Essays on electronic business models and their evaluation

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School of Business | Doctoral thesis (article-based) | Defence date: 2007-04-19
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Information Systems Science
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231 s.
Acta Universitatis oeconomicae Helsingiensis. A, 296
For centuries, it has been acknowledged that after major technical innovations, there exists a business opportunity for turning innovations into businesses. Similarly, the very same has happened when the opportunities of electronic business based on the Internet were identified over a decade ago. In the late 1990s, the business model concept appeared to describe a business logic according to which electronic businesses were typically described in brief and put into practice. Meanwhile, several daily business magazines reported success stories of electronic business models, drawing the attention of investors and stock markets. Soon after this phenomenon, researchers developed an interest in gaining a better understanding of the business model concept by defining the concept, listing various business models, and identifying the underlying constructs of the business model concept. Still most of the business model research has focused mainly on the static constructs of the business model concept instead of studying the dynamic nature of a business model. The purpose of this dissertation is to study the evaluation of electronic business models and their dynamic nature. This dissertation is in essay format, combining five papers that all discuss electronic business models and their evaluations. The first two papers of the dissertation study the most essential success factors related to the evaluation of electronic business models. The first paper proposes an evaluation tool for electronic business models based on interviews and literature review. The evaluation of business models is crucial in setting and defining the goals and objectives for a business model, in comparing the business model to the competitor's models in the market, in improving and enhancing the business model along the life cycle of the model, as well as in proving the success of the business model according to specific measurements. The second paper continues from the first paper by testing the evaluation tool by means of a survey. Portal business models are studied in the third paper. The paper focuses on a portal management model that is based on a life cycle model. The aim of the paper is to guide Scandinavian portal managers in their every-day decisions. The fourth and fifth papers continue exploring the evaluation tool of electronic business models based on survey data. The fourth paper studies the behavior of success factors in various life cycle stages, whereas the fifth paper concentrates on the offering component of an electronic business model. For researchers, the dissertation reviews the most relevant business model literature and provides an evaluation tool for electronic business model research. The evaluation tool is a starting point for future research on electronic business model success. Furthermore, the offering of a business model and the management of Internet portals are studied. The dissertation is also valuable for practitioners, such as investors, consultants, as well as decision-makers and managers within electronic commerce or traditional companies. The study describes a business model and presents the most crucial success factors of a business model in the context of electronic business. In addition, the research provides understanding of the concept of a business model by positioning the concept among the other concepts of management, marketing, and organizational sciences. Finally, the dissertation offers guidance and avenues for conducting further research on the topic of electronic business models that seems to be justified and requested by several researchers (e.g., information management science)
Supervising professor
Tuunainen, Virpi, professor
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