Designing a collaborative business model for SMEs

  • Angela Caridà
  • Maria Colurcio
  • Monia Melia
Keywords: collaboration business model, collaborative network, Service Dominant Logic, manufacturing SMEs, Formabilio

Abstract

Purpose of the paper: This study aims to contribute to the literature on business model by providing some fresh insights about collaborative business models for SMEs. Specifically, the paper describes and analyzes the  business model set up by an Italian start up, Formabilio, which is built up on both network and digital technologies.

Methodology: An explorative, qualitative research design (Burr, 2003; Colurcio et al., 2012) has been employed. Data have been collected through the analysis of documents and texts, non-participant observations, an online semi-structured questionnaire and in-depth interviews.

Findings: The study suggests an holistic and strategic approach to renew the business model. It identifies the foundational elements of a collaboration-based business model to sustain the SMEs competitiveness in a complex and increasingly digital-based ecosystem. Specifically, the analysis of the Formabilio network discloses new possible business configurations that a company can adopt to create value for all the actors engaged in the business ecosystem.

Research limits: The main limitation of the empirical study relates to its explorative nature and the analysis of a single collaborative network.

Practical implications: The study discloses possible business configurations as the pivotal factors for designing value co-creation business models. It offers an opportunity to reflect on the effects of collaboration and networking on a traditional business context as the Italian manufacturing ecosystem.

Originality of the paper: The paper adds value to the existing literature by providing a broader perspective of analysis that merges the managerial perspective on the business model and the marketing perspective of interaction and resources integration, to understand and to guide the managerial behaviour.

References

AFUAH A., TUCCI C. (2003), Internet Business Models and Strategies, McGraw Hill, Boston.

AKAKA M.A., VARGO S.L. (2014), “Technology as an operant resource in service (eco) systems”, Information Systems and e-Business Management, vol. 12, n. 3, pp. 367-384.

AMIT R., ZOTT C. (2001), “Value creation in e-business”, Strategic Management Journal, vol. 22, n. 6-7, pp. 493-520.

ANDERSON J.C., HÅKANSSON H., JOHANSON J. (1994), “Dyadic business relationships within a business network context”, The Journal of Marketing, vol. 58, n. 4, pp. 1-15.

BALLANTYNE D., VAREY R.J. (2006), “Creating value-in-use through marketing interaction: the exchange logic of relating, communicating and knowing”, Marketing theory, vol. 6, n. 3, pp. 335-348.

BERGLUND H., SANDSTRÖM C. (2013), “Business model innovation from an open systems perspective: structural challenges and managerial solutions”, International Journal of Product Development, vol. 18, n. 3, pp. 274-285.

BOURDEAU L., CHEBAT J.C., COUTURIER C. (2002), “Internet consumer value of university students: E-mail-vs.-Web users”, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, vol. 9, n. 2, pp. 61-69.

BRODIE R.J., HOLLEBEEK L.D., JURIĆ B., ILIĆ A. (2011), “Customer Engagement Conceptual Domain, Fundamental Propositions, and Implications for Research”, Journal of Service Research, vol. 14, n. 3, pp. 252-271.

BURR V. (2003), Social constructionism, Routledge, London.

CAMARINHA-MATOS L.M. (2009), “Collaborative networked organizations: Status and trends in manufacturing”, Annual Reviews in Control, vol. 33, n. 2, pp. 199-208.

CAMMOCK P., NILAKANT V., DAKIN S. (1995), “Developing a lay model of managerial effectiveness: A social constructionist perspective”, Journal of Management Studies, vol. 32, n. 4, pp. 443-474.

CARIDÀ A., COLURCIO M. (2013), “Viral Marketing Communication: Just Sales or More?”, Business Systems Review, vol. 2, n. 1, pp. 99-110.

CARIDÀ A., COLURCIO M., MELIA M. (2014), “Rethinking and improving the healthcare service through interactive web technologies”, in Baglieri E., Karmarkar U., Managing Consumer Services: Factory or Theater?, Springer International Publishing (ed.) Cham (ZG), Switzerland.

CHANDLER J., VARGO S.L. (2011), ”Contextualization: Network intersections, value-in-context, and the co-creation of markets”, Marketing Theory, vol. 11, n. 1, pp. 35-49.

CHESBROUGH H.W. (2003), Open innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

CHESBROUGH H., CROWTHER A.K. (2006), “Beyond high tech: early adopters of open innovation in other industries”, R&D Management, vol. 36, n. 3, pp. 229-236.

