Management Papers

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version


Publication Source

Journal of Management




This article provides a broad and multifaceted review of the received literature on business models in which the authors 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 of the respective researchers. However, the authors 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 to 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 for a more unified study of business models.



Date Posted: 27 November 2017

This document has been peer reviewed.