Opening the Black Box of Business Model Innovation Process in Social Enterprises : The Case of Swedish GodEl

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Högskolan i Halmstad/Akademin för ekonomi, teknik och naturvetenskap


Background: Due to several threats that are facing our planet a hybrid business form has emerged throughout the recent decade, the social enterprise (SE). A SE is created with one purpose, to create social value. However, it is also aiming for financial profit to be able to fulfill its social mission. The dual focus of SEs differentiates them from other business forms and much remains to understand how they manage this over time. Little is known about SE business models (BMs) and how they develop over time.

Problem Discussion: Globalization has led to increased business competition, which in turn has led to an increased attention of business model innovation (BMI) as a tool to create and/or sustain competitive advantage. Since BMI can be a key process in all industries it is relevant to understand BMI in order to manage it successfully and achieve a good result. Unfortunately little attention has been given to the BMI process, how BMI unfolds over time.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore how BMI unfolds over time at GodEl. This will be done by: (1) looking at how the BM components have changed over time from the establishment of the firm until present, and (2) identifying main events that have triggered these changes.

Methodology: This study is a qualitative single case study. The data has been collected via 16 semi-structured interviews, two focus groups, as well as via historical archives. The findings have been analyzed in a within-case analysis. The case organization is GodEl, a Swedish electric retailer.

Empirical Findings: The findings contain a complete review of the company history and BMI between 2001 and 2015, based on the collected data. It is structured in identified time periods.

Conclusions: It can be concluded that BMI at GodEl between its establishment and present day has been achieved by small incremental changes in the BM components one step at a time. It has been a continuous process of trial-and- error.

Future Research: Further research is needed in order to deepen the understanding of BMI process. 

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