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Why do business model innovators require organizational resilience?


Abstract and Figures

Environmental turbulence not only represents a challenge for established business models, but also for business model innovators. Organizational resilience embodies an important response mechanism to environmental turbulence, yet its implications for business model innovators are an understudied research topic. Based on a systematic literature review, the present article discusses business model innovations by incumbents in three scenarios: preceding, during and post disruption by emergent competitive business models. By proposing a framework that illustrates organizational resilience mechanisms in each of these scenarios, the paper derives five research propositions to reveal the importance of ensuring organizational resilience when responding to disruption through business model innovation. Pre-disruption, organizational diversity fosters anticipatory business model innovation. During disruption, adaptability is proposed as the key resilience mechanism for effective business model innovation. Due to the speed at which competitive advantages are lost in turbulent environments, efficiency is key post-disruption, for companies trying to emulate the disruptive business model. Moreover, the interpretation of the organizational identity based on the core competencies, together with partnerships that are diverse in range and flexible in scope foster the three business model innovation strategies.
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Paper presented at:
R&D Management Conference 2016 “From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation” 3-6 July 2016, Cambridge, UK
Why do business model innovators
require organizational resilience?
Oana Buliga1 and Kai-Ingo Voigt 2
1Chair of Industrial Management, School of Business and Economics, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-
Nürnberg, Lange Gasse 20, 90403, Nuremberg.
2 Chair of Industrial Management, School of Business and Economics, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-
Nürnberg, Lange Gasse 20, 90403, Nuremberg.
Environmental turbulence not only represents a challenge for established business models, but also
for business model innovators. Organizational resilience embodies an important response
mechanism to environmental turbulence, yet its implications for business model innovators are an
understudied research topic. Based on a systematic literature review, the present article discusses
business model innovations by incumbents in three scenarios: preceding, during and post disruption
by emergent competitive business models. By proposing a framework that illustrates organizational
resilience mechanisms in each of these scenarios, the paper derives five research propositions to
reveal the importance of ensuring organizational resilience when responding to disruption through
business model innovation. Pre-disruption, organizational diversity fosters anticipatory business
model innovation. During disruption, adaptability is proposed as the key resilience mechanism for
effective business model innovation. Due to the speed at which competitive advantages are lost in
turbulent environments, efficiency is key post-disruption, for companies trying to emulate the
disruptive business model. Moreover, the interpretation of the organizational identity based on the
core competencies, together with partnerships that are diverse in range and flexible in scope foster
the three business model innovation strategies.
1. Introduction
Frequent and severe uncertainties in the organizational environment make it difficult for companies to rely on their past,
tried-and-tested business models. Uncertainty has compound sources, relating to customer choices (Pynnönen et al.,
2012), technological shifts (Zott & Amit, 2008), global economic developments (Teece, 2010) and recessions (Pal et al.,
2014) or to risks such as natural disasters (Burnard & Bhamra, 2011). When describing an environment that is changing
too fast to be counteracted simply through organizational size and past success, scholars discuss the resilience gap faced
by many organizations. While for Hamel and Välikangas (2003) and Carayannis et al. (2014) closing this resilience gap
implies relying on strategic and continuous business model innovation, scholars from various other backgrounds highlight
further resilience mechanisms. These additional resilience mechanisms are important, as environmental uncertainty does
not only represent a challenge for established business models, but also for business model innovators (Chen et al., 2012;
Hu, 2014; McGrath, 2010). Therefore, it is pivotal to understand how an organization can make use of a wider spectrum
of resilience mechanisms in order to support business model innovation and hereby reduce its resilience gap.
Paper presented at:
R&D Management Conference 2016 “From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation” 3-6 July 2016, Cambridge, UK
Annarelli and Nonino’s (2014) in-depth review on the current research state on organizational resilience concludes that
while a consensus regarding the definition, characteristics and foundations of the term has been reached in academia, a
promising future research direction is its relation with organizational innovation strategies. While research highlights the
significance of organizational resilience in turbulent environments, it barely discusses its relation to business model
innovation, sporadically presenting it either as enabler (Dewald & Bowen, 2010) or as a result (Carayannis et al., 2014).
In particular, a research gap exists as to why business model innovators require organizational resilience in times of
environmental turbulence. Since business model innovation by an incumbent can take place before, during or after a
disruption in the external business environment, it is worthy to study which resilience mechanisms can support each of
the three business model innovation types. These considerations bring forward the research question of the present article,
namely how do organizational resilience mechanisms contribute to business model innovation pre-, during-, and post-
disruption in the external environment?
2. Research Design
The objective of the article being to study how organizational resilience is conducive to business model innovation, a
systematic literature review was paramount. For attaining a holistic perspective on the research fields of business model
innovation and organizational resilience, the article follows the approach proposed by Bryman and Bell (2015). In the
databases Business Source Complete, EconLit and Emerald Insight the keywords „business model”, and the truncations
“business model innov*” and “org* resilien*” were looked up in article titles, followed by a search of their relevant
combinations in full article texts. The search was limited to articles published in English in academic journals, between
January 1990 and November 2015. The quality criteria used are the relevance of the abstract and of the keywords,
followed by the journal ranking according to VHB-JOURQUAL 3. Only articles published in ranked journals were used,
summing to a total of 43 articles focusing on business model innovation, 41 articles focusing on organizational resilience
and 4 articles, which discuss both constructs.
