Using Business Models in Hindsight




Purpose: Develop a method for an extended “fore-and-aft” use of business models. The method will turn them also into potent business history tools, in addition to being valuable forward planning instruments.

Approach: Business models can be used to understand organizations by studying them as “snapshots” at any given time or accounting for their evolution by comparing their past successive forms on a temporal axis. The paper proposes a method of evolutionary analysis, which, by following a historical institutionalism approach, identifies “critical junctures”, organizational change and business model revisions. The evolution of organisations can be deciphered by comparing the business models at these “critical junctures”.

Findings: The method has been tested in two international financial institutions.

Value: There is no similar approach and use of business models. The method can serve scholarly purposes and business applications.