CHESBROUGH H., ROSENBLOOM R.S. (2002), The Role of the Business Model in capturing value from Innovation: Evidence from XEROX Corporation’s Technology Spinoff Companies, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

CHIARVESIO M., DI MARIA E., MICELLI, S. (2004), “From local networks of SMEs to virtual districts?: Evidence from recent trends in Italy”, Research Policy, vol. 33, n. 10, pp. 1509-1528.

COLURCIO M. (2009), “Asymmetric business relationships and interaction capabilities: an exploratory study”, Quaderni di Sinergie, n. 16, pp. 109-128.

COLURCIO M., EDVARDSSON B., CARIDÀ A. (2014), “Resource integration in innovation processes: a literature review”, Edited by Ahram T., Karwowski W., Marek T., Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics AHFE 2014, Kraków, Poland 19-23 July.

COLURCIO M., WOLF P., KOCHER P.Y., RUSSO SPENA T. (2012), “Asymmetric relationships in networked food innovation processes”, British Food Journal, vol. 114, n. 5, pp 702-727.

CRESWELL J.W. (1998), Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five designs, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA.

DEIGHTON J., GRAYSON K. (1995), “Marketing and seduction: Building exchange relationships by managing social consensus”, Journal of Consumer Research, vol. 21, n. 4, pp 660-676.

EDVARDSSON B., TRONVOLL B., GRUBER T. (2011), “Expanding understanding of service exchange and value co-creation: a social construction approach”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, vol. 39, n. 2, pp 327-339.

FINN M., WALTON M., ELLIOTT-WHITE M. (2000), Tourism and leisure research methods: Data collection, analysis, and interpretation, Pearson education Ltd, Harlow, UK.

FRANKFORT-NACHMIAS C., NACHMIAS D. (1996), “Index construction and scaling methods”, in Frankfort-Nachmias C., Nachmias D., Research methods in the social sciences, St Martin’s Press, London.

FROW P., NENONEN S., PAYNE A., STORBACKA K. (2015), “Managing co-creation design: a strategic approach to innovation”, British Journal of Management, DOI: 10.1111/1467-8551.12087

GERGEN K.J. (1985), “The social constructionist movement in modern psychology”, American Psychologist, vol. 40, n. 3, pp. 266-75.

GOSS D. (1991), Small Business and Society, Routledge, London.

HAMEL G. (2000), Leading the revolution, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.

HAMMERSLEY M., ATKINSON P. (1995), Insider accounts: Listening and asking questions. Ethnography: Principles in practice, Routledge, London.

HUTTER K., HAUTZ J., FÜLLER J., MUELLER J., MATZLER K. (2011), “Communitition: The Tension between Competition and Collaboration in Community‐Based Design Contests”, Creativity and Innovation Management, vol. 20, n. 1, pp. 3-21.

JOHNSEN R., FORD D. (2008), “Exploring the concept of asymmetry: a typology for analyzing customer-supplier relationships”, Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 37, n. 4, pp. 471-483.

LEE S., PARK G., YOON B., PARK J. (2010), “Open innovation in SMEs-An intermediated network model”, Research policy, vol. 39, n. 2, pp. 290-300.

LINCOLN Y.S., GUBA E.G. (1985), Naturalistic inquiry, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, CA.

LUCKMANN T., BERGER P.L. (1991), The social construction of reality: a treatise in the sociology of knowledge, Anchor Books, New York.

McALEXANDER J.H., SCHOUTEN J.W., KOENIG H.F. (2002), “Building brand community”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 66, n. 1, pp. 38-54.

McCOLL-KENNEDY J.R., VARGO S.L., DAGGER T.S., SWEENEY J.C., VAN KASTEREN Y. (2012), “Health care customer value co-creation practice styles”, Journal of Service Research, vol. 15, n. 4, pp. 370-389.

McGRATH R., MACMILLAN I., (2000), Discovery Driven Planning, Harvard Business Press, Boston.

MELE C., RUSSO SPENA T., COLURCIO M. (2010), “Co-creating value innovation through resource integration”, International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 2, n. 1, pp. 60-78.

MORRIS M., SCHINDEHUTTE M., ALLEN J. (2005), “The entrepreneur's business model: toward a unified perspective”, Journal of Business Research, vol. 58, n. 6, pp. 726-735.

MYERS J. (2006), “Future value systems: Next generation economic growth engines & manufacturing”, in Choi B.W., Nagy D. (Eds.), IMS vision forum IMS International, Seoul, Korea.

