Business Models, Diffusion of Innovation and Imitation: The Case of Online Press

30 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2016  

Inna Lyubareva

Telecom Bretagne

Fabrice Rochelandet

Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3

Jean-Michel Etienne

Université Paris-Sud

Date Written: January 18, 2016


A body of literature shows the destabilizing role of ICT and change from analogue to digital in the cultural industries in general, and in press industry in particular. This literature demonstrates that constant experimentation and innovation in the area of organizational arrangements and business models (BM) has become a key competitive advantage. As a result, traditional BMs, which were dominant and stable in different cultural industries (such as media, film, music, publishing etc), have given rise to a multiplicity of arrangements in business management and the emergence of disruptive and innovative business models, which often successfully coexist in the same market segment. According to this view point, strategic and structural change is necessarily driven by competition or the need for efficiency. However alternative theories predicts that in depending on the industry structural characteristic, only early adopters of innovation may be driven by a desire to improve performance, whereas as an innovation spreads and organizational field becomes more established, there may be a push towards homogenization. The case of the French press is quite symptomatic of that standpoint. From the empirical analysis of 100 press websites observed over the period from 2004 to 2014, the paper substantiates the convergence process towards three dominant clusters of online BMs: “A minima Digital”, “Freebie Plus” and “Exploring Leaders”. Using a Random Effects Probit econometric model the paper puts forward that this isomorphic process is mainly due to the fact that mimetic behavior over-weights search for performance in French press.

Keywords: Online Press, Business Models, Innovation of Service, Imitation, Isomorphism

Suggested Citation

Lyubareva, Inna and Rochelandet, Fabrice and Etienne, Jean-Michel, Business Models, Diffusion of Innovation and Imitation: The Case of Online Press (January 18, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Inna Lyubareva

Telecom Bretagne ( email )

46, rue Barrault
Paris, 75013

Fabrice Rochelandet (Contact Author)

Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 ( email )

13 rue de Santeuil
Paris, F-75005

Jean-Michel Etienne

Université Paris-Sud ( email )

Faculté Jean-Monnet, 54, bd Desgranges
Orsay, 91400

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