Business model change in dynamic environments – the case of distributed solar energy

  • Jessica Lagerstedt Wadin Lund University
  • Kajsa Ahlgren Lund University
Keywords: business model dynamics, business models for sustainability, contingency framework, distributed solar energy, multiple case studies, value creation



The purpose of this paper is to enrich the debate on business models for sustainability in contingent situations.


We employ literature on business model and business model for sustainability theory and a contingency framework advanced in previous literature, and apply qualitative methods of multiple cases of four solar companies in two distinct dynamic business environments to examine how business models develop to align with changes in the business environment.


We provide empirical evidence that confirm and support for the contingency framework on business model dynamics and how it can be extended.

1) Adding a conceptual framework helps us understand the roles of the components in a more detail, which reveals that 2) in a hypercompetitive situation there is a focus on adapting the customer interface and business structure, while in an environmental shift situation innovating the value proposition and revenue model is needed.

3) Overall value creation activities should not be limited to the value proposition, intangible values in the customer interface also need to be addressed suggesting customer sensitivity in the customer interface. as a way to better understand the interaction between the firm and the customer in the customer interface.


Jointly, our findings provide new insights on business model for sustainability changes in dynamic business environments thereby the spread of and scale up of sustainable technologies.

Author Biographies

Jessica Lagerstedt Wadin, Lund University

Innovation Engineering

Dep. of Design Sciences

Kajsa Ahlgren, Lund University

Innovation Engineering

Dep. of Design Sciences

Special Issue: Sustainable Value Creation through Business Models