Analyzing business models in products, platforms, or ecosystems


  • Esko Hakanen Aalto University



Purpose: This conceptual article argues that the definition of a business model should be different for products, platforms, and ecosystems.

Design/Methodology/Approach: Building on existing literature, this article suggests a clarification on the business model construct. We summarize the dispersed literature on defining the concept and proposes a converging approach to suit three different contexts.

Research Limitations/Implications: The paper presents illustrative examples for different contextual approaches. However, we are restricted to simplifications when both summarizing the existing literature and presenting the empirical examples.

Practical Implications: The presented model can increase the clarity and applicability of the business model concept for both scholars and practitioners.

Originality/Value: We offer a new converging perspective to business model research, clarifying the benefits and applicability of the competing definitions. We argue that the different approaches help to delineate the typical characteristics of a business model, depending on the context of evaluation.

Author Biography

Esko Hakanen, Aalto University

Dr. Esko Hakanen has enjoyed a short but successful career in academia. His dissertation work focused on the effect of digital transformation on the business models of technology industry firms. During his short academic career, he has already published his work in various respected journals, including California Management Review and Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing.