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The Taxiwoman Project is a successful example of a business project design using the Canvas methodology. This methodology allows for the appropriate organization of projects in that it encompasses all of the fundamental business elements. This article’s objective is to present a successful use of Canvas methodology through the Taxiwoman case study.
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El proyecto Taxiwoman es un caso exitoso de diseño de modelos de negocios
mediante la aplicación de la metodología Canvas. Esta metodología permite estructurar
adecuadamente todos los elementos de un proyecto ya que se presta apropiado para
abarcar los aspectos claves de un negocio. El objetivo de este artículo es presentar la
aplicación de la metodología Canvas a través del estudio del caso Taxiwoman.
The Taxiwoman Project is a successful example of a business project design using
the Canvas methodology. This methodology allows for the appropriate organization of
projects in that it encompasses all of the fundamental business elements. This article’s
objective is to present a successful use of Canvas methodology through the Taxiwoman
case study.
Cómo crear un modelo de negocio: el caso de Taxiwoman
How to create a business model: Taxiwoman case study
Palabras Claves:
modelo de negocios
creación de valor
business model
value creation
Recibido: 17 de Mayo 2016
Aceptado: 22 de Junio 2016
Received: 17 May 2016
Accepted: 22 June 2016
Rubén Macías Acosta*§
Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
Manuel Díaz Flores§
Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
Gladys García Sandoval*§
Universidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes
* Autor corresponsal.
§ Departamento de Economía, Universidad
Autónoma de Aguascalientes, Avenida Univer-
sidad 901, Aguascalientes, México.
ISSN: 0719-7713 / 0719-6245 © Universidad de Concepción
R.A.N. Vol. 2(1) 71-79 /2016
Re-publicación / Study Case
Revista Academia & Negocios Vol. 2 (1) 2016 pp. 71-79
Business models are useful in the design of compre-
hensive business projects. This is why companies
need to incorporate them into their business plan in
order to achieve successful operations. Canvas me-
thodology facilitates the design of business projects
because it allows the structuring of business ideas by
explicitly integrating the projects elements into nine
blocks which are consistent with the proper structure
of a company.
How the idea came about
The origin of the Taxiwoman Project was at an event
for entrepreneurs called START UP WEEKEND 2013
(Heraldo, 2013) which took place on November 22-
24, 2013 at Instituto Tecnológico de Aguascalientes,
México. Its purpose was to create a company in a
weekend. According to START UP WEEKEND (2013)
“Startup Weekend is a full weekend event in which a
group of entrepreneurs, technology developers, de-
signers, and enthusiasts gather to share ideas, create
teams, build products and launch startups.”
“The START UP WEEKEND 2013 event (UTAGSa,
2013) was a detonator of business ideas which inclu-
ded the participation of highly trained advisors who
supported groups of entrepreneurs by aiding them in
posing their ideas and detailing every aspect to con-
clude their exhibitions. The advisors then chose the
three best projects.” In this event, Taxiwoman was
not chosen among the top three places; however,
development continued in order to participate in the
following local event: Evento Nacional de Innovación
Tecnológica 2014 (hereinafter ENIT).
ENIT is organized at a national level by Tecnológico
Nacional de México (TNM). Its goal is to “Promote
the development of science, technology and innova-
tion by applying technologies focused on sustainable
development, for projects that respond to domestic
problems, and generate economic, social and eco-
logical benefits” (TNM, 2014). The event has three
categories: product, process and service, along with
three stages. The first stage is local and takes place in
each University. The top two places of each category
at each University are selected to participate in the
regional competition. In the final stage, the top places
of each category, in the regional competition, parti-
cipate in the national competition (TNM, 2014). The
Taxiwoman project, leaded by a team of students,
participated both in local and regional competitions.
ENIT was an event characterized by the objectivity
of its results. Specifically, evaluations were given by
a team of juries, which consisted of three members:
two entrepreneurs (or consultants) form outside the
university and one professor from the university. An
external jury was provided in an effort to avoid favori-
tism when choosing the winners.
In the initial phase (i.e., the local phase), participants
were students at Instituto Tecnológico de Aguasca-
lientes, which belongs to Tecnológico Nacional de
México. The team consisted of 6 undergraduate stu-
dents: five students in their 9th semester of Business
Management, whose ages ranged between 22 – 24
years, and one student in his 7th semester of Admi-
nistration, who was 21 years old. All members were
required to be enrolled as students during the semes-
ter in which the competition took place.
Each project was assessed by a professor from Ins-
tituto Tecnológico de Aguascalientes. Participants
in the local contest came from a variety of majors
(e.g., electronics, computer technologies, chemistry,
industrial engineering, mechanical engineering). A to-
tal of 9 projects were part of the competition. The
Taxiwoman project competed in the service category,
obtaining not only favorable scores (i.e., 89.5 out of
100 points) but also the first place on the first stage
of the state competition at ENIT 2014.
Focused demand
Transportation services satisfy an essential need for
citizens: travelling from destination to destination
to accomplish everyday tasks (i.e., school, work,
appointments, etc.). Nevertheless, women, in parti-
cular, may encounter problems with public transpor-
tation services. The insecurity of travelling along in a
taxi is an example of this. This aggressive behavior
could take the form of verbal, emotional, psycholo-
gical, physical or sexual violence. Due to this harass-
ment, female passengers may experience anxiety
when they find themselves commuting alone with an
unknown driver.
It is necessary for a female to feel physically and emo-
tionally safe, while keeping her integrity, during a taxi
ride. After analyzing the demand of the Taxiwoman
How to create a business model.../ Macías, Díaz y García
transportation service, it can be seen that this servi-
ce is highly appreciated by women. Taxiwoman was
created by women for women.
One of the benefits to Taxiwoman is security and res-
pect that will be provided. Women interested in using
the Taxiwoman transportation service will be contac-
ted directly by a female driver which will be available
24 hours per day.
Challenges of the business model
It is important that citizens feel safe in society. Safety
generates harmony and tranquility in people, allowing
them to complete their daily-life activities in the best
possible way. Because there has been situations de-
monstrating harassments by taxi drivers against fe-
male passengers, it is necessary to provide them with
a safer alternative to commute.
In addition to being expensive, depending on distan-
ce, taxis are a service primarily provided by men. This
generates an uncomfortable and risky environment
for female taxi passengers. The challenges faced by
the Taxiwoman model are presented as follows:
• Setting Taxiwoman service amongst female
clients because they will have to pay an additional
charge for the service to use Taxiwoman.
• Hiring female drivers, and encourage their accep-
tance among male taxi drivers so as to avoid sexism
and/or rejection.
• Strong competition with established taxi sites and
private taxis (without affiliation to taxi sites)
• Provide safety to female passengers all hours a
• Establish an environment of harmony, comfort
and security between female passengers and fema-
le drivers.
The Canvas methodology was the perfect tool su-
pporting the design of this project. To begin with, par-
ticipants (students) augmented the project by adding
a “plus” factor to the transportation service offered
to women in the State of Aguascalientes. This factor
consisted of allowing the costumer to request a taxi
by using either the Smartphone application “waze”
or a landline, which implies paying a fee. As men-
tioned above, the taxi driver would be a woman and
the service would be exclusive to women. This was
expected to lessen the risks of having to confront
male drivers in risky situations. The final product was
delivered using the Canvas methodology due to its
clear definition of the company´s most relevant as-
pects (Table 1).
Creating value
The goal of a business is to create value, and the-
refore to generate profits to both the employer and
her shareholders (Rapallo, 2002). In order to generate
an increase in capital and other assets, there should
be a positive relationship between shareholders and
their concentration of ownership (Shleifer and Visn-
hy, 1986). Previously the objectives of the companies
were maximizing profits, however, today this philo-
sophy was replaced by the creation of value. When
creating value, we should not only focus on a proper
management of finances but also on meeting the
needs of customers. It has been demonstrated that
both factors generate higher benefits for the com-
pany in the long term (Porter and Cramer, 2011, p.
77). Moreover, creation of value starts from the crea-
tion of the company, and financial, internal or external
income were obtained to create it (Veritas, 2012).
Business models
In creating value one must consider the appropriate
actions for the successful functioning of a company.
Ricart (2009) points out that the business model
relates strategy formulation and implementation.
According Zoot, Amit and Massa (2011, p. 18), the
business model can be seen as an archetypal model
of e-business, as well as a system of architectural
activities or cost-benefit ratio. In addition, the busi-
ness model shows the operation of a company, a very
close representation of reality (Salas-Fumás, 2009).
