The Beacon: A New Framework for Business Model Reconfiguration for Complex Enterprises

During the last twenty years we have witnessed the steady rise in academic research and practitioner interest and inquiry on the topic of business models. The topic is still in its infancy, and thus a lot of literature hitherto has focused on the basics: definitions and conceptualizations have dominated in academic literature, providing little support to practitioners who are trying to design, develop, and deploy new business models. Whereas innovative market entrants have grabbed the limelight for academics and business leaders, incumbent firms have had scarce attention, especially large, complex multinationals. There is much to be learned from these businesses in terms of the nature of the components of a business model, the dimensions of analysis, and the relationship between their strategies and business models. The goal of this body of research is to shed light on the mechanics of business model reconfiguration in complex enterprises. As its main research contribution, this dissertation introduces the Business Model Beacon: a new framework with which to characterize business models: defining the complementarity of the strategy and business model, mapping the central and peripheral components of the business model at different dimensions of analysis of the firm. To understand the mechanics of business model reconfiguration, this dissertation presents a case study on the North American unit of consumer products giant Unilever, portrayed through the lens of the Beacon framework.

Related material