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Business models change as managers not only innovate business models, but also engage in more mundane adaptation in response to external changes, such as changes in the level or composition of demand. However, little is known about what causes such business model adaptation. We employ threat-rigidity as well as prospect theory to examine business model adaptation in response to external threats and opportunities. Additionally, drawing on the behavioural theory of the firm, we argue that the past strategic orientation of a firm creates path dependencies that influence the propensity of the firm to adapt its business model. We test our hypotheses on a sample of 1196 Norwegian companies, and find that firms are more likely to adapt their business model under conditions of perceived threats than opportunities, and that strategic orientation geared towards market development is more conducive to business model adaptation than an orientation geared towards defending an existing market position.

Publication information

Original languageEnglish
JournalLong Range Planning
Number of pages15
ISSN0024-6301
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Jul 2016

ID: 45429315