The business model ontology a proposition in a design science approach


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
The business model ontology a proposition in a design science approach
Osterwalder A.
Pigneur Y.
Institution details
Université de Lausanne, Faculté des hautes études commerciales
Administration BFSH1, 1015 Lausanne
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Issued date
Number of pages
REROID:R003657269; 30 cm ill.
The goal of this dissertation is to find and provide the basis for a managerial tool that allows a firm to easily express its business logic. The methodological basis for this work is design science, where the researcher builds an artifact to solve a specific problem. In this case the aim is to provide an ontology that makes it possible to explicit a firm's business model. In other words, the proposed artifact helps a firm to formally describe its value proposition, its customers, the relationship with them, the necessary intra- and inter-firm infrastructure and its profit model. Such an ontology is relevant because until now there is no model that expresses a company's global business logic from a pure business point of view. Previous models essentially take an organizational or process perspective or cover only parts of a firm's business logic. The four main pillars of the ontology, which are inspired by management science and enterprise- and processmodeling, are product, customer interface, infrastructure and finance. The ontology is validated by case studies, a panel of experts and managers. The dissertation also provides a software prototype to capture a company's business model in an information system. The last part of the thesis consists of a demonstration of the value of the ontology in business strategy and Information Systems (IS) alignment.
Structure of this thesis:
The dissertation is structured in nine parts:
Chapter 1 presents the motivations of this research, the research methodology with which the goals shall be achieved and why this dissertation present a contribution to research.
Chapter 2 investigates the origins, the term and the concept of business models. It defines what is meant by business models in this dissertation and how they are situated in the context of the firm. In addition this chapter outlines the possible uses of the business model concept.
Chapter 3 gives an overview of the research done in the field of business models and enterprise ontologies.
Chapter 4 introduces the major contribution of this dissertation: the business model ontology. In this part of the thesis the elements, attributes and relationships of the ontology are explained and described in detail.
Chapter 5 presents a case study of the Montreux Jazz Festival which's business model was captured by applying the structure and concepts of the ontology. In fact, it gives an impression of how a business model description based on the ontology looks like.
Chapter 6 shows an instantiation of the ontology into a prototype tool: the Business Model Modelling Language BM2L. This is an XML-based description language that allows to capture and describe the business model of a firm and has a large potential for further applications.
Chapter 7 is about the evaluation of the business model ontology. The evaluation builds on literature review, a set of interviews with practitioners and case studies.
Chapter 8 gives an outlook on possible future research and applications of the business model ontology. The main areas of interest are alignment of business and information technology IT/information systems IS and business model comparison. Finally, chapter 9 presents some conclusions.
Create date
09/12/2009 11:47
Last modification date
29/06/2021 11:09
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