2.1 Business Model Innovation
The research tradition on the business model innovation concept goes back to the 1930s, when Schumpeter (1934)
described five different innovation types, namely product innovation, production method innovation, supply source
innovation, new market exploitation, and new ways to organize the overall business (cf. Casadesus-Masanell & Zhu,
2013). To describe the latter, researchers and practitioners during the past two decades have been increasingly using the
term business model innovation (Amit & Zott, 2001; Chesbrough, 2010; Spieth & Schneider, 2015). In conjunction with
the introduction of business model innovations, particularly as innovative start-up business models (Holmén & Fallahi,
2013), scholars have made significant efforts to advance the concept in varied management fields beyond
entrepreneurship, such as strategic management research (Johnson et al., 2008; Snihur & Zott, 2013), leadership
(Magretta, 2002) and decision-making (Osiyevskyy & Dewald, 2015). Yet the diversity of the research fields that study
business model innovations, combined with the definitional variety of the business model construct itself (Günzel &
Holm, 2013), make business models and their innovation an ambiguous research topic (Spieth & Schneider, 2015).
For this reason, the present paper defines the business model as the sum of the value creation mechanisms, value
proposition and value capture mechanisms and their links, in line with a substantial number of scholars, who explicitly
(Björkdahl & Holmén, 2013; Guo et al., 2013; Spieth et al., 2014; Svejenova et al., 2010) or implicitly (Chesbrough &
Rosenbloom, 2002; Johnson et al., 2008; Timmers, 1998) define it according to this logic. Some researchers include
additional aspects to this business model definition, such as the external positioning (Chesbrough, 2010; Morris et al.,
2005), value communication (Abdelkafi et al., 2013), or the value delivery dimension (Abdelkafi et al., 2013; Desyllas &
Sako, 2013; Günzel & Holm, 2013; Magretta, 2002; Teece, 2010). Value delivery can, however, also be understood as a
mechanism of value creation, particularly in service organizations, when a problem is solved for the customer in real
time. As regards value communication, the present paper views it as a supplement to value delivery and hereby subject
to the value creation process. Finally, since the external positioning describes the role taken by a company within the
supply chain or value network (Chesborugh, 2010), the paper views it as the result of the realized strategy, complementing
the business model.
Business models incorporate the overall logic of an organization’s business (Sako, 2012) and reduce complex activities
to core elements (Bucherer et al., 2012). Hereby, they are a powerful tool for managers to analyse, communicate, and
develop the organization and its strategy (Shafer et al., 2005; Spieth et al., 2014). In order to ensure sustained performance
in environments with a high frequency of technological and market disruptions, business models should act as dynamic
and adaptable systems, which are subject to innovation (Bucherer et al., 2012). Theoretical grounding for business model
innovation is provided by the resource-based school of thought, value chain and strategic network analyses, and by the
transaction cost theory (Amit & Zott, 2001; Snihur & Zott, 2013). In line with Chesbrough (2010) and Holmén and Fallahi
Paper presented at:
R&D Management Conference 2016 “From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation” 3-6 July 2016, Cambridge, UK
(2013), the present paper defines business model innovation as the actions, by which a company identifies and adopts
novel value creation and value capture mechanisms, enabling a fundamental change in its business logic.
2.2. Organizational Resilience
Research on organizational resilience draws on constructs and concepts from two early research fields of psychological
and ecological resilience (Richtnér & Löfsten, 2014; Sommer et al., 2015). Following the pioneering work of Garmezy
et al. (1961) on the psychological resilience of children (cf. Coutu, 2002; Luthans et al., 2006), Holling’s (1973) studies
on ecological resilience raised broad awareness of the resilience construct and became the foundation for a wider research
spectrum beyond psychology and ecology, encompassing disciplines such as material science, supply chain management,
economy, and organizational behaviour (Bruneau et al., 2003; Gunderson, 2000; Somers, 2009).
In order to contextualize organizational resilience and allow a comparison to other resilience forms, Table 1 identifies 30
definitions published in academic journals in English between 1973 and 2015, pertaining to five resilience research fields:
ecological, economic, psychological, socio-ecological and organizational science. The definitions were selected based on
their capacity to give a clear understanding of the topic, and on the number of received citations.
Table 1. Selected perspectives and definitions on the resilience construct
Ecological resilience
(2000) p. 425
“Resilience is the property that mediates transition among [multiple stable states (or stability
(1973) p. 14
“Measure of the persistence of systems and of the ability to absorb change and disturbance and still
maintain the same relationships between state variables”.
Economic resilience
Briguglio et
al. (2009)
p. 230
“Economic resilience is associated with actions undertaken by policy-makers and private economic
agents that enable a country to withstand or recover from the negative effects of shocks. Actions
that enable a country to benefit more from positive shocks are also considered to be conducive to
economic resilience”.
