulations, action design research)
  • Understanding, integrating and developing (new) theory


The objective of this research will be on providing insights into the nature of business model innovation and a theoretical model or framework describing and explaining business model innovation, including antecedents and outcomes. In addition, you will provide practical insights that can support those involved in business model innovation.

Skills and experience

The candidate should have a good understanding of Management/Business/Information Systems and/or Innovation Management, a reasonable understanding of research methodology, and a basic understanding of either qualitative or quantitative research methods.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.