Session 6

Organizational Learning and Business Model Transitions

Track C

Date: Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Time: 11:00 – 12:15


Room: Meeting Hall IV (b)

Session Chair:

  • Lucia Piscitello, Polytechnic University of Milan

Title: Fast Track to Learning: How the Context Affects Heterogeneity in Learning


  • Thomas Roulet, King's College London
  • Kristina Dahlin, HEC-Paris
  • Asli Kozan, IPAG Business School

Abstract: Do some firms learn faster than others? Although traditional learning curve research has found that low-performing organizations are faster learners, some recent studies have demonstrated the opposite. Approaching learning as a stimulus-response process, we try to explain these contradictory results by looking at learning from salient stimuli: train accidents. The railroad industry meets the condition of making failure a significant event that forces an organization to react. Using a 25-year data window allows us to consider how the maturation of the industry affects the distribution of learning rates across firms and moderates the relationship between experience and learning rate. In addition, we look at the impact of market focus on learning rate in the context of learning from failure.

Title: Learning while Configuring: Business Model Innovation Processes in Established Firms


  • Hans Berends, VU University Amsterdam
  • Armand Smits, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
  • Isabelle Reymen, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • Ksenia Podoynitsyna, Eindhoven University of Technology

Abstract: In this paper we contribute to the understanding of strategic renewal by studying how conception (cognition) and execution (action) interact in the context of business model innovation. Based on a qualitative process study we investigate the development of new business model configurations in four established firms. Our preliminary analyses resulted in uncovering five modes of interaction between cognition and action: retrospective sensemaking, implementation, experimentation, experiential learning, and improvisation. Each business model innovation trajectory contained a sequence of these development modes. These sequences, in turn, contained both partial and integral changes. We find that business model development progressed most smoothly when it took place “online”, i.e. in operation for clients, instead of “off-line”. We discuss implications for theory on business model innovation and strategic renewal.

Title: Organizational Learning and Business Model Innovation: Transition Towards Cloud Business Model in Telecom Sector


  • Saeed Khanagha, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Ilan Oshri, Loughborough School of Business and Economics

Abstract: Organizations often experience difficulty in transition from one business model to another one that is imposed by exogenous factors such as technological change. A growing body of research has examined this phenomenon from different perspectives; however the empirical findings to illustrate the micro dynamics of these challenges are scarce. In this paper we examine the process of business model innovation in established firms from an organizational learning perspective. We complement our theoretical analysis with an in-depth case study of Ercisson’s experiences with Cloud Computing Technology (CCT) which drastically alters the long lasting telecom business model. The case provides a unique opportunity to explore how innovations in organizational routines and prevalent systems, structures, processes, and practices enables the firms to incrementally innovate their business model without abandoning existing business model that is still their main source of revenue. The article discusses the implications of this for competitive dynamics and firm performance.

Title: Responding to Disruptive Business Models


  • Costas Markides, London Business School

Abstract: The growing frequency with which new and disruptive business models have invaded established industries in the last twenty years has brought to the fore the critical question: “How could established firms respond successfully to these disruptions?” We provide tentative answers to this question using data from a questionnaire survey completed by 98 established firms that faced such a disruption in their markets. We show that: (a) established firms could respond either by using their existing business model or by developing a new one; and (b) depending on the response option taken, different factors determine success from failure.

All Sessions in Track C...

Mon: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 2: Business Models: Transitioning from Research to Practice and Back
Mon: 09:30 – 10:45
Session 3: Strategic Change, Resources, and Business Model Transitions
Mon: 13:30 – 14:45
Session 4: Managerial Behavior and Business Model Transitions
Tue: 08:00 – 09:15
Session 5: Transitions in Governance and Business Models
Tue: 11:00 – 12:15
Session 6: Organizational Learning and Business Model Transitions
Tue: 14:15 – 15:30
Session 8: Business Model Transitions in Transitional Market Settings
Tue: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 9: Business Model Transitions As Industry Sector Phenomena

Strategic Management Society