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18: Business Models

Track Description


The purpose of this track is to explore new ways of seeing and theorizing Information Systems (IS) in a digitized world using the business model concept. The concept provide a holistic perspective on the role of IS. Rapid developments in information and communications technology (ICT) and digitization have fostered challenges and changes to existing firms and have provided new opportunities to digital startups such as Zalando, Spotify, EA games, and Skype. These young and upcoming firms are driving innovation by utilizing ICT and thereby changing the economic landscape by creating new markets and industries as well changing the existing ones. These firms are creating new types of value for their customers and thus are able to attract an increasing number of customers on a daily basis. They also introduce new business processes, for instance, for how to sell, market, and pay for products and services and for where to perform business processes.

Traditional businesses particularly in retail are struggling to create viable business models for multichannel retail, while newer players without bricks-and-mortar legacy are winning an increasing share of consumers’ wallets. Still, also many of these online players (e.g. and Zalando) are yet to make profits.

In this realm, the business model concept has rapidly been gaining attention in IS research (Al-Debei and Avison 2010; Clemons 2009; Clemons et al. 2013; Deodhar et al. 2012; Hedman and Kalling 2003; Veit et al. 2014) since it has the potential to understand current and emerging digitized and data-centric businesses and enables designing or understanding successful business logic (Amit and Zott 2001; Zott et al. 2011). Its relevance is emphasized in the research manifesto of Chesbrough and Spohrer (2006). They state that “any useful answers to ‘why companies and industries vary in their productivity’ or ‘why value migrates to different parts of the stack’ will invariably involve [...] business models…”.

This track seeks to foster the discussion around the topic of business models and the contributions it might bring to the understanding of ICT-driven entrepreneurship and the IS discipline in a digitized world. Hence, it answers the call to deeply understand the “marriage” of ICT and innovative new ventures (Del Giudice and Straub 2011). It thereby aligns well with the conference theme “The Networked Society” by exploring the new chances, challenges and opportunities brought up through the strengthened network effects by digitization from a business model perspective.

Submissions are encouraged from all theoretical and methodological perspectives drawing from IS, strategic management, and related disciplines. Authors must clearly outline why their study is new and interesting for IS research and practice. It is required that submitted articles break new ground and significantly contribute to or extend the existing IS literature.

Types of Contributions

Potential topics for submission include but are not limited to:

  • The use of the business model concept by ICT-driven startups
  • Development and evaluation of new business models in the era of
    • social media,
    • smartphones,
    • online services,
    • crowdsourcing,
    • gaming,
    • electronic payments
    • open data
  • Transformation of business models
    • from online to mobile world
    • from traditional to multichannel/omnichannel world
  • Evaluation and simulation of new or existing business models
  • Industry-specific classification schemes of business models (e.g. social media business model types)
  • Interplay of different business model components and their configuration (e.g. internal vs external business models)
  • Development of business modeling tools and languages for the description and simulation of business models
  • Impacts of new developments in ICT on business models
  • Innovation of business models through ICT
  • Understanding the business model changes of software companies switching from on premise to cloud products and services
  • Impacts of electronic payment platforms (e.g. Google Wallet), currencies (e.g. Bitcoin) and technologies (e.g. mobile, social…) on business models
  • Interrelationships of 'fit' between ICT, organization, business model, and performance
  • Business models and big data analytics
  • Business models of platform mediated services on two-sided/many-sided markets

We are interested in papers that contribute to Business Model related theories and empirical evidence. Overall, the track explicitly encourages research using a wide variety of methodologies covering quantitative and qualitative, empirical and theoretical research approaches, such as, case studies, action research, surveys, experiments, and design science research. Therefore, we invite both full research papers and research in progress papers.

Track Chairs

Jonas Hedman <primary contact>

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Jonas Hedman <primary contact>

Jonas Hedman is an associate professor at Copenhagen Business School. His research focuses on business models, cashless society and green IT. Besides many other articles, he has published one of the most influential articles on business models in the information systems domain.

Virpi Tuunainen

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Virpi Tuunainen

Virpi Tuunainen is professor of information systems science at Aalto University School of Business, and director of Aalto University Service Factory. She’s the VP of Publications of the AIS, and the President of AIS SIG Services. Her current research focuses on ICT enabled or enhanced services, electronic and mobile business models, customer and community digital innovation, and creative use of ICT.  Her work has appeared in leading IS journals and conferences.

Daniel Veit

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Daniel Veit

Daniel Veit is a professor and chair of Information Systems and Management at the School for Business and Economics of University of Augsburg. His research focuses on the adoption of digital infrastructures, new business models and processes in enterprises and society and has been published in leading conferences of the information systems field and leading journals of the marketing and operations discipline.

Associate Editors

  • Adamantia Pateli, Ionian University
  • Chee-Wee Tan, CBS
  • Christine Legner, HEC, Lausanne
  • Christopher Davis, University of South Florida
  • Fergal Carton, University College Cork
  • Harry Bouwman, TU Delft
  • Heiko Gewald, Hochschule Neu-Ulm
  • Jan Ondrus, ESSEC
  • Martin Spann, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
  • Peter Loos, Saarland University
  • Risto Rajala, Aalto School of Science
  • Saonee Sarker, University of Virginia
  • Xiao Xiao, CBS

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