The shaping effects of innovation and technology: from micro business model evolution to macro environment sustainability

Innovation is a prerequisite guarantee for the development of a country in this new era. It is an important driver not just for corporate growth but also for national social and economic transformation. Considering the strategic supporting role of innovation in the modern economic system, this thesis approaches the shaping effects of innovation and technology mainly from two important micro and macro perspectives, business model evolution and national sustainable development. The first essay takes business model innovation (BMI) in China as an entry point to investigate how novel elements can shape business models. There is a widespread perception that Chinese companies, compared to their Western counterparts, are not good at creating novel products and services. But in the arenas of e-commerce and other digital businesses, Chinese companies have become highly successful. This has led some observers to hypothesize that while Chinese firms may not excel at developing new-to-the-world products and services, they may be good in inventing new-to-the-world business models. To explore this phenomenon, I analyzed 137 suggested innovative business models in detail to investigate new-to-the-world features, yielding an overview of BMI in China. Based on these cases, a theoretical framework was proposed to investigate how innovative features can prompt successful BMI. I summarize the reasons behind BMI in China. The second essay explores the support from open innovation (OI) for BMI based on literature review and some inspiration from the first essay. Theoretical underpinnings are often cited as a necessity to advance the research of BMI. The study proposes that the development of OI and BMI keeps pace within a dynamic innovation process. To develop a consistent body of knowledge about BMI and OI, this conceptual paper sheds light on the relationships between OI and BMI by providing a framework and discussing its implications. The main investigations are as follows: 1) Why OI has strong impacts on BM development; 2) How OI can shape BMs; 3) What support OI can provide for BMI. The third essay analyzes the shaping effects of technology on environmental issues by carrying out an empirical study of tracing the imbalance of carbon emissions embodied in trade. The technological differences among developing and developed nations are tremendous, which have kept having strong impacts not only on economic and societal development but also on environmental sustainability. Thus, this study provides a new and critical perspective to reconsider the imbalance of carbon emissions regionally and globally, revealing essential policy implications for region-specific sustainable development strategies. The thesis makes several important contributions. For micro business model evolution, the thesis develops a theoretical framework to show how the values are delivered in a business model system and how innovative features can further prompt successful business model innovations, as well as a comprehensive analysis of the theoretical underpinning from open innovation for business model advance. For macro environmental sustainability, the thesis presents a comprehensive spatio-temporal analysis of carbon emissions embodied in trades of nations within and beyond BRI, contributing to methodological advances of measuring the impacts of technological differences on carbon footprints and emissions leakage, which is largely underexplored in current studies.


Advisor(s):
Tucci, Christopher
Year:
2020
Publisher:
Lausanne, EPFL
Keywords:
Laboratories:
CSI




 Record created 2020-10-16, last modified 2020-10-28


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