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Business models for sustainability and firms' external relationships: a systematic literature review with propositions and research agenda
Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0186-0358
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
2023 (English)In: Business Strategy and the Environment, ISSN 0964-4733, E-ISSN 1099-0836, Vol. 32, no 6, p. 3887-3901Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Increased focus on sustainability has made firms' value creation increasingly boundary spanning and complex. This begs the question of how business model research describes firm's external relationships, motivating us to undertake a systematic literature review. In analyzing 49 articles, we discuss and problematize four conceptualizations of external relationships - collaboration, alliances, networks, and ecosystems - arriving at nine propositions that clarify their meaning and refer to either firm-centric or collective business models for sustainability. In combining these findings with review results from conventional business model research we identify three main blind spots in extant business model for sustainability research, regarding coopetition, wider inter-organizational and sustainability tensions, and power. Based on these blind spots, we sketch a research agenda that could theorize business models for sustainability without neglecting their inherent tensions and contradictions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2023. Vol. 32, no 6, p. 3887-3901
Keywords [en]
business model, collaboration, ecosystem, network, relationship, sustainability
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
sustainability
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-202580DOI: 10.1002/bse.3343ISI: 000906757100001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85145582080OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-202580DiVA, id: diva2:1725984
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2019-00520Swedish Research Council Formas, 2021-0005Available from: 2023-01-12 Created: 2023-01-12 Last updated: 2023-12-19Bibliographically approved

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Stål, Herman I.Riumkin, IvanBengtsson, Maria

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Citation style
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Output format
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