The Organizational Dimension of Business Model Exploration: Evidence from the European Postal Industry

Nicolai J. Foss and Tina Saebi, eds. Business Model Innovation: The Organizational Dimension. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming

31 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2014  

Marcel Bogers

University of Copenhagen - Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO)

Kristian J Sund

Roskilde University

Juan Andrei Villarroel Fernandez

Catolica-Lisbon School of Business; MIT Sloan Center for Collective Intelligence

Date Written: April 15, 2014

Abstract

National postal operators have traditionally been both government owned and operated, in a market characterized by slow and steady growth in mail and financial transactions. Postal organizations were known to be both conservative and bureaucratic, a model that has now become obsolete. Over the past decade postal operators across Europe and much of the developed world have seen acceleration in digital substitution, as well as a liberalization of the market, such that posts today face lower volumes, but higher competition. Postal operators have had to engage in a massive transformation of their organizations to meet these challenges and have simultaneously sought to diversify their businesses to seek new growth opportunities. This chapter explores examples of postal business model innovations from three European countries and seeks to understand the dynamic organizational tensions that have led to experimentation in organizational design in the case of these innovations. We find the key tensions to be linked to cognitive dominant logic, resource struggles, capability substitution and product substitution. We illustrate how business model innovation may be considered to be a two-staged process of exploration and subsequent exploitation, and suggest areas of organizational design that deserve further research.

Keywords: Business model innovation, exploration, exploitation, organization

Suggested Citation

Bogers, Marcel and Sund, Kristian J and Villarroel Fernandez, Juan Andrei, The Organizational Dimension of Business Model Exploration: Evidence from the European Postal Industry (April 15, 2014). Nicolai J. Foss and Tina Saebi, eds. Business Model Innovation: The Organizational Dimension. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2425078

Marcel Bogers (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) ( email )

Unit for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management
Rolighedsvej 25
Copenhagen, 1958
Denmark

Kristian J Sund

Roskilde University ( email )

Roskilde DK-4000
Denmark

Juan Andrei Villarroel Fernandez

Catolica-Lisbon School of Business ( email )

Palma de Cima
Lisbon, Lisboa 1649-023
Portugal

MIT Sloan Center for Collective Intelligence ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States

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