The aim of this paper is to bridge two streams of research and to create a novel intersection in the managerial literature. In particular, by combining the Woesian theory of Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT), that is a cornerstone of biology literature, to the case of business model innovation (BMI), we propose novel argumentations that allow us to get to a better understanding of innovation processes happening when firms try to emulate each other’s business models, in full or in part. Previous literature has mainly labelled the process of emulation as “business model imitation”. By applying a biological analogy, we claim this process to be a process of modular horizontal transfer, in which functional modules of existing Business Models are transferred across firms through a process of ‘replication with modification’. Indeed, the final outcome is hardly a copycat of the original busines model, and may differentiates from (and innovates) it also radically. We propose Business Model Horizontal Transfer (BMHT) as a new concept in the Business Model literature. A concept that completes and extends our understanding about the logics and the processes through which new business models are created or just modified starting from existing ones.

Managing intersections between biology and management. The theory of Business Model Horizontal Transfer (BMHT)

Marco Balzano
;
Guido Bortoluzzi;
2021

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to bridge two streams of research and to create a novel intersection in the managerial literature. In particular, by combining the Woesian theory of Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT), that is a cornerstone of biology literature, to the case of business model innovation (BMI), we propose novel argumentations that allow us to get to a better understanding of innovation processes happening when firms try to emulate each other’s business models, in full or in part. Previous literature has mainly labelled the process of emulation as “business model imitation”. By applying a biological analogy, we claim this process to be a process of modular horizontal transfer, in which functional modules of existing Business Models are transferred across firms through a process of ‘replication with modification’. Indeed, the final outcome is hardly a copycat of the original busines model, and may differentiates from (and innovates) it also radically. We propose Business Model Horizontal Transfer (BMHT) as a new concept in the Business Model literature. A concept that completes and extends our understanding about the logics and the processes through which new business models are created or just modified starting from existing ones.
Leveraging intersections in management theory and practice
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5005446
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