Business Models

Students must write an essay and then explain their essay’s main arguments via a short video

presentation. The essay should be a minimum of 1,200 words and no longer than 1,700 words, not

including the reference list. The video presentation should be a minimum of 2 minutes in duration

and no longer than 4 minutes. Your video submission should be accompanied by a (Word document)

transcript of what was said in the video.

The objective of this essay is to develop your understanding of the business model as a concept and

how a theoretical understanding of business models can be used to explain value creation, value

appropriation and/or the innovation process at firms in real­life. To successfully complete this

assessment, you are required to explore the academic literature on business models and to write an

essay addressing the following statement:

According to Kodama (2009), Zott and Amit (2010), and Itami and Nishino (2010), who published

in Long Range Planning in 2009 and 2010, business models can be conceptualised as activity­based

systems. However, these authors developed significantly different models and insights in their papers

when they wrote about business models as systems. There is a good reason for this. The way in

which firms create and capture value can vary significantly. Much depends on the firm’s unique

context. In other words, when managers think about their firm’s business model it goes without

saying they need to understand the firm at a particular point in time, how it may need to change but

also the elements that compose it. Business models as activity­based systems provide managers with

the flexibility to abstract in all of these ways.

(Links to the above articles can be found on Moodle.)

When you write your essay you should ensure you fully address the above statement and do the


Define the concept of a business model.

Explain what is involved when one conceptualises business models as systems.

Explain how business models as systems can be used to solve static and dynamic problems.

Explain how business models as systems can be used to understand how firms partner.

Explain how business models as systems can be used to understand the innovation process.

Explain Kodama’s (2009), Zott and Amit’s (2010), OR Itami and Nishino’s (2010) arguments in more

detail through the use of an example, that is, by explaining the business model of one firm in more

detail. (You only need to focus on the articles of one of the articles referred to above, that is, only

one business model framework or model.)

Identify which article you thought helped you understand business models as systems the most and

explain why. (You can identify one article, two or all three if you want.)

Conclude by briefly discussing the significance of your findings for the future of business models.

N.B. You should feel free to use diagrams to illustrate points in your essay, including develop hybrid

frameworks and models of your own based on your research.

You should include at least 5 references and no more than 20 references. All sources must be highly

credible and fully referenced. Please note that academic misconduct and late submission penalties will

apply to this assessment as per the university policies.


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