English   Danish

2017/2018  KAN-CCMVV4136U  Business Models Management and Innovation

English Title
Business Models Management and Innovation

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn, Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Claus Varnes - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Please find contact information for Student Hub, student Guidiance Services etc. on My.cbs.dk
Main academic disciplines
  • Innovation
  • Organization
  • Strategy
Last updated on 03-03-2017

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors: Grade 12 will be given to students whom will be able to:
  • Explain the selected theories of business models and analyze the weak and strong points of the core models/frameworks.
  • Analyze and explain the relationship between innovation, strategy and business models.
  • Discuss and analyze how business models can be innovated and articulate the managerial issues relating to these.
  • Reflect, explain and discuss the dynamics of business models based on sociology and core models.
  • Explain the innovation of business models under different innovation strategies.
  • Reflect and explain the organizational changes needed for business model innovation.
  • Explain the impact of the five theoretical perspectives on the business model debate
Course prerequisites
No prerequisites.
Notice: This is not a course on finance
Business Models Management and Innovation:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 20 pages
Definition of number of pages:
Groups of
2 students 10 pages max.
3 students 15 pages max
4 students 20 pages max

Note that the exam is a group exam. If you are not able to find a group yourself, you have to address the course coordinator who will place you in a group.

Students who wish to have an individual exam might be able to write a term paper in the course. Please see the cand.merc. rules for term papers for more information.
Assignment type Project
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
15 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time No preparation
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Winter and Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Re-take exam is to be based on the same report as the ordinary exam:

* if a student is absent from the oral exam due to documented illness but has handed in the written group product she/he does not have to submit a new product for the re-take.

* if a whole group fails the oral exam they must hand in a revised product for the re-take.

* if one student in the group fails the oral exam the course coordinator chooses whether the student will have the oral exam on the basis of the same product or if he/she has to hand in a revised product for the re- take.
Course content and structure

Practitioners are increasingly interested in business models and the innovation of these,  but research has only slowly responded to this significant interest. Hence, this course is an attempt to accommodate this need from the business world by providing a research-based perspective on business model innovation.
High performing organizations are able to manage business models. Thus, the course focuses on managerial issues and challenges an established organization face when wanting to manage and innovate business models. Among the dilemmas are that a short and long term perspective has to be applied and that today’s business model is not tomorrows’ answer. Yet, another dilemma, is a central discussion whether a business model is a subject or an object, meaning what are the managerial challenges if a business model is the core logic of a business and therefore not tangible.
The course focus on innovation of business models by describing business models in various components and frameworks, discussing the relationship with strategy and sustainability, the application to both service and product based companies, and the dynamics of these.

By the end of this course, the students are going  to be able to:

  • Understand how value is created through business model innovation, while distincting between different theoretical perspectives
  • Understand the dynamics of business models innovation and why these are changing industries
  • Recognize and understand the specificity of different business model patterns (e.g fremium model; razor-blade model; etc)
  • Work with five of the most used tools in generting new business models (e.g The four blocks' model, Business model canvas, Chesbrough's model, Teece's innovation model; Davilla's model)
  • Analize the perfomace of a business model
  • Recognize and decide when a business model has reached its tipping point
  • Understand the innovation stategies applied to business models
  • Understand the difference between product and business innovation

Group work is required along the entire semester as the students are going to be given small case studies to solve and present during the course. 
The students are expected to form the groups of max three students at the first course.






















Teaching methods
The course is lecture-based through short cases presented in class by the teacher and guest speakers. In-class group work will be required in order to discuss case studies and the issues raised by these.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback occurs during the course as part of group presentations from peers and the lecturer.
Student workload
Teaching 27 hours
Preparation 153 hours
Examination 26 hours
Expected literature

Required course readings and literature:


For understanding the basic principles of business models, 1 text books is recommended:



1. Harvard Business Review on Rebuilding Your Business Model

Source: Harvard Business Press Books

288 pages. Publication date: Jun 15, 2011



And optional:


Business Model Innovation, The Organizational Dimension

Nicolai J., Foss and Tina Saebi

Oxford University Press, 208 pages. Publication date: 2015


Compulsory materials for each lecture are determined by the theoretical themes.