Pike et al.
(2010) p. 1
“Ability of places to react and respond to uncertain, volatile and rapid change”.
Simmie &
Martin (2010)
p. 29
“The differential ability of a region’s or a locality’s firms to adapt to changes and shocks in
competitive, market, technological, policy and related conditions”.
Psychological resilience
Coutu (2002)
p. 52
“The skill and the capacity to be robust under conditions of enormous stress and change”.
Luthans et al.
(2006) p. 30
“Resilience is the capacity of an individual to respond and even prosper from negative or positive
stressful circumstances”.
(2002) p. 702
“The capacity to rebound or bounce back from adversity, conflict, failure, or even positive events,
progress, and increased responsibility”.
(2001) p. 228
“Resilience refers to a class of phenomena characterized by good outcomes in spite of serious
threats to adaptation or development”.
Tedeschi &
(2004) p. 4
“Resilience is usually considered to be an ability to go on with life after hardship or adversity, or to
continue living in a purposeful life after experiencing hardship and adversity”.
Socio-ecological resilience
Carpenter et
al. (2001)
p. 765
“Resilience is the magnitude of disturbance that can be tolerated before a socioecological system
(SES) moves to a different region of state space controlled by a different set of processes.
Resilience has multiple levels of meaning: as a metaphor related to sustainability, as a property of
dynamic models, and as a measurable quantity that can be assessed in field studies of SES”.
Horne & Orr
p. 31
“Resilience is a fundamental quality of individuals, groups, organizations, and systems as a whole
to respond productively to significant change that disrupts the expected pattern of events without
engaging in an extended period of regressive behavior”.
Paper presented at:
R&D Management Conference 2016 “From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation” 3-6 July 2016, Cambridge, UK
Walker et al.
(2002) w.p.
“Resilience […] is the potential of a system to remain in a particular configuration and to maintain
its feedbacks and functions, and involves the ability of the system to reorganize following
disturbance-driven change”.
Walker et al.
(2004) p. 2
“Resilience is the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing
change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks”.
Organizational resilience
Ates & Bititci
(2011) p. 5601
“The capacity of an organisation to survive, adapt and sustain the business in the face of turbulent
Fiksel (2003)
p. 5332
A resilient system “can function across a broad spectrum of possible states and gradually tends to
return to its equilibrium state. Through adaptation and evolution, it is capable of surviving large
(2012) p. 33
“Organizational resilience represents a key determinant of an organization’s ability to weather a
crisis and withstand its many potential associated challenges”.
Gilly et al.
(2014) p. 597
“We consider organisational resilience to be a double capacity of resistance and adaptation opening
the way for new pathways. These pathways indicate the capacity of an organisation to find novel
responses to new questions and not simply to reproduce previously-used organisational responses”.
Hamel &
(2003) p. 53
“The ability to dynamically reinvent business models and strategies as circumstances change”.
Lampel et al.
(2014) p. 68
“Resilience [] is the ability to ‘bounce back’ after dealing with unanticipated events with adverse
effects on the organization”.
Hall & Beck
(2005) p. 750
“Resilience capacity is defined as a unique blend of cognitive, behavioral, and contextual properties
that increase a firm’s ability to understand its current situation and to develop customized responses
that reflect that understanding”.
Lissack &
p. 82
“Resilience deals with the flexibility of responses to stress and the capacity for learning, self-
organization, and adaptation at multiple scales. Resilience depends on the behavior of a system, due
to the structure of its attributes and the interactions between them, and the perception of
perturbations and change, especially unexpected emergent events”.
Mallak (1998)
p. 8
“For an organization to be resilient, it needs people who can respond quickly and effectively to
change while enduring minimal stress. More and more, these positive adaptive capabilities are what
differentiate the competition”.
Limnios et al.
(2014) p. 104
“The magnitude of disturbance the system can tolerate and still persist”.
Marwa &
Milner (2013)
p. 838
“To be resilient, companies […] ought to balance between perceived opportunities and risk, while
fostering attributes that prop them up, namely: foresight, agility, staying power, entrepreneurialism
and diversity”.
McCann et
al. (2009) p.
“Capacity for resisting, absorbing and responding, even reinventing if required, in response to fast
and/or disruptive change that cannot be avoided”.
Norman et al.
(2005) p. 59
Resilience “contains two components: it must involve threat/risk and it must contain a positive
reaction to that risk”.
& Bansal
(2015) p. 1
“The firm’s ability to sense and correct maladaptive tendencies and cope positively with
unexpected situations. […] The ability of organizations to anticipate, avoid, and adjust to shocks in
their environment”.
Sutcliffe &
Vogus (2003)
p. 97
“Resilience is the capacity to rebound from adversity strengthened and more resourceful”.
Stewart &
(2007) p. 247
“Resilience is the term used to describe an organisation’s capacity to respond positively, or at least,
adaptively to disruptive change. Resilience implies, not just the ability to withstand external shocks,
but also suggests a capacity for adaptation and learning”.
