Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of the digitalization phenomenon in the development of innovative business models that are sustainability oriented. Thus, the authors aim to understand whether the presence of digitalization forces companies to create, capture and deliver value in new ways, focusing on their social impact. Design/methodology/approach: Through the analysis of a case study in the automotive sector, the authors provide evidence that both digitalization and sustainability need to be considered to adequately innovate business models. Moreover, these two dimensions are interrelated, and therefore digitalization sustains sustainability and vice versa. Findings: By inductively investigating the evolutionary path along which companies tend to adapt their business models to digitalization and sustainability trends, the authors found that this innovative transformation needs to be as sustainable as possible in order to offer benefits to organizations, customers and society at large. Furthermore, the authors revealed that, at least in the automotive sector, companies and customers are aware of the remarkable consequences of digitalization; however, they are still uncertain regarding the actual adoption of new technologies. Originality/value: The literature on business model innovation is quite extensive. However, the role of digitalization in developing sustainable business models to achieve a competitive advantage has been overlooked. This study suggests that, within a specific context, forging a value network of stakeholders is helpful when innovating a business model with a sustainability orientation.

Can digitalization favour the emergence of innovative and sustainable business models? A qualitative exploration in the automotive sector

Cappa F.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of the digitalization phenomenon in the development of innovative business models that are sustainability oriented. Thus, the authors aim to understand whether the presence of digitalization forces companies to create, capture and deliver value in new ways, focusing on their social impact. Design/methodology/approach: Through the analysis of a case study in the automotive sector, the authors provide evidence that both digitalization and sustainability need to be considered to adequately innovate business models. Moreover, these two dimensions are interrelated, and therefore digitalization sustains sustainability and vice versa. Findings: By inductively investigating the evolutionary path along which companies tend to adapt their business models to digitalization and sustainability trends, the authors found that this innovative transformation needs to be as sustainable as possible in order to offer benefits to organizations, customers and society at large. Furthermore, the authors revealed that, at least in the automotive sector, companies and customers are aware of the remarkable consequences of digitalization; however, they are still uncertain regarding the actual adoption of new technologies. Originality/value: The literature on business model innovation is quite extensive. However, the role of digitalization in developing sustainable business models to achieve a competitive advantage has been overlooked. This study suggests that, within a specific context, forging a value network of stakeholders is helpful when innovating a business model with a sustainability orientation.
2021
Business model innovation
Corporate strategy
Digitalization
Stakeholder engagement
Sustainability
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12610/64163
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