The activities performed by a company are conside-
red a business model (Magretta, 2002). The business
model considers the creation and delivery of value
through relationships between the different areas of
the Company (Osterwalder, Pigneur and Tucci, 2005,
p. 12). Notwithstanding its importance, there are
very few theories on how to generate business mo-
dels, which has created a need for their development
(Teece, 2010). Moreover, although there have been
some attempts on building such theories, they are
still an ongoing work (Zoot et al, 2011, p. 18). It can
be noticed that the business model is a lost treasure
in strategic direction and according to Ricart (2009)
Revista Academia & Negocios Vol. 2 (1) 2016 pp. 71-79
strategic direction is the missing link. At present, all
companies have a formal or informal business model
(Teece, 2010). The concept of business model, ac-
cording to Osterwalder y Pigneur (2009), considers
that the objective of the company is creating value,
as posed in its structure by the Canvas methodology.
Canvas Business Model
When modelling strategy analysis, Osterwalder
(2004) defined a new business model, named Can-
vas. His contribution was the study and definition of
the essential elements of a business model. The ob-
jective of the business model is to generate alterna-
tives for Canvas organizations by conceptualizing the
business model (Meertens, Iacob, Nieuwenhuis, Van
Sinderen, Jonkers, and Quartel, 2012). This proposal
of a Canvas business model is geared to clearly iden-
tify the process, definition, and implementation and
monitoring of a business strategy; therefore it was gi-
ven a great deal of importance for the development of
business models (Osterwalder, 2004). The relations-
hip among the elements considered in the Canvas
business model aims at the companies’ generation of
value. In order to do so, the company should generate
value by its customers while preserving the profitabi-
lity of the company (Meertens et al., 2012). There are
four key areas when implementing such an approach:
(1) product; (2) client perspective; (3) management
of infrastructure; (4) financial aspects. These areas
serve as the core of the business model (Kaplan and
Norton, 1996), and they are all integrated in the Os-
terwalder model.
Each of the areas in the Osterwalder’s business mo-
del have detailed descriptions, as shown in Table 2.
However, it was not until the development of the join
work with Pigneur that Osterwalder’s model beca-
me a tool of strategic innovation (Osterwalder and
Pigneur, 2009). The Canvas business model metho-
dology translates into a business canvas, taking the
design, understanding and innovation of current bu-
siness models into consideration. The development
of the model is performed on a page, which is also
called canvas (Banchieri, Blasco, and Campa-Planas,
2013). This model is a tool for strategic management,
generating a clear vision of the enterprise, facilitating
knowledge of the relationships between the functio-
nal areas of the company, as well as the analysis of
key factors necessary for the exploration of strategic
information (Banchieri et al., 2013). Figure 1 shows
the graphic representation of the Canvas model.
Key Questions
From the nine blocks of the Canvas Model various
questions may arise. Answering these questions can
help generate an analysis of this model by serving as
a mechanism to define the strategy (Banchieri et al.,
2013). Table 2 describes some of the questions that
Area Description
Value proposition Describes the bundle of products and services that create value for a specific cus-
tomer segment.
Customer segments Define groups of people or organizations an enterprise aims to reach and serve.
Customer relationships Describe the types of relationship a company could establish with specific customer
Channels Describe how a company communicates with and reaches its customer segments
to deliver a value proposition.
Key resources Describe the most important assets required to make a business model to work.
Key activities Describe the most important activities a company must carry out in order to make
its business model work.
Key partners Describe the main strategic alliances the company should stablish in order to create
value to customers. This requires integrating resources and/or activities beyond the
internal operation of the company.
Revenue streams Describe the network of suppliers and partners that make the business model work.
Cost structure Describes all costs incurred to operate a business model.
Table 1. Canvas Business Model Description Areas.
Source: Own elaboration, based on Osterwalder and Pigneur (2004).
How to create a business model.../ Macías, Díaz y García
can be formed from each block of the Canvas Me-
“The business model will capture, visualize, unders-
tand, communicate and share the business logic”
(Osterwalder et al., 2005, p. 19). The model is cen-
tered on the use of common language, integrating
the diversity of points of view in companies. Also, it
improves channels of communication, since it allows
setting priorities that contribute to the generation of a
general strategy for the company, taking into account
the views of the professionals from different areas of
knowledge (Banchieri et al., 2013).
One of the main strengths of this approach is that it
makes the analysis simple. Moreover, since it intro-
duce various factors in detail, it facilitates the identi-
fication of indicators and relevant information for the
evaluation and operation of the strategy (Banchieri et
al., 2013).
The main drawback of this method is that Canvas only
defines one business model, which is the implemen-
tation of the strategy. However, it is necessary to have
a general view, showing the relationship between the
different areas of the company. Consequently, a sus-
tainable model can be also developed by allowing an
easy identification of the elements that must be inclu-
ded in a business (Banchieri et al., 2013). In addition,
by encouraging managers’ participation, Canvas also
generates relevant knowledge about the company,
which could facilitate decision-making (Banchieri et
al., 2013).
We considered the essential elements of the Canvas
methodology in the development of the Taxiwoman
project. Table 3 shows the results. These results were
used for the preparation of the project presented at
the local stage of ENIT 2014, in Aguascalientes, Mexi-
co (TNMa, 2014). According to La Jornada (2014)
“The awards ceremony of the six winners of the local
stage of ENIT 2014 was held in the academic unit
of Instituto Tecnológico de Aguascalientes (ITA). The
winners were selected to represent Aguascalientes
in the regional stage of the same event”
Because of the good results obtained through the
application of the Canvas methodology, which ad-
dressed a social problem, the Taxiwoman project was
awarded the first place in the service category, in the
local phase of INAT (La Jornada, 2014). According to
the UTAGSb (2014) “The students of the Taxiwoman
project heartedly deserved the first place in the cate-
gory of Service”. The jury was quite pleased with the
project because it fulfilled a great need of Aguasca-
lientes’ society, providing a sense of security, particu-
larly to women.
The following are the results of applying the Canvas
methodology to the Taxiwoman project, based on Os-
terwalder and Pigneur model (2009):
• Key Partners: Female taxi drivers.
• Activities: communication, customer service.
• Resources: telephone line, waze, client and driver
Area Description
Value proposition What are the core values the company deliver to customers?
Customer segments What is your most important customer?
Customer relationships What is the relationship a target customer expects the company to establish?
Channels Which channels work best?
Key resources What key resources does your value proposition require?
Key activities What key activities does your value proposition require?
Key partners Who are your key partners/suppliers?
Revenue streams Which values are your customers willing to pay?
Cost structure What are the major costs in your business?
Table 2. Key Questions by Area in the Canvas Business Model.
Source: Own elaboration, based on Osterwalder and Pigneur (2004).
Revista Academia & Negocios Vol. 2 (1) 2016 pp. 71-79
• Costs: office rental and telephone service, salary
of telephone operator (including commissions), sa-
lary of drivers.
• Value of proposal: taxi service door to door, taxi
driven by women, taxi service requested by phone.
• Relation: personal relationship maintained over
time, telephone – waze.
• Channels: telephone, waze.
• Customers: female taxi users in Aguascalientes,
women in search of both security and exclusivity of
taxi drives.
• Income: contact of female taxi drivers, post ser-
vice – sale.
With the information obtained through the application
of the Canvas methodology, the Taxiwoman Project
had good results since it covered all aspects asses-
sed by jury members, which gave it an outstanding
review. Being awarded the first place in this local
event is a great achievement because competing
teams consisted of multi-disciplinary students of all
majors of the Institution. The following is a list of all
major that competed in the event: Business Manage-
ment, Industrial Engineering, Electronic Engineering,
TIC´s Engineering, Computer Systems Engineering,
Mechanical Engineering, Material Engineering, and
Subsequently, given the results of the Canvas appli-
cation, the Taxiwoman Project (ENITa Regional, 2014)
qualified for the Regional Stage of the ENIT 2014
(ENITb Regional, 2014). This event took place at Ins-
tituto Tecnológico de Tlajomulco in Jalisco, México
(ENITc Regional, 2014) during September 16-19,
2014 (ENITd Regional, 2014). At this stage, the Ta-
xiwoman Project had outstanding performance; an
exhibition stand was displayed in front of a team of
jurors. However, this time the project did not qualify
to participate at the third and final stage of ENIT 2014
(i.e., at the national contest).
Despite this result, the experience gained by the
entrepreneurs of Taxiwoman was vast. The project
benefited to a greater extent from exchange of opi-
nions and comments by those attending the first two
stages of the competition. Many people visited the
Taxiwoman stand and asked relevant questions about
the project. The judges also questioned the feasibility
of implementing this project in real life. The students
were then obliged to communicate their knowledge.
This sort of interaction allowed them to reflect and
identify opportunities to improve their project and
make it a reality.
When carrying out the project design, using the Can-
vas methodology, the entrepreneurs clearly identified
the direction the company should take in the near
future. This was adequately addressed in the Taxiwo-
man project. The entrepreneurs worked hard in order
to get the necessary information after noticing that
several important aspects of the project had been
omitted, focusing on the task at hand, which was to
Figure 1. Canvas Business Model. Source: Osterwalder and Pigneur (2009).
How to create a business model.../ Macías, Díaz y García
find the data needed to complete the Canvas metho-
Regarding the operationalization of the business, it
is necessary to consider the main actors involved.
The Canvas methodology helps to identify these
actors accurately. Specifically, by using Canvas, the
entrepreneurs generate precise ideas regarding the
necessities of the business. At first, the entrepre-
neurs did not keep in mind many of the value drivers
of the company, and the value generators that were
required to modify the business strategy. The imple-
mentation of the Canvas methodology facilitated the
execution of company objectives in business volume,
required employees, marketing quota, economic and/
or financial profitability, capitalizing, brand value, etc.
Therefore, the business model was much more accu-
rate after using Canvas.
The use of the Canvas methodology makes business
design easy. The advantages of using Canvas is the
ability to generate a strategic thought since it is ne-
cessary to consider various scenarios with their co-
rresponding elements.
A diagnostic business model could be generated by
applying Canvas. By displaying each value-adding ele-
ment on a canvas, it is possible to generate a comple-
te business structure in a small space.
It is important for the company to be looked at glo-
bally in order to implement strategies it could benefit
from. While designing the project, the Taxiwoman
group had to develop a diagnostic of the company,
in order to subsequently determine its objectives
and generate its business strategy. These three sta-
ges were reflected in the Canvas methodology.
In addition, analyzing the business idea with the help
of the Canvas methodology generates a conception
of the company with regards to its relationship with
the outside world. This allows taking into considera-
tion elements of the social, political, economic and
technological environments, etc.
One of the major elements of a business are the
monetary resources that could be generated. The
Canvas methodology provides insightful informa-
tion in this respect, allowing the company to clearly
identify its revenues and expenses, which in turn
determine the viability of its activities in the short
and medium run. Therefore, the application of Can-
vas method for the design of business models is a
major contribution in the management of enterpri-
ses and investment projects, since it allows to de-
termine the adequate strategy to be used in order
to generate value.
One of the limitations of the Canvas methodology
relates to space/size that can be allocated to each
element under analysis. Consequently, information
has to be concise, and therefore some important
details could be forgotten. In addition, although
this method refers mainly to the key factors when
starting a business, there are many different costs
associated to the business creation, which could
reduce the profitability of the project. For such re-
asons, it is recommended to conduct an extensive
brainstorming session prior to doing a Canvas. Fina-
lly, it is important to compare the Canvas analysis
Key partners Key activities Value proposition Customer relationships Customer segments
· Female taxi
· Communication
· Points of service
Key resources
· Phone
· Waze
· Customer data base
and taxi drivers
· Taxi-home service
· Taxis driven by women
· Radio taxi service
· Personal relationship
maintained through the
· Phone – waze
· Phone
· Waze
· Taxi users in Aguas-
· Women looking
for security and
exclusiveness while
Cost structure Revenue streams
· Office lease and phone services
· Salaries and commissions of phone operators
· Taxi drivers payroll
· Networking with female taxi drivers
· After-sale service
Table 3. Canvas Business Model of Taxiwoman.
Source: Own elaboration, based on Osterwalder and Pigneur (2004).
Revista Academia & Negocios Vol. 2 (1) 2016 pp. 71-79
with information obtained in early stages of analysis
(e.g., brainstorming) so as to verify that it contains all
the important details of the business project.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the valuable
comments given by a number of colleagues from Uni-
versidad Autónoma de Aguascalientes, as well as the
team of entrepreneurs that developed the Taxiwoman
project. We are also very grateful to the anonymous
reviewers and editors of the journal RAN, for their
valuable comments and suggestions. We also grate-
fully acknowledge the language support provided by
Karla I. Salazar and Paulina Macías, who translated
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Full-text available
Artículo introductorio a este número especial sobre modelos de negocio donde se define el concepto y se elabora su relación con estrategia y con competencia en general. También se resumen y contextualizan los artículos de este número.
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This paper aims to clarifyi the concept of business models, its usages, and its roles in the Information Systems domain. A review of the literature shows a broad diversity of understandings, usages, and places in the firm. The paper identifies the terminology or ontology used to describe a business model, and compares this terminology with previous work. Then the general usages, roles and potential of the concept are outlined. Finally, the connection between the business model concept and Information Systems is described in the form of eight propositions to be analyzed in future work.
The paper provides a broad and multifaceted review of the received literature on business models in which we examine the business model concept through multiple subject-matter lenses. The review reveals that scholars do not agree on what a business model is, and that the literature is developing largely in silos, according to the phenomena of interest to the respective researchers. However, we also found emerging common themes among scholars of business models. Specifically, 1) the business model is emerging as a new unit of analysis; 2) business models emphasize a system-level, holistic approach towards explaining how firms “do business”; 3) firm activities play an important role in the various conceptualizations of business models that have been proposed; and 4) business models seek to explain how value is created, not just how it is captured. These emerging themes could serve as catalysts towards a more unified study of business models.
Whenever a business enterprise is established, it either explicitly or implicitly employs a particular business model that describes the design or architecture of the value creation, delivery, and capture mechanisms it employs. The essence of a business model is in defining the manner by which the enterprise delivers value to customers, entices customers to pay for value, and converts those payments to profit. It thus reflects management's hypothesis about what customers want, how they want it, and how the enterprise can organize to best meet those needs, get paid for doing so, and make a profit. The purpose of this article is to understand the significance of business models and explore their connections with business strategy, innovation management, and economic theory.
El trabajo integra los modelos de negocio en el contexto de la aproximación económica al estudio del funcionamiento de los mercados que hace hincapié en la conducta de las empresas y las propiedades de los equilibrios competitivos (NEI). Del análisis se desprende, primero, la interpretación del modelo de negocio como resultado de un equilibrio dinámico en el que intervienen variables competitivas de corto, medio y largo plazo de ajuste. Segundo, se detallan las condiciones, restrictivas, bajo las que la "creación y captura de valor" lleva a un mismo modelo de negocio que la maximización del beneficio.
La creación de valor es el objetivo de toda buena gerencia. Si antes el objetivo fue la maximización del beneficio, ahora este objetivo de beneficio ha sido suplantado por la creación de valor. Pero, ¿cómo se mide el valor? Esta cuestión muy sencilla en su planteamiento a la hora de ponerla en práctica no lo es tanto. En síntesis podemos medir el valor creado en la empresa considerando no solamente el beneficio sino también el coste que ha supuesto generar ese beneficio. En definitiva si el beneficio obtenido supera el coste de los recursos implicados, podremos decir que se ha creado valor. Si esto lo trasladamos a la toma de decisiones de inversión significa que para que se cree valor en la empresa el VAN de la inversión deberá ser positivo y por tanto estaremos invirtiendo en activos que generan un valor adicional para la empresa. Pues bien en este trabajo se pretende abarcar toda esta problemática referente a la medición del valor. En primer lugar se muestra la definición de este objetivo, de creación de valor, en la empresa y sus repercusiones sobre la labor del director financiero. En segundo lugar se plantean cuales son los mecanismos de creación de valor en la empresa desde una doble perspectiva. Por un lado considerando el descuento de flujos de caja libres y por otro mediante el descuento de los flujos de caja libres para los accionistas. A continuación se definen los diferentes métodos existentes para medir la creación de valor en la empresa y se plantean las ventajas e inconvenientes de cada uno de ellos. Por último se proponen otros métodos alternativos para la medición del valor que en su mayoría tratan de paliar las limitaciones de los métodos anteriores.