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Digital business models

Study level

PhD

Master of Philosophy

Honours

Faculty/Lead unit

Science and Engineering Faculty

School of Information Systems

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.

Supervisors

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

Overview

The ongoing proliferation of a digital lifestyle and the exposure to global innovation raises the expectation level of customers for new products and services. The ongoing technological innovations make this possible, but require digital business models to turn them into viable commercial offerings. This is not only relevant for new (‘born-on-the-web’) companies, but also for traditional companies who run the risk of having their core business disrupted. While some see the technological change coming but struggle with the new business models (e.g. Kodak), others turn it into new, profitable opportunities (e.g. Apple).

Digital business models are not only relevant for Internet companies such as Google or Netflix. They are taken up by both new and traditional companies and impacting both the consumer and business domain, also in traditional (physical) industries. For example, Threadless introducing a model leveraging the crowd and co-creation in the textiles and clothing industry and Dow Corning embracing the commoditization of the chemical industry by introducing Xiameter. Moreover, digital business model are 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, digitization and digital innovation
  • Conducting empirical research into digital business models (e.g., case studies, surveys, simulations, action design research)
  • Understanding, integrating and developing (new) theory

Outcomes

The objective of this research will be on providing insights into new digital business model, in particular those that can disrupt traditional business models. It will identify different types of digital business model and also articulate the underlying rational of value creation and capture that will be more and more based on information economics and the characteristics of technology. A PhD project can also include the transformation of existing, traditional companies driven by digital business models. In addition, you will provide practical insights that can support those involved in developing or evaluating digital business models.

Skills and experience

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

Scholarships

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

Annual scholarship round

Keywords

Contact

Contact the supervisor for more information.