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Overcoming hierarchy in business model innovation: an actor-oriented approach

Overcoming hierarchy in business model innovation: an actor-oriented approach

Di Toma, Paolo and Ghinoi, Stefano ORCID: 0000-0002-9857-4736 (2020) Overcoming hierarchy in business model innovation: an actor-oriented approach. European Journal of Innovation Management, 24 (4). pp. 1057-1081. ISSN 1460-1060 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1108/EJIM-10-2019-0307)

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Abstract

Purpose
Business model innovation is a key element for firms' competitiveness. Its development can be supported by the establishment of an actor-oriented scheme to overcome hierarchical structures. The actor-oriented scheme is characterized by intra-organizational networks of relationships that can be established and dissolved between individuals. However, we lack an empirical perspective about its establishment; therefore, the purpose of this research is to advance our understanding of intra-organizational networks for supporting business model innovation.

Design/methodology/approach
Individuals create and manage knowledge aimed to innovate the business model through cognitive search and experiential learning mechanisms. Knowledge is spread within organizations by using intra-organizational advice networks, whose patterns reflect the presence of an actor-oriented scheme. This work applies social network analysis to network data from a multi-unit organization specializing in personal care services. We use a Logistic Regression-Quadratic Assignment Procedure to analyze intra-organizational network data on managers' advice exchange related to the learning modes of cognitive search and experiential learning.

Findings
Our research empirically identifies the main elements of an actor-oriented scheme in a business model innovation process. We find that managers are able to self-organize, because they are not influenced by their organizational roles, and that commons for sharing resources and protocols, processes and infrastructures enable advice exchange, thus showing the presence of an actor-oriented scheme in business model innovation process.

Research limitations/implications
This research is based on a cross-sectional database. A longitudinal study would provide a better understanding of the network evolution characterizing the innovation process.

Practical implications
The results of our study support organizational decision-making for business model innovation.

Originality/value
This study provides empirical evidence of how an actor-oriented scheme emerges in a business model innovation process.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: business model innovation, social network analysis, actor-oriented scheme, organizational learning
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of International Business & Economics
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC)
Faculty of Business > Networks and Urban Systems Centre (NUSC) > Centre for Business Network Analysis (CBNA)
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2021 08:00
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: REF 6
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/28672

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