Business-model research has struggled to develop a clear footprint in the strategic management field. This introduction to the special issue on the wider implications of business-model research argues that part of this struggle relates to the application of five different perspectives on the term “business model,” which creates ambiguity about the conceptual boundaries of business models, the applied terminology, and the potential contributions of business-model research to strategic management literature. By explicitly distinguishing among these five perspectives and by aligning them into one overarching, comprehensive framework, this paper offers a foundation for consolidating business-model research. Furthermore, we explore the connections between business-model research and prominent theories in strategic management. We conclude that business-model research is not necessarily a “theory on its own” and that it can be more fruitfully understood as a theoretical mechanism for combining different literature streams. As such, business-model research is positioned as a central connecting component in the further development of the strategic management field.
- Business model