Course Outline


Lecture 1:  Definition and Business Model Frameworks


Main points:

  • Disagreements about definition, number of components and frameworks for business models
  • Outline of the existing business model perspectives
  • Common frameworks for working with business models



Text book, chapter 4: Magretta,J., (2011) Why Business Models Matter, Harvard Business Review on Rebuilding Your Business Model


Text book, chapter 8: Zook, C., (2011) Finding Your Next Core Business, Harvard Business Review on Rebuilding Your Business Model


Baden-Fuller, C. and Morgan, M. (2010) ‘Business Models as Models’, Long Range Planning 43: 156–71


Chesbrough, H., Rosenbloom, R. S. (2002) The Role of the Business Model in Capturing Value from Innovation: Evidence From Xerox Corporation’s Technology Spin-Off Companies. Industrial and Corporate Change, 11 (3), 529-555.



Wirtz, B.W., Pistoia, A., Ullrich, S. And Göttel, V., 2015, Business Models: Origin, Development And Future Research Perspectives,  Long Range Planning, 1-19.



Lecture 2:  Business Models as Activity Systems versus Dynamic capabilities


Main points:

  • Standpoints of the different perspectives
  • Business models analyzed through the two perspective: differences
  • Managerial implications for regarding business models as a system or capability funnel
  • Frameworks



Zott, C., Amit, R. (2010) Business Model Design: An Activity System Perspective. Long Range Planning, 43, 216-226


Teece, D. J. (2010) Business Models, Business Strategy and Innovation.  Long Range Planning, 43, 172-194.


Demil, B., Lecocq, X. (2010) Business Model Evolution: In Search of Dynamic Consistency. Long Range Planning, 43, 227-246.

Willemstein, L., Van Der Valk, T. And Meeus, M.T.H., 2007. Dynamics in business models: An empirical analysis of medical biotechnology firms in the Netherlands. Technovation, 27(4), pp. 221-232.


Lecture 3:  Business Models in a  Discovery driven: Innovating BM versus product


Main points:

  • Standpoints of the discovery driven perspective
  • Differences and similarities between business model innovation and product innovation
  • Managerial implications   



McGrath, R., (2010) Business Models: A Discovery Driven Approach Original, Long Range Planning, 43 (2–3), 247-261.

Sosna, M.,  Trevinyo- Rodriguez, R. N., Velamuri, R. (2010) Business Model Innovation through Trial and Error Learning, Long Range Planning, 43 (2–3), 383-407.

Makrides, C (2006) Distruptive Innovation: In Need of  Better Theory, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 23, 19-25.

Bucherer, E., Eisert, U., Gassmann, O, (2012) Towards Systematic Business Model Innovation: Lessons from Product Innovation Management, Creativity and Innovation Management, 21 (2), 183- 198.

Gunzel, F., Holm, A., (2013) One Size Does Not Fit All — Understanding The Front-End And Back-End Of Business Model Innovation, International Journal of Innovation Management, 17 (1), 1-34.


Lecture 4: Cognitive and Collective Sensemaking Perspectives


Main points:

  • Standpoints of the different perspectives
  • Business models analyzed through the two perspective: differences
  • Managerial implications



Tikkanen, H., Lamberg, J-A., Parvinen, P., Kallunki, J-P. (2005) Managerial cognition, action and the business model of the firm, Management Decision, 43 (6), 789-809

Chesbrough (2010)  Business Model Innovation: Opportunities and Barriers, Long Range Planning, 43, 354-363.

Aspara, J., Lamberg, J-A.,  Laukia, A., Tikkanen, H., (2013)  Corporate Business Model Transformation and Inter-Organizational Cognition: The Case of Nokia, Long Range Planning, (46), 459-474.

Martins, L., Rindova, V.P., Greenbaum, B., (2015) Unlocking The Hidden Value Of Concepts: A Cognitive Approach To Business
Model Innovation,  Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 9, 99-117



Lecture 5: Business Models and Strategy


Main points:

  • Disagreements whether business models should mirror strategy



Text book, chapter 9: Bower, J., and Christensen, M., (2010), Distributive Technologies: Catching the Wave, Harvard Business Review on Rebuilding Your Business Model



Shafer, S. M., Smith, H. J., Linder, J. C. (2005) The Power of Business Models, Business Horizons, 48, 199-207.


Zott, C. And Amit, R., 2008. The fit between product market strategy and business model: implications for firm performance, Strategic Management Journal, 29, pp. 1-26


Stefanovic, I., Milosevic, D., (2012) On conceptual differentiation and integration of strategy and business model, Journal of Economics and Business, 30 (1). 141-161


Lecture 6:  Triggers of Business Model Innovation: servitization and sustainability


Main points:

  • Is sustainability an input or output for a business model?
  • Disagreements concerning the elements that should be changed under a sustainability strategy
  • Disagreements concerning differences/or no differences between service and manufacturing companies
  • Service business models versus product business models




Kanter, R., M., (2010), From Spare Change to Real Change: The Social Sector as Beta Site for Business Innovation, Harvard Business Review on Business Model Innovation


Nidumolu, R., et al (2011), Why Sustainability is Now the Key Driver of Innovation, Greening Your Business Profitability, Harvard Business Review on Greening Your Business


Yunus, M., et al (2010), Building Social Business Models: Lessons from the Grameen Experience, Long Range Planning, 43: 308-325


Cusumano, M. (2003) Business Models That Last: Balancing Products and Services in Software and Other Industries. MIT Sloan School of Management, 197, 1-22.


Ettlie, J., E., Rosenthal, S., R. (2011) Service versus Manufacturing Innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 28, 285-299.


Lecture 7:  Triggers of Business Model Innovation: Open Innovation


Main points:

  • Is business model a radical or incremental type of innovation?
  • How does a business model act under an open innovation strategy?
  • Creating new business opportunities
  • Involving customers: ethnographic research



Text book, chapter 6: Kim, C., and Mauborgne, R.,(2011) Creating a New Market Space, Harvard Business Review on Rebuilding Your Business Model


Davila, T., Epstein, M., and Shelton, R. (2006) Making Innovation Work, Wharton School Publishing, chapter 2


Chesbrough, H. (2003) The era of open innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 44 (3): 77-82.


Chesbrough, H., Schwartz, K. (2007) Innovating Business Models with Co-Development Partnership, Research Technology Management, 55-59.


Goffin, K., Varnes, C., Van der Hoven, C., and Koners, U (2012), Beyond the Voice of the Customer: Ethnographic Market Research, Research Technology Management


Lecture 8: Multiple Business Models: Ambidextrous Organizations


Main points:

  • Dilemmas for short term versus long term innovation
  • Dilemmas concerning how many business models should a company have


O’Reilly, C., Tushman, M., (2004), The Ambidextrous Organization, Harvard Business Review


Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y. (2010) Business Model Generation. Self-published, pp 232- 243


Casadesus-Masanell, R., and Tarziján, J., (2012), When One Business Model Isn’t Enough, Harvard Business Review


Smith, W, Binns, A., Tushman, M., (2010) Complex Business Models: Managing Strategic Paradoxes Simultaneously, Long Range Planning, 43, 448-461.


McNamara, P, Peck, S., Sasson, A., (2013) Competing Business Models, Value Creation and Appropriation in English Football, Long Range Planning, 46, 475-487.



Lecture 9: Mind-set and dominant logics


Main points:

  • Organizational change versus business models



Text book, chapter 10: Anthony, S., Eyring, M., and Gibson, Lib, (2011) Mapping Your Innovation Strategy, Harvard Business Review on Rebuilding Your Business Model


Linder, J. C., Cantrell, S. (2001) Five Business-Model Myths That Hold Companies Back. Strategy & Leadership, 29 (6), 13-18.


Linder, J. C., Cantrell, S. (2002) It’s All in the Mind (Set). Across the board, 38-42.


Prahalad, C. K., Bettis, R., (1986) The Dominant Logic, A New Linkage between Diversity and Performance, Strategic Management Journal, 7, 485-501.


Bock, A., Opsahl, T., George, G., Gann, D., (2012) The Effects of Culture and Structure on Strategic Flexibility during Business Model Innovation, Journal of Management Studies, 49 (2), 279-305,


Lecture 10: Business Models Framing and Tipping Points


Main points:

  • Innovation is overcoming resistance
  • Business models are a mediation process



Latour, B. (1994) On Technical Mediation-Philosophy, Sociology, Genealogy, Common Knowledge, 3, (2), 29-64.


Callon, Michel (1986), Some Elements of a Sociology of Translation: Domestication of the Scallops and the Fishermen of St Brieuc Bay, pp. 196-233 in Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge, edited by John Law. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.


Lecture 11: Case study of Liz Claiborne Inc. and Comprehensive review


Siggelkow, N (2004), Change in the Presence of Fit: The Rise, the Fall, and the Renaissance of Liz Claiborne, pp 605- 623, in Managing Strategic Innovation and Change, Tushman, M., and Anderson, P., second edition, New York: Oxford University Press























Last updated on 03-03-2017