The Dynamic Capabilities Involved in Eco-disruptive Business Model Innovation: The Case of BMW’s Adoption of Carsharing Business Models

Marco Checchi & Vincent Leonard Engel

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis proposes a connection between disruptive innovation theory and eco-innovation theory by investigating the dynamic capabilities involved in eco-disruptive business model innovation. It does so by analyzing BMW’s adoption of carsharing business models as a case for an incumbent company performing eco-disruptive business model innovation. Dynamic capabilities, or a company’s ability to adapt its resource base in response to changing economic environments, constitutes a prerequisite for business model innovation in both disruptive innovation theory and eco-innovation theory. As such, they are suggested as the link between the two theoretical perspectives. Consequently, two dynamic capabilities frameworks reflecting the two theoretical perspectives are applied to the case, demonstrating that neither sufficiently explains eco-disruptive business model innovation. As a result, a new framework of dynamic capabilities that accurately describes eco-disruptive business model innovation is brought forth. This is done by discussing the case of BMW’s adoption of carsharing business models. The resulting framework presents the dynamic capabilities involved in eco-disruptive innovation divided into sensing, seizing and reconfiguring capabilities in accordance with the dynamic capabilities taxonomy developed by Teece (2007). On top of that, it distinguishes between seven different stakeholders, namely (1) company, (2) employees, (3) suppliers, (4) customers, (5) public stakeholders, (6) startups, and (7) industry. This thesis concludes by discussing the implications of this newly developed framework both from a theoretical perspective as well as a practical perspective. Keywords: eco-disruptive innovation; disruption; sustainability; business model innovation; dynamic capabilities; stakeholder inclusion; carsharing; automotive industry.

EducationsMSc in Management of Innovation and Business Development, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages140
SupervisorsAttila Marton