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The emergence of business models in the 3D printing industries

About this project
Luciana D'adderio

Lilian Edwards

Robin Williams

Jonathan Corney

Gordon Haywood

Lead investigator(s):
Dr Luciana D’adderio
Mr Gordon Haywood

Start Date: 1st September 2015
End Date: 31st December 2016


This project will examine, document and analyse the emergence of business models in the 3d printing industries, drawing on a novel inductive and observational methodology for business model taxonomy developed by the PI.

Project outputs include:

Business models: a routine dynamics reconceptualization – despite its widespread use within strategy and innovation research the notion of “business model” as a theoretical construct remains ill-defined and conceptually underdeveloped. In this conceptual paper, we address these limitations, first, by identifying some of the reasons for the lack of consensus around business models conceptualisation, and, second, by reconceptualising business models from a novel perspective based on Routine Dynamics. More specifically, we show how the lack of theoretical integration between the transaction cost economics, Schumpeterian innovation, resource based theory, strategic networks and cognitive perspectives that underpin current business models research act as a major source of theoretical dissonance. We elaborate and illustrate these arguments by drawing on the business models of Amazon, a leading e-commerce firm. We then propose a routine dynamics perspective to integrate insights from the various perspectives within business model research. Our findings contribute towards further integrating BM research with Management and Organisational Theory.

Business models: a routine dynamics reconceptualization – this paper was also presented at the British Academy of Management 2017 Conference

3D printing is shaping new business models – this blog post on how 3D printing technology is reshaping the relationship between producers, users and intermediaries, redefining the meaning of ‘value’, and challenging conventional business models was prepared for ESRC.