Shared Value Creation and Inter-organisational Collaboration for Sustainable Business Model Innovation
This PhD research originates from the discussion about the role of businesses as economic value creators within society. In this discussion businesses are faced with legitimacy challenges wherein they are not only challenged to remain competitive, but simultaneously to define their new role in society as part of the solution to societal and environmental challenges. What this role entails, how it can be realized and enhanced is still in its infancy, however it involves radical new forms of organizing the business model both on a firm and system level, wherein societal and environmental concerns are actively aligned with economic interests.
Acknowledging that a business model is no static result of the innovation process but rather an adaptive model to the challenges and opportunities in its ecosystem, the business model innovation process with the aim for shared value creation is associated with a deliberate and ongoing collaborative search for impactful partnerships, alignment of stakeholder interests and mutual value creation opportunities in order to collaboratively deliver sustainable value propositions to the customer, consisting of a product, service and its alternative forms of value creation, while trying to understand their effects on the whole value network, including value creation for society and environment, that in turn determines the success of the business model. As a result, innovating business models for sustainability is an iterative process that requires crossing of intra- and inter- organizational boundaries, leading businesses into a complex interests field with multiple and unusual actors, interdependencies, and the challenge to align interests and institutional arrangements while being confronted with unmanageable factors that the stakeholders are not able to influence, such as (inter-)national legislation or public opinion.
Taking into account the importance of private sector alignment with societal and environmental challenges, the main objective of this research is to improve understanding about how organizations define, create and enhance shared value through flexing their interfaces, mobilizing stakeholders, align multidimensional interests and innovating their business models in a radical way.