According to Gunderson (2000), in engineering research resilience indicates the return time to the single possible stable
state after disruption, while in fields such as ecology, as proposed by Holling (1973), it equals the amount of disturbance,
which can be absorbed before a system changes its structure or shifts into another regime of behavior. Following
Paper presented at:
R&D Management Conference 2016 “From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation” 3-6 July 2016, Cambridge, UK
Gunderson (2000), ecological resilience is grounded on the assumption that multiple stable states are possible before the
system shifts into another regime of behavior. Hence, ecological resilience, as opposed to engineering resilience, is
grounded on the logic that a system can reach multiple stable states (Gunderson, 2000).
The concept of multiple stable states is the basis of numerous resilience definitions in the field of organizational science,
as highlighted in Table 1 (e.g., Fiksel, 2003; McCann et al., 2009; Stewart & O’Donnell, 2007). In a similar vein to
Gunderson (2000), Fiksel (2003) assumes that while a resilient system gradually tends towards equilibrium, it can
continue its functionality across several states. This results from an inner adaptability of resilient systems, as also noted
in most definitions on organizational resilience in Table 1 (Ates & Bititci, 2011; Gilly et al., 2014; Hamel & Välikangas,
2003; Lengnick-Hall & Beck, 2005; Lissack & Letiche, 2002; Mallak, 1998; McCann et al., 2009; Ortiz-de-Mandojana
& Bansal, 2015; Stewart & O’Donnell, 2007). When defining resilience, several scholars also highlight resistance or the
ability of withstanding crises as a complement to adaptability (Fleming, 2012; Gilly et al., 2014; Manouni Limnios et al.,
2014). Based on the definitions illustrated in Figure 1, the present article defines organizational resilience as the ability
to recover from and adapt to disruptions in the external environment. The disruptions refer primarily to the emergence of
threatening business models by competitors.
3. Conceptual Framework
Drawing on the literature review, the paper proposes a conceptual framework, illustrating three scenarios and deriving
five research propositions. The framework links findings from business model literature with the organizational resilience
mechanisms proposed by Fiksel (2003) and illustrates how the latter support business model innovations by incumbents
in three scenarios: preceding, during and post disruption by emerging competitive business models.
Figure 1. Resilience mechanisms enabling three business model innovation strategies by incumbents
Based on the literature review on organizational resilience, the conceptualization proposed by Fiksel (2003) was chosen
for this article, due to its comprehensiveness, high explanatory power, congruence with the best-cited recent research on
organizational resilience (Bhamra et al., 2011; Burnard & Bhamra, 2011; Lengnick-Hall et al., 2011), and fit to the
purpose of this paper. Fiksel (2003) highlights four core mechanisms or fundamental properties of resilient organizations:
diversity, adaptability, efficiency and cohesion. As illustrated in Figure 1 above, their significance for the three business
model innovation strategies is discussed in the following.
Scenario 1: Diversity and anticipatory business model innovation
Describing the current business environment, Carayannis et al. (2014:440) distinguish between risk and uncertainty: while
risk refers to the “known unknowns”, uncertainty describes the “unknown unknowns”. Trying to innovate the business
model in uncertain environments (Bhamra et al., 2011) requires anticipation of future events and of the shifts in the
Business model innovation
Anticipatory BMI
BM catch-up
(Multi-) industry
(Fiksel, 2003)
Organizational identity
Strong partnerships
Scenario 1
Scenario 2
Scenario 3
Paper presented at:
R&D Management Conference 2016 “From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation” 3-6 July 2016, Cambridge, UK
business setting (McGrath, 2010; Schneider & Spieth, 2014). In order to handle the “unknown unknowns”, diversification
is key (Prahalad & Bettis, 1986). In the resilience literature, Fiksel (2003) discusses diversity as the encouragement of
mixed business strategies. In congruence, Reinmoller and Baardwijk (2005) point out to diversity for fostering resilience
and highlight four strategies, which should be continuously balanced against each other: exploration (pursued by think
tanks and R&D teams), entrepreneurship (through new corporate ventures), knowledge management (through customer
relationship management and cross-functional teams) and cooperation (through external partnerships and M&As).
In particular, such diversification strategies concern the search for new knowledge, where R&D centres and corporate
think tanks make the base contribution for broadening the knowledge spectrum. In a longitudinal research integrating
qualitative and quantitative methods, Reinmoller & Baardwijk (2005) study resilient organizations, which outperformed
their peers in terms of financial results and longevity between 1983 and 2002. One of the main findings is that among
resilient companies innovation soared by 235% during the analysed time-frame. The authors note that resilient companies
increased the number of R&D employees and widened organizational R&D networks during the 2002 recession, in
opposition to the general tendency in the respective industries to reduce innovation efforts during downturns. Moreover,
due to the boundless amount of information companies can access, a substantial number of researchers, such as Cavalcante
(2014), Khanagha et al. (2014), McGrath (2010) view fast and frugal experimentation with business model innovations
as the cornerstone for proactive innovation. Yet in order to select the right information, decision-makers need to be aware
of their own individual biases and assumptions, which prevent them to fully comprehend the external environment and it
shifts (Day, 2011). A solution is proposed in the diversity of the decision-making team, shown to promote innovativeness
and openness to uncommon pathways (Hatum & Pettigrew, 2006; Day, 2011).
