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Business Model Design

Networking, Innovating and Globalizing

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Language:  English
The field of business models is about to become a core management discipline alongside accounting, finance, organization etc.
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The field of business models is about to become a core management discipline alongside accounting, finance, organization etc. Business model optimization and the commercialization of innovative ideas and new technologies will become a politically driven issue in the light of sustainability pressures. This book emphasizes how three major tendencies in business – networking, innovating and globalizing – are achieved through a business model perspective and how business models and profitability to greater extent become intertwined.
  1. Network-based business models
    1. What defines a network based business model?
    2. Barriers and challenges
  2. Value creation maps
    1. What is the value creation process?
    2. Why might the value creation process be difficult to discover?
    3. What is a value creation map?
    4. The building process: A two-step method
    5. Refining the value creation map
    6. Value creation maps and indicators
    7. Pros and cons
  3. Strategic innovation – the context of business models and business development
    1. Introduction: a new competitive landscape
    2. Strategic innovation: the background
    3. Defining strategic innovation
    4. Defining business concepts
    5. Discussions
  4. Business model innovation
    1. Method
    2. Analysis
    3. Discussion: Single vs. Multi BM Innovation
    4. Conclusion
  5. Innovative business models on NewConnect
    1. NewConnect and other alternative markets in Europe
    2. Information documents as a way to present business models
    3. Sustainability of innovative business models
    4. Sustainability of business models used by companies on NewConnect – results of empirical research
  6. Globalizing high-tech business models
    1. Setting the Scene
    2. Tensions at the Inception
    3. Dyadic tensions
    4. Conclusion
  7. Business model design
    1. Business model uncertainty
    2. Business model design
    3. Implications for business model practice
  8. References
  9. Endnotes
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About the Authors

Morten Lund (Eds.)

Christian Nielsen

Christian Nielsen, Ph.d., is Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark. He is Centre Director of CREBS (Center for Research Excellence in Business modelS,, the worlds first interdisciplinary research center focusing on business models. Christian has previously worked as an equity strategist and macro economist focusing specifically on integrating Intellectual Capital and ESG factors into business model valuations. His Ph.d. dissertation from 2005 won the Emerald/EFMD Annual Outstanding Doctoral Research Award, and in 2011 he received the Emerald Literati Network Outstanding Reviewer Award. Christian Nielsen has a substantial number of international publications to his record and his research interests concern analyzing, evaluating and measuring the performance of business models.

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Morten Lund

Morten Lund, MA in Business, Ph.d. Fellow at Aalborg University in Denmark. He is an experienced entrepreneur and executive, with a combined pragmatic and creative profile. He believes in mixing knowledge and creativity with methods and structure.

He has a wide knowledge and experience both practically and methodologically/theoretically that he has gained through a natural curiosity and eagerness to discover new dimensions of business. He is among the founding group of CREBS (Center for Research Excellence in Business modelS,, the worlds first interdisciplinary research center focusing on business models.

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Romeo V. Turcan

Romeo V. Turcan is Associate Professor at Aalborg University in Denmark. He holds a PhD and an MSc degree from Strathclyde University in the UK, and mechanical engineering degree from the Air Force Engineering Military Academy in Latvia. He has researched in the areas of entrepreneurship and international business, including aspects of legitimation, internationalization of entrepreneurial firms, de- and re-internationalization of knowledge intensive ventures. He has studied the entrepreneurial capabilities and business models of knowledge intensive firms and is interested in cross-disciplinary theory building. Dr. Turcan has published in Journal of International Entrepreneurship, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Venture Capital: an International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, International Small Business Journal, and Advances in International Management.

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Yariv Taran

Yariv Taran, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor at the Center for Industrial Production at Aalborg University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Management and Sociology at the Open University of Israel, and M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration at Aalborg University. His research focuses on business model innovation. Other areas of research interests include intellectual capital management, knowledge management, entrepreneurship and regional systems of innovation.

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Marco Montemari

Marco Montemari, Ph.D., is Research Grantee at the Marche Polytechnic University (Faculty of Economics “G. Fuà”). His research interests concern management accounting and intellectual capital. Marco was a visiting Ph.D. student at the Aalborg University in Denmark from May to August 2011. His Ph.D. dissertation focused on how cognitive maps can support and improve the measurement and the management of intellectual capital.

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Anders Drejer

Anders Drejer is a Full Professor in Strategic Management and Business Development at Aalborg University, Department of Economy and Management. Professor Drejer has a M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering (1993) and a Ph.D. in strategy (1996) from Aalborg University. He has published extensively over the years including 14 books and more than 100 journal papers and scientific articles. Furthermore, Professor Drejer is a well-known expert in the media, public speaker and advisor to a number of organisations. At present, Professor Drejer is interested in the new business models that are being created based on globalization, digitalisation, experience economy and new competitive landscapes.

