Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Describing and analysing the public discourse on business models

Ghaziani and Ventresca (2005) published some interesting research about the public discourse on ‘business models.’ It commenced in the early 1970s and rose to prominence halfway the 1990s, at the same time as the digital economy. Their research shows that in the early discourse was framed around computer/systems modelling while the later discourse is mostly framed around value creation. In addition, the term business model is also often framed as a tacit conception where its meaning is taken-for-granted.

Ghaziani and Ventresca (2005) conclude that the business model discourse is mostly framed around value creation. Even when the meaning is framed differently these frames still embody the same idea, namely, ‘the question of how to create value in the face of a changing business environment.’ ‘The different frames emphasize different aspects of the same problem. Generating revenues and managing relationships, although ostensibly different, both have something to say about the challenge of creating value in the unsettled Digital Economy.’

Ghaziani and Ventresca also note that while different communities are sensitive to a global meaning of the term business model, they also use it in ways that suit their local needs, for example in marketing its meaning is also often framed around relationship management.

See also previous posts on earlier/related concepts, Drucker's Theory of Business and Humphrey's TAM.

Ghaziani, A., & Ventresca, M. (2005). Keywords and cultural change: Frame analysis of Business Model public talk, 1975–2000. Sociological Forum, 20(4), 523-559.

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