Business model components & their interrelations: A study of understandings and interpretations of business models and a single case study of Liz Claiborne

Line Hvilsom

Student thesis: Master thesis


PURPOSE: In theory are business models a popular phenomenon, though lacking and not having a general accepted conception or definition. In practice are business models significant and possibly one of the most widely discussed and yet least understood terminologies in the business world (Teece 2010). This, firstly reflects a theoretical problem that complicates the design and implementation of business models for companies, resulting in a practical problem (Bitsch Olsen, Pedersen 2008). Therefore is there a need to clarify the terminology (Shafer, Smith & Linder 2005). The purpose of following research is to outline the numerous proposed business model conceptions and move towards a renewed and collating understanding and interpretation of the business model, its components and their interrelation. Firstly, to clarify the terminology, and secondly, in an attempt to bring about some new understanding and in-sight on business model components and their interrelations. APPROACH: This thesis originates from answering the problem statement through a con-ducted study of three compiled research questions. This research is taking a philosophic ap-proach in the hermeneutics dominated by a methodology in the systems approach. FINDINGS: Business model definitions have been criticized for not taking the same starting point and neither coming to same conception nor definition. Authors tend to propose meta-business models that fit their own perspective and research. But quite a few of them are simi-lar in “what story they want to tell”, as Magretta (2002) would have said. This is regardless of whether it is from the perspective of e-business, innovation or strategy. The overall concep-tion and definition of a business model, is therefore not that divergent as proposed in litera-ture. Business model components and its interrelations are not well explored or defined in literature, but within the last few years, has a focus on approaching the business model dy-namically been emphasized. This has though not solved the problem of understanding interre-lations between the business model components; so that companies can be better prepared to the environmental changes they constantly meet. The case study of this research emphasizes a need to rethink the business model framework and incorporate the external environment, since a global economy is not increasing the dynamic environment.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages80