The Constructs of a Business Model Redefined: A Half-Century Journey
Despite its growing popularity, the term business model has not been uniquely defined so far. Within the management
science and practice, it has been frequently confused with other popular terms. This article aims to bring clarity into what stands behind the business model concept by providing a review of the most common themes used in defining business model elements. It also discusses the relationship between the concept of a business model, on one hand, and strategy and sustainability, on the other. A few conclusions emerge. First, although there are no generally accepted definitions for either the business model or its building blocks, academics and practitioners agree that a business model is all about value. Second, a business model is not the same as a strategy but it has an important role in strategy implementation. Third, sustainability is found to be a hot topic for business models and has been increasingly used in symbiosis with this concept. Besides being a theoretical contribution to a definition of the business model as an independent concept, the findings may be particularly helpful to managers and business practitioners seeking ways to enable their firms to deal with complex market challenges and gain competitive advantage.