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Jan Michalak

Jan Michalak is Associate Professor at Lodz University in Poland. His research interests concern management accounting, especially performance measurement and management. His wider area of interest is finance, strategy and business reporting. He is author and coauthor of five books and more than forty articles on the above mentioned topics. He is also an experienced consultant on management accounting.

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Sune Gudiksen

Sune Gudiksen is PhD fellow at Aalborg University and holds a master degree in experience design. He is an experienced design workshop planner and facilitator with the stated aim of running workshops every month to keep facilitating and tool development techniques sharp. He uses most of his time to develop methods, tools, techniques and processes, followed by deeper analysis of the effects they have on different product, service or business model cases. Among the publications are the benefits of the using design materials be that visual, tangible or embodied approaches, to unfold future scenario perspectives, while he has a specific interest in the use of concept design games to provide an improvisational mode of thinking. He is the owner of the new blog initiative on where he posts regularly about design, tools, cases and business model issues from a design and innovation point of view.


Christian Nielsen

Principal achievements

Given the global importance of creating innovative business models that create and capture value for broad stakeholder groups in society, and the evident lack of research in this area, Christian Nielsen’s clear vision led to the establishment of the Business Model Design Center (BMDC, see at Aalborg University. Within its first four years of existence, this centre of excellence has managed to attract funding of over €1.000.000 for research activities. Furthermore, this funding trend is likely to continue considering that since the establishment of this highly multidisciplinary research centre in 2011, over 200 companies ranging from local start-ups and SMEs to multinationals with a global presence have seen the value of collaborating with BMDC.

This is evidence of the cutting-edge research being produced at BMDC under Christian Nielsen’s leadership, which highlights multidisciplinary contributions that break away from traditional academic silos. The contributions of the rigorous scholarly research have led to published works in leading scholarly journals. Furthermore, the applied research and the sound strategic advice has had a significant impact on the practices of the companies with which BMDC collaborates. This is evident from the ability to attract organisations and funding. As new industrial sectors and academic fields are beginning to recognize the importance of business model design for the future competitiveness of companies in an evermore complex global world, it is expected that the BMDC will continue to strengthen its already internationally oriented position which is already present with the quarterly BMDC summits, the annual Business Model BUZZ (see 2014 resumé here:, textbooks downloaded by over 300.000 students and the Open Source based Journal of Business Models ( initiated by Christian himself in 2013.

Christian’s ability to change career from business to academia, then to banking and back to academia again illustrates his ability to adapt and acquire new knowledge. Upon his return from the financial sector, Christian made a successful turnaround in the Master’s degree in Management Accounting at Aalborg University. This degree now boasts one of the largest numbers of students for a Master’s degree in business at Aalborg University. At the present Christian serves on the executiveboard for the Department of Business and Management at Aalborg University besides being involved in two start-up companies and teaching business models on a certified executive board governance education.Keynote and research invitations in Europe, the US and Australasia are evidence of the broad reach of his research and entrepreneurial skillsets. 

Research strategy

Christian's research profile lies at the intersection of management accounting, business models and intellectual capital and relates to issues of accountability and performance measurement. Theoretically, Christian’s work builds upon Activity Systems Theory and Effectuation Theory as well as theories of accountability, legitimacy and stakeholder theory. His current research has led to the creation of a typology of business model configurations. This typology is able to constitute a backbone for mapping out the business models of any organisation,thus substantiating business model innovation patterns through empirical testing, and furthermore forming the backbone of business model benchmarking,KPIs, external disclosures and their assurance.This has led to the creation of a software platform open to other researchers to engage in and perform empirical testing on emerging theory and to help build new theories. The vision for this database is that it will become the world’s most comprehensive mapping of business model configurations and be capable of drawing in researchers with analytical, archival, and qualitative foci to further strengthen its quality.

This again is evidence of Christian Nielsen’s innovative and visionary foresight in creating synergies and bringing experts together around a common cause in turn providing a strong and more holistic methodological and theoretical contribution to a neglected area. It is Christian’s vision that the BMDC will become a leading global center of excellence, continually attracting companies that see value in collaboration, and hence further enhancing the research brand of the center. The research center’s collaboration is expanding as we speak, and from primarily having European research partners, the center now has strong links with Australasia, and more recently it has been invited to collaborate with global thought leaders such as Stanford University.