Success in Business Model Innovations: Drivers of Business Model Innovations and General Success Criteria for a Systematic Approach in Large Corporations

Dániel Szabó

Student thesis: Master thesis


In recent years, innovation literature increasingly praises Business Model Innovations carrying the potential to outperform most, if not all product or service innovations in the long run. In particular large corporations are highly dependent on changes to their business logic in dynamic environments. Yet equally vulnerable to business models of smaller, dynamic new entrants or venture capital supported start-ups, emerging across all industries. Despite the generally acknowledged relevance many corporations lack an understanding of the concepts’ complexity and implications on their organizational system or fail translating this into a systematic approach or process towards change. This thesis, therefore, sheds light on the challenges that large firms face dealing with Business Model Innovations from a corporate perspective. The research raises the questions what companies perceive as driving impetus for Business Model changes and how this shapes the way they innovate. It further asks what role agility plays in a process that involves both flexible and planned elements as well as the fundamental question, how much of the innovation may effectively be replication. In order to derive general success factors, the work is based upon a thorough research on state-of-the-art theoretical concepts contrasted with two performed case studies of large corporations, which is benchmarked to external perspectives provided by four experts within the area of Business Model Innovation. The findings indicate the urgency of incorporating the process of Business Model Innovation much more fundamentally into in the organizational mind-set, where external enablers become more frequent and vast. In an ideal setting business models must be fluid in that they can react adaptively to external and internal triggers. A more transparent process for involved actors becomes essential, which supports innovators with sound tools for the respective process steps. It balances own innovation efforts with imitation of proven combinations and promotes its process’ highly iterative, dynamic and flexible character. To delimit the applicability of identified mediating factors, the success factors are refined according to proposed innovation process phases and its severity placed into a framework.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages210