Business Model Scalability - How To Build Fast And Sustainably Growing Companies: A qualitative study exploring the perceptions of founders and CEOs of Danish scaleups

Luis Xavier Mariscal & Bence Dolezsar

Student thesis: Master thesis


The main topic of this research concerns the phenomenon of business model scalability, more specifically, what business model configurations contribute to the scalability of companies. Globally connected markets and rapid technological advancement have been significantly increasing the potential primarily for internet-based companies to achieve previously unprecedented growth in very short time. Efficiently exploiting this opportunity, however, requires companies to design scalable business models. This study addresses a lack of sufficient and coherent knowledge in the literature and provides a better understanding of the topic. Eight qualitative, semi-structured interviews with founders and CEOs of Danish scaleups were carried out to scrutinize their perceptions of the business model configurations affecting scalability. The analysis of the collected data led to two main findings. First, besides the ten factors listed by previous studies, this research identified three additional business model configurations contributing to scalability: customer retention, replicable offering and low barriers to customer engagement. Second, the findings indicate that the relationship between the business model and scalability is rather part of a complex system than the result of a pile of factors and their consequences. Concludingly, the impacts of 1) interrelations among business model configurations 2) trade-offs and limitations 3) dependencies on the circumstances, and 4) the overall business models on each other and on scalability need to be investigated to better understand how business models and their configurations affect scalability.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages90