Barriers to business model innovation - A comparative case study of the Finnish paper and telecom industries

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY: The aim of this study is to describe the business model innovation (BMI) process, and the barriers and enablers related to that process in two for the Finnish economy significant industries: the paper industry and the telecom industry. The process of creating business model innovations has not been discussed to any broad extent in the literature, and the barriers to business model innovation described in the literature are of a very generic and abstract nature. The aim of this study is to identify the concrete barriers and challenges to business model innovation. By comparing two industries with very different characteristics, but the same problem (lack of business model innovation), the study aims at identifying both industry-specific as well as universal barriers to BMI, in order to bring some valuable insight to academics and practitioners alike. RESEARCH METHOD: This is a qualitative study. A comparative multiple case study has been conducted of the Finnish paper and telecom industries. After reviewing the literature on business model innovations and barriers and enablers of BMI, 17 interviews with practitioners and experts from both industries were conducted. Analysis of the data resulted in insight into both the BMI process and the barriers and enablers of BMI. The results were then compared to those suggested in the literature. FINDINGS: The study contributes with both development of the theory, as well as managerial implications. The theoretical contributions include introducing a new process model for BMI, and identifying universal, as well as industry-specific barriers to BMI. The universal barriers and enablers are compared to those suggested in the literature, and some additions are suggested. For practitioners, the study brings insight into the concrete barriers that are hindering organizations from creating new business models, and suggests some organizational changes which may enable the BMI process.
Business model, business model innovation, barriers, enablers, telecom industry, paper industry
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