Study level

  • PhD
  • Master of Philosophy
  • Honours


Faculty of Science

School of Information Systems

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Research centre


Dr Erwin Fielt
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Science


Business models are becoming an important focus of innovation activities of practitioners and innovation studies of academics.

When organisations 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 require 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 is still poorly understood compared to more traditional types of innovation, such as 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:

  • 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 is to provide insights into the nature of business model innovation and a theoretical model or framework 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 any of the following fields:
    • management
    • business
    • information systems
    • innovation management.
  • a reasonable understanding of research methodology
  • basic understanding of either qualitative or quantitative research methods.


You may be eligible to apply for a research scholarship.

Explore our research scholarships


Contact the supervisor for more information.