Enacting the future through future-oriented business models

Creating robust and resilient strategies has become a critical issue for companies in today’s dynamic, volatile, disruptive, and competitive business environments and turned managers’ and researcher’ attention to action. Today, business model has established its position among the popular forward-looking managerial tools  and the discussion on creating and transforming business models has gained interest increasingly. Despite the controversy regarding as to how to define the business model concept, extant literature celebrates business model innovation as a key activity for exploring and exploiting future opportunities and competitive advantages. Indeed, a business model can be seen as a means for planning, communication and mapping for the future operations due to its dynamic characteristics, since the future is dynamic itself. Prior to its operation, it can be used as an ex ante representation of the possible outcomes of the business model and as a device to articulate what a company does or plans to do. In addition, there is a strong orientation towards implementation in the business model concept. Ardichvili et al. (2003) argue that business opportunities are made to create and deliver value for stakeholders, and that a business model matures from a business opportunity to a business model through experimentation. Realizing a future business opportunity implies thus designing and implementing the future business model, thereby ex post (hopefully) creating an unfair competitive advantage to capture value. In other words, business model innovation is conceivable as a form of foresight design and its innovators are considered as practical futurists with an intention to enact a desired future.

Petri Ahokangas, Irina Atkova, Sara Moqaddamerad, Marko Juntunen (University of Oulu): Enacting the future through future-oriented business models

Presented at the 23rd Nordic Academy of Management Conference, Copenhagen, 12th-14th August, 2015


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