Department of Business Development and Technology

Do companies experiment with business model configurations? Evidence from the medico-tech industry

Research output: Research - peer-reviewPaper

  • Marco Montemari
    Marco MontemariAalborg UniversitetPolytechnic University of Marche, Ancona
  • Peter Thomsen
    Peter ThomsenAalborg Universitet
  • Stefan Schaper
  • Yariv Taran
    Yariv TaranCenter for Industrial ProductionCenter for Research Excellence in Business ModelsDenmark
  • Christian Nielsen
    Christian NielsenAalborg Universitet
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to study which Business Model (BM) configurations companies focusing on Phantom Limb Pain (PLP) apply and thereby to deduce the degree of experimentation present in the BM innovation process.

Design/methodology/approach – We apply a mapping tool to identify distinct BM configurations according to Taran et al.’s (2016) 5-V ontology in 80 companies in the medical-technology industry. The mapping tool is used in a content analysis format. Four researchers took part in the mapping exercise to ensure reliability of the results.

Findings – Companies operating within the area of PLP treatment, apply relatively similar key value drivers and configurations, linked mostly to Value Proposition and/or Value Segment categories, and hence experimentation is low. Especially when seen for each of the four industry segments separately, there are some natural BM configurations that companies choose the adopt regardless of contingent factors.

Research limitations/implications – The choice of a niche industry segment (PLP treatment) limits derived considerations’ applicability into general market settings. The latter consideration is further affected by the size of the research sample, which contains 80 companies from several industry segments and of certain value chain positions. In some of these segments the number of companies is particularly limited (e.g. virtual reality, sensory, etc.).

Practical implications – The paper presents a process useful for companies to map their “as is” BM configurations (and the related value drivers) and to assess their competitive position within their industry.

Originality/value – The process is also useful for companies in identifying “to be” BM configurations. Defining possible BM innovation routes entails the identification of the future value drivers, and this allows companies to assess the resources and competences needed to “jump” from the “as is” to the “to be” BM configurations. Moreover, this paper offers a taxonomy of BM configurations that provides a valuable empirical basis for further scrutiny and testing of such mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year18 May 2017
Number of pages28
StatePublished - 18 May 2017
EventBusiness Model Conference 2017 - Venice, Italy
Duration: 18 May 201719 May 2017


ConferenceBusiness Model Conference 2017
Internet address

    Research areas

  • Business model configurations, taxonomies, business model innovation, value drivers

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