OSTERWALDER A., PIGNEUR Y., TUCCI C.L. (2005), “Clarifying business models: Origins, present, and future of the concept”, Communications of the association for Information Systems, vol. 16, n. 1, pp. 1-40.

OSTERWALDER, A. (2004), The business model ontology: A proposition in a design science approach, Institut d’Informatique et Organisation, University of Lausanne, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales HEC, 173, Lausanne, Switzerland.

PRATTEN C. (1991), The Competitiveness of Small Firms, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

PURA M. (2005), “Linking perceived value and loyalty in location-based mobile services”, Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 15, n. 6, pp. 509-538.

RAMPERSAD G., QUESTER P., TROSHANI I. (2010), “Managing innovation networks: Exploratory evidence from ICT, biotechnology and nanotechnology networks”, Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 39, n. 5, pp. 793-805.

ROTHWELL R., DODGSON M. (1992), “European technology policy evolution: convergence towards SMEs and regional technology transfer”, Technovation, vol. 12, n. 4, pp. 223-238.

RUSSO SPENA T., COLURCIO, M. (2010). “A cognitive-relational view of innovation in the agri-food industry: the fresh-cut business”, International Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 14, n. 2, pp. 307-329.

RUSSO SPENA T., MELE C. (2012), “Five Co-s” in innovating: a practice-based view”, Journal of Service Management, vol. 23, n. 4, pp. 527-553.

SAWHNEY M., VERONA G., PRANDELLI E. (2005), “Collaborating to create: The Internet as a platform for customer engagement in product innovation”, Journal of interactive marketing, vol. 19, n. 4, pp. 4-17.

SCHAU H.J., MUÑIZ JR. A.M., ARNOULD E.J. (2009), “How brand community practices create value”, Journal of Marketing, vol. 73, n. 5, pp. 30-51.

SHETH J.N., NEWMAN B.I., GROSS B.L. (1991), “Why we buy what we buy: a theory of consumption values”, Journal of Business Research, vol. 22, n. 2, pp. 159-170.

SICILIA M., PALAZÓN, M. (2008), “Brand communities on the internet: A case study of Coca-Cola's Spanish virtual community”, Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 13, n. 3, pp. 255-270.

STÄHLER P. (2002), Business Models as an Unit of Analysis for Strategizing, International Workshop on Business Models, Lausanne, Switzerland.

STEWART D.W., ZHAO Q. (2000), “Internet marketing, business models, and public policy”, Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, vol. 19, n. 2, pp. 287-296.

STORBACKA K., FROW P., NENONEN S., PAYNE A. (2012), “Designing Business Models for Value Co-Creation”, in Vargo S., Lusch, R., Special Issue - Toward a Better Understanding of the Role of Value in Markets and Marketing, Review of Marketing Research, vol. 9, pp. 51-78.

SWEENEY J.C., SOUTAR G.N. (2001), “Consumer Perceived Value: The Development of a Multiple Item Scale”, Journal of Retailing, vol. 77, n. 2, pp. 203-220.

TEECE D.J. (2010), “Business models, business strategy, and innovation”, Long Range Planning, vol. 43, n. 2, pp. 172-194.

TIMMERS P. (1998), “Business Models for Electronic Markets”, Journal on Electronic Markets, vol. 8, n. 2, pp. 3-8.

TROTT P., HARTMANN D. (2009), “Why 'open innovation' is old wine in new bottles”, International Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 13, n. 4, pp. 715-736.

ULAGA W., EGGERT A. (2005), “Relationship value in business markets: the construct and its dimensions”, Journal of Business-to-business Marketing, vol. 12, n. 1, pp. 73-99.

VARGO S.L., LUSCH R.F. (2011), “It's all B2B… and beyond: Toward a systems perspective of the market”, Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 40, n. 2, pp. 181-187.

VARGO S.L. (2008), “Customer integration and value creation Paradigmatic Traps and Perspectives”, Journal of service research, vol. 11, n. 2, pp. 211-215.

VARGO S.L., LUSCH R.F. (2008), “Service-dominant logic: continuing the evolution”, Journal of the Academy of marketing Science, vol. 36, n. 1, pp. 1-10.

VON HIPPEL E. (2005), Democratizing innovation, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

WITZEL A. (2000), “The problem-centered interview”, Qualitative Social Research, vol. 1, n. 1. Retrieved from: http://nbnresolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0001228 (Accessed: 14th June, 2014)

ZOTT C., AMIT R., MASSA L. (2011), “The business model: recent developments and future research”, Journal of Management, vol. 37, n. 4, pp. 1019-1042.


Website

http://www.formabilio.com
Published
2015-12-30