As industry boundaries are diffusing (Amit & Zott, 2001), and innovations in one industry can lead to disruptions in
further industries, incumbents interested in anticipatory business model innovations are not confined to the boundaries of
the own industry, as illustrated in scenario 1. The present paper defines anticipatory business model innovation as the
deliberate process of preparing for disruptions through strategies for broadening the knowledge base, resulting in
experiments with new value creation and capture mechanisms. The paper proposes that by diversifying the knowledge
base, resulting in experiments with new business models, an incumbent enables anticipatory business model innovation:
P1: Organizational diversity fosters anticipatory business model innovation, when the incumbent’s aim is to prevent
external disruption.
Scenario 2: Adaptability and effective business model innovation
Besides its forward-looking character discussed above, business model innovation emerged in strategic management
research as a tool for responding to already ongoing industry changes (Boons & Lüdecke-Freund, 2013; Halecker et al.,
2014). This innovation strategy is discussed in scenario 2 as effective business model innovation, implying the capacity
of an organization to transform its value creation and/or value capture mechanisms in response to ongoing disruptions. A
high responsiveness to the environment is highlighted in organizational resilience literature as adaptability and adaptive
management, representing a basic mechanism of resilient organizations (Bhamra et al., 2011; Day, 2011).
In resilience research, adaptability implies the incremental, long-term organizational processes for responding to
environmental changes (Linnenluecke et al., 2012). An organization is adaptive, if it adjusts its resources to a changing
business context (Gunderson, 2000). As regards the dimensions of adaptability, McCann et al. (2009) view agility as the
main one. Agility implies an organizational design for frequent changes (Worley & Lawler, 2010). In opposition to
traditionally organized companies, in which stability, alignment and efficiency lead to effectiveness, in agile
organizations, change itself triggers effectiveness, as the organizations pursue momentary advantages and are designed
to orchestrate changes rapidly (Worley & Lawler, 2010). Sull (2009) introduces the notion of agile absorption, expressing
an organization’s ability to continuously respond to environmental changes by balancing agility and absorption, which
are understood as complements. Absorption can be built in different ways, for example through high switching costs for
customers, a diversified workforce and a broad knowledge base (Enkel & Mezger, 2013). While several researchers point
out to organizational learning as a fundamental resilience tool (Lim et al., 2011; Moreno et al., 2009; Webster et al.,
2008), Walker et al. (2004) and Carpenter et al. (2001) describe organizational learning from disturbances as a further
dimension of adaptability. Organizational learning can be explained as the development of new knowledge within the
organization, in order to change organizational capabilities and behaviour (Cohen & Levinthal, 1990; Hu, 2014).
This understanding of adaptability, as the capacity to apply organizational learning in an agile manner, has several
implications for business model innovators: first, it indicates that business model innovation can only be effective, when
based on a thorough understanding of the environment. Second, it shows that speed is essential when responding to
emergent competitive business models. Third, it shows that business model innovation requires an agile organizational
design, with adjusted structures, processes, reward systems and decision-making (Worley & Lawler, 2010). Besides the
pre-emptive measures for dealing with uncertain environments discussed in scenario 1, adaptable approaches to change
foster business model innovation those situations, in which a threat is already present:
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R&D Management Conference 2016 “From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation” 3-6 July 2016, Cambridge, UK
P2: Organizational adaptability fosters effective business model innovation, when the incumbent’s aim is to respond
during external disruption.
Scenario 3: Efficiency and business model catch-up
Johnson et al. (2008) propose that business model innovation is only meaningful, when it becomes a game-changer for
the industry. In a similar vein, Snihur and Zott (2013) define a business model innovation as one that is new to the
industry, rather than solely being new to the firm, a perspective that is illustrated in scenarios 1 and 2 above. However,
scholars such as Amit and Zott (2012), and Björkdahl and Holmén (2013) discuss business model innovation as a
reasonable initiative even in circumstances, in which it is not ground-breaking on an industry level. Situations such as the
need to create productivity and quality improvements (Amit & Zott, 2012) can call for a company-level business model
innovation by adopting a business model innovation from a competitor, which is illustrated in scenario 3 as a business
model catch-up. This is defined as the adjustment of the company’s own value creation and/ or capture mechanisms to
those of innovative competitors (Mitchell & Coles, 2003) and represents a business model innovation on the company
Particularly companies finding themselves post-disruption may try to emulate the disruptive business model as fast
followers (Abdelkafi et al., 2013; Khanagha et al., 2014; Markides & Geroski, 2005). In dynamic environments,
competitive advantages are lost quickly, not only by the initial business model innovator, but also by its followers.
Therefore, when trying to match the business model innovation of a competitor, efficiency is key. Resilient organizations
are expert in efficiently reusing and recombining resources, in particularly those, which are underexplored or tacit
(Reinmoller & Baardwijk, 2005). Fiksel (2003) discusses efficiency as performance with modest resource involvement
and as dynamic decision-making processes. Dynamic decision-making (Smith et al., 2010) is characterized by real-time
decisions, a focus on the interdependencies with past decisions and the use of a series of decisions for reaching a goal,
rather than one broad decision. Dynamic decision-making hereby speeds up the business model catch-up process, and
encourages organizations to be focused when innovating the value capture or creation mechanisms. Based on these
considerations, the paper proposes the following:
P3: Organizational efficiency fosters business model catch-up, when the incumbent’s aim is to respond after external
Organizational cohesion as a basis for business model innovation
Fiksel (2003) defines enterprise system cohesion as the result of the organizational identity and the company’s
partnerships. As emphasized by Albert and Whetten (1985), organizational identity is the shared understanding of the
organization’s basic, distinctive, long-term features. Since the business model of an organization can be interpreted as an
expression of its identity (Nair et al., 2011), the relationship between organizational identity and business model
innovation is worthy of further investigation. Obloj et al. (2010) show that organizational identity leads to the formation
of knowledge filters, which influence subsequent organizational behaviours, while Eggers and Kaplan (2013) discuss
organizational identity as a lens for assessing potential matches for the organization. Correspondingly, Helfat and Peteraf
(2015) warn against the dangers of a rigid organizational identity. Research shows that a strong organizational identity
can limit opportunity perception and organizational adaptability (Eggers and Kaplan, 2013; Gioia et al., 2013; Zucker &
Darby, 1997). This understanding of organizational identity implies that a strong organizational identity hinders business
model innovation.
Yet organizational resilience scholars view a strong sense of identity as encouraging problem solving rather than
increasing threat rigidity (Coutu, 2002; Fiksel, 2003; Lengnick-Hall et al., 2011; Sutcliffe & Vogus, 2003). The present
paper therefore argues that an organization can take two views regarding its identity. If the organization rather identifies
itself through its current business model, and particularly through the current value proposition, it shows a rigid
understanding of its identity, as discussed above. If, however, it views itself as a result of its core capabilities, it shows a
more flexible understanding of its identity and is more likely to innovate its business model. Depending on how the
organization defines its identity, it encourages or hinders business model innovation. An innovative business model is the
result of a strong organizational identity, when the company is aware that its core capabilities allow innovation, and
willing to put this into practice. That a strong sense of identity is beneficial for business model innovation is shown for
instance by Amazon, which does not view itself as an online retailer, but as a company with high e-business capabilities,
with the technological backbone for supporting online activities of further companies (Slack & Lewis, 2008). Amazon
innovated its business model by allowing other firms, through cloud computing, to profit from its e-business capabilities,
without undergoing an identity shift itself, as shown for instance by the fact that its cloud business, Amazon Web Services,
retains the companys name. Correspondingly, the following is proposed:
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P4: The narrow interpretation of organizational identity based on the current business model is likely to hinder business
model innovation strategies, while the interpretation of the organizational identity based on the core competencies fosters
As proposed by Fiksel (2003), strong partnerships are the second element of organizational cohesion. Partnerships bring
risk reduction opportunities and access to complementary resources and markets (Reinmoller & Baardwijk, 2005). Most
research on innovation and external networks agrees that strong partnerships support business model innovation
(Abdelkafi et al., 2013; Carayannis et al., 2014). A well-functioning external network (Bande et al., 2015; Pal et al., 2014)
can gather knowledge from a broad range of sources and fosters cooperation (Lampel et al., 2014), creating additional
value creation or capture mechanisms. However, Bock et al. (2012) show that external networks can also raise
coordination costs, lead to partner dependence, reduce strategic flexibility, and hinder companies from investing into
unique resources. This article therefore suggests that in order to be conducive to business model innovation, external
networks and the resulting partnerships should be flexible in scope, and diverse in range. This leads to understanding
partnerships as slack resources, an essential resilience mechanism (Meyer, 1982; Moreno et al., 2009). In turbulent times,
slack resources can be mobilized to serve as shock absorbers (Lampel et al., 2014), helping to maintain processes and
ensure survival (Casadesus-Masanell & Ricart, 2011). Partnerships as slack resources imply operational hedging by
ensuring partner diversification for the same value creation or capture step. This decreases organizational reliance on one
partner. Despite their high costs, slack resources are shown to increase firm performance (Fonseka et al., 2014) and
provide the possibility to experiment with various strategies (Moreno et al., 2009). The present paper therefore proposes
the following:
P5: Single partnerships based on the current business model are likely to hinder business model innovation strategies,
while partnerships as slack resources, flexible in scope and diverse in range, foster these.
The last two resilience mechanisms, organizational identity and strong partnerships, are not linked to a specific business
model innovation strategy (anticipatory, effective or business model catch-up), due to their significance regardless of the
chosen strategy. It should also be noted that the resilience tools presented in this paper are designed to be alternated. At
a certain point in time, the focus on one mechanism may be an adequate response, however in the long-term, consideration
of all mechanisms and rotation are recommended.
4. Research and Managerial Implications
Studies on organizational resilience are still limited, particularly those applying key learnings from resilience research to
the field of strategic management (Mamouni Limnios et al., 2014). By showing how resilience supports business model
innovation strategies, the present paper links the literature in both research streams. Second, it contributes to business
model literature, by providing a time-related framework, which illustrates three responses to disruptions in the external
environment: anticipatory business model innovation, effective business model innovation and business model catch-up.
This article builds upon the arguments provided by Talonen & Hakkarainen (2008), to show that resilience should not
only be incorporated in the strategies of R&D departments, but also in the very nature of the resulting business model
innovations. Third, it enriches organizational resilience literature by analysing 30 definitions from the best-cited authors
in the fields of ecological, individual, socio-ecological, economic and organizational resilience, showing their
implications for the concept of organizational resilience and deriving an own definition of organizational resilience. By
developing research propositions on the effects of the resilience mechanisms on business model innovation strategies, it
provides a base for further investigation into how to increase the resilience of innovative business models.
As regards the managerial implications, it is important to note that increasing the organizational resilience is costly
(Lampel et al., 2014), which is primarily due to the need of building slack resources. Moreover, as there is little point in
making “one size fits all” recommendations (Walker et al., 2004), companies should learn to adapt the five resilience
mechanisms to their own environment. Third, while the framework discusses core resilience mechanisms, these should
be constantly balanced against each other, as for instance one organization may choose to react to a disruptive business
model from a competitor not by business model catch-up, but rather by pursuing an industry-level business model
5. Limitations and Future Research Avenues
The article recognizes that singular resilience mechanisms cannot guarantee organizational success, but that it is necessary
to pay simultaneous attention to all, due to ongoing changes in various facets of the industry. It is also essential to adapt
the resilience mechanisms to the unique characteristics of a firm, as for instance SMEs may not have the capacity to build
Paper presented at:
R&D Management Conference 2016 “From Science to Society: Innovation and Value Creation” 3-6 July 2016, Cambridge, UK
organizational networks to the same degree as large firms. Future research is encouraged to build upon the presented
framework and to empirically test the research propositions. Moreover, further research can regard the implications of
organizational resilience during the implementation steps of a business model innovation, as well as distinguish between
different industries to show industry-specific resilience profiles.
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تاب‏ آوری سازمان بعنوان نوعی رفتار سازمانی موجب تغییر مسیر سازمان به ‏سوی استفاده از فرصت ‏ها و اقدامات نوآور به ‏منظور پاسخ به بحران‏ ها و چالش ‏های محیطی با نتیجه بهبود و انسجام عملکرد است. از آنجاکه تاب ‏آوری چارچوبی ایجاد می ‏نماید که موجب سازگاری یا پیشگامی محیطی خواهد شد، در این مطالعه تلاش شد به این سوال پاسخ داده شود که «چگونه می ‏توان با افزایش سطح کلی قابلیت تاب ‏آوری موجب تعدیل اثرات محیط بر سازمان ‏ها و بنگاه ‏های ایرانی شد». این پژوهش از نظر هدف کاربردی است که با روش کیفی نظریه برخاسته از داده ‏ها (رویکرد گلیزری) و تکنیک مصاحبه عمیق هدفمند انجام شده است. یافته‏ های حاصل از تحلیل مصاحبه 10 كارآفرين تثبیت ‏شده با تجربه ‏ی تاب ‏آوری و دو پژوهشگر کارآفرینی با تجربه ‏ی مرشدی کسب ‏و ‏کار، نشان داد در محیط کسب ‏و ‏کار ایران بر هم ‏کنش سه جریان تاب‏آوری: شناختی، عاطفی-ارزشی و رفتاری موجب انتخاب نوعی الگوی پیشگامی می ‏گردد که در این رویکرد؛ شش عامل دسترسی به موفقیت، فرصت، تغییرات محیطی، ساختار سازمانی، اطلاعات و یادگیری با رویکرد سازگارپذیری سازمان‏های پیرو متفاوت است. براین اساس به سیاست گذاران توصیه مي ‏شود با تحلیل و انتخاب الگوی مناسب تاب ‏آوری سازمان، مدل کسب‏و‏کار سازمان را متحول نمایند. Organizational resilience (OR) as an organizational behavior, it redirects the organization to use opportunities and innovation for answering crisis and challenges, with the results improvement and coherence of the performance. Since the resilience creates framework with adaptive or proactive environmental approach, the current study has tried to answer the question: “How to increase the overall level of OR that moderate environmental effects on Iranian business?” This research is applied in terms of purpose. The research method has used the qualitative grounded theory (Glaisarian approach) with deep targeted interviews. The results of 10 established entrepreneur’s interviews, who have had resilient experience in their work & 2 entrepreneurship researchers, who have had business mentorship experience have shown proactive pattern is selected by the interaction of three resilience stream (Cognitive Resilience, Affective-Value Resilience & Behavior Resilience) in IRAN’s business environment. In This pattern, access to success, opportunity, organizational structure, information and learning is different with adoptive approach. Finally, it is recommended that policy makers reform business model rebuilding and recreation by choosing the appropriate pattern of OR.
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So, you want your organization to be resilient? Resilience is more than a fancy word for adapting your organization to its environment For an organization to be resilient, it needs people who can respond quickly and effectively to change while enduring minimal stress. More and more, these positive adaptive capabilities are what differentiate the competition. Advice on organizational resilience has been slight, but child psychologists and crisis management specialists have been working on these con-cepts for years. anagement implications and principles for improving organizational resilience are offered based on this review of resilience research and practice.
New product development (NPD) speed has become increasingly important for managing innovation in fast-changing business environments due to continuous reduction in the product life cycle time and increase in competition from technological advancements and globalization. While the existing literature has not produced consistent results regarding the relationship between speed and success for NPD projects, many scholars and practitioners assert that increasing NPD speed is virtually always important to NPD success. The purpose of this paper is to examine the implicit assumption that faster is better as it relates to new product success (NPS). From the perspectives of time-compression diseconomies and absorptive capacity, the authors question the assumption that speed has a linear relationship with success. The authors further argue that time-compression diseconomies depend on levels of uncertainty involved in NPD projects. Using survey data of 471 NPD projects, the hypotheses were tested by hierarchical regression analysis and subgroup polynomial regression. The results of this study indicate that NPD speed has a curvilinear relationship with NPS, and the nature of the speed–success relationship varies, depending on type and level of uncertainty. When turbulence or technological newness is high, the relationship is curvilinear, but when uncertainties are low, the relationship is linear. In contrast, the results of this study suggest a curvilinear relationship under conditions of low market newness but not when market newness is high. The present paper asserts that time-compression diseconomies and absorptive capacity are important theoretical constructs in understanding speed in NPD. The different impact of market newness and market turbulence on NPD speed supports the distinction of newness and turbulence as two different sources of uncertainty. Discussion focuses on the implications of NPD speed under the different conditions of uncertainty. NPD teams need to pursue NPD speed as a critical strategy, but it is necessary to analyze the source and degree of uncertainty about projects before a time-based strategy is selected. In order to address the challenges of high uncertainty, a firm needs to probe, learn, and iterate fast. In particular, NPD teams need to distinguish between the different requirements for new products in emerging and new markets, and those in fast-changing markets. Moreover, NPD teams need to balance how fast they need to go with how fast they can go by considering team absorptive capacity and customer absorptive capacity.
The concept of resilience has evolved considerably since Holling's (1973) seminal paper. Different interpretations of what is meant by resilience, however, cause confusion. Resilience of a system needs to be considered in terms of the attributes that govern the system's dynamics. Three related attributes of social-ecological systems (SESs) determine their future trajectories: resilience, adaptability, and transformability. Resilience (the capacity of a system to absorb disturbance and reorganize while undergoing change so as to still retain essentially the same function, structure, identity, and feedbacks) has four components-latitude, resistance, precariousness, and panarchy-most readily portrayed using the metaphor of a stability landscape. Adaptability is the capacity of actors in the system to influence resilience (in a SES, essentially to manage it). There are four general ways in which this can be done, corresponding to the four aspects of resilience. Transformability is the capacity to create a fundamentally new system when ecological, economic, or social structures make the existing system untenable. The implications of this interpretation of SES dynamics for sustainability science include changing the focus from seeking optimal states and the determinants of maximum sustainable yield (the MSY paradigm), to resilience analysis, adaptive resource management, and adaptive governance.
Competing in volatile markets feels a lot like boxing: Punches come from all directions; strategies change constantly; and one powerful blow could knock out your company at any moment. As firms fight their way through tumultuous times, they can learn much from boxing champions. London Business School professor Donald Sull outlines two fundamental approaches to mastering uncertainty-agility and absorption-using the classic "Rumble in the Jungle" between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman to illustrate them. Both capabilities can help companies survive turmoil. Agility, exemplified by Ali, is the ability to quickly spot and exploit opportunities. It comes in one of three forms: operational agility, the capacity to seize opportunities to improve operations and processes within a focused business model; portfolio agility, the ability to shift resources out of less-promising units and into attractive ones; and strategic agility, the ability to jump on game-changing opportunities. Each kind of agility is enhanced by a distinct set of assets and leadership priorities. Absorption, exemplified by Foreman, is the strength to withstand punishment and weather sudden shifts. Sull describes 10 ways that companies can build absorption, including capitalizing on size, diversifying assets, and stockpiling a war chest of cash. Balancing agility and absorption is critical. Apple's iPod is an excellent example of agility, but it was absorption-in the form of a small core of fanatical customers-that kept the company going during the 1990s, when its market share shrank dramatically. Those customers kept Apple alive until changes in context created its golden opportunity. Ali won the Rumble by maintaining his agility while enhancing his absorption. Companies that follow his lead and cultivate both capabilities increase their chances of emerging from turbulence as new market leaders.