Conceptualising business model innovation: evidence from the managers’ advice network
Stefano Ghinoi & Paolo Di Toma (2021)
In recent years, there has been a growing consensus in management and organisation studies regarding the crucial role played by business model innovation in supporting firms’ competitiveness.
However, the intra-organisational processes that aim to develop business model innovation and the antecedents for its conceptualisation remain underexplored. Organisational mechanisms for learning between managers lead to the establishment of intraorganisational advice networks, which facilitate the acquisition and diffusion of knowledge for innovation. Using social network analysis, this study investigates the elements associated with intraorganisational networking intended to innovate business models.
We analyse a multiunit cooperative firm as a case study. Within this firm, the conceptualisation of the novel business model activated a collaborative system of advice exchange between managers. We found that networking is supported by active managers who spread advice within the firm and managers who go beyond the boundaries of their organisational role. We propose several managerial recommendations, including that managers can develop sub-groups constituting specific and unique knowledge structures, which represent the real generators of business model innovation.