ESTT at the Academy of Management Conference

ESTT members contributed to the Academy of Management Conference in Chicago. They presented the following papers:

Business Model Portfolio Evolution, W. Sachsenhofer, N. Hampl, W. H. Hoffmann

Incumbent firms typically operate a portfolio of business models. However, we still know little about how business model portfolios emerge and develop over time. We build on longitudinal data from a multiple-case study to explore how the evolution and dynamics of business model portfolios impact firm growth. Our findings suggest that business model portfolios emerge and develop in three phases: initiation and scale-up, diversification and transformation. A firm’s first viable business model strongly impacts the evolution of its business model portfolio and growth. New business models in the portfolio contribute to firm growth when they are synergistically interrelated with this core business model and specifically generate demand-side synergies. In a transforming portfolio, a new business model replaces the old core business model of a firm.

Individual Responses to Institutional Demands in Practice: The Case of Transparency, L. Ringel and G. Reischauer

Scholars are increasingly interested in individual responses to institutional demands. Much attention has been paid to the role of gradual changes in the field position of organizations. However, we know little about how individual responses to institutional demands are affected by a radical change of field position. We address this gap by examining the institutional demands of transparency, an ambiguous institution that permeates ever more sectors of contemporary society. Taking a practice-theory lens, we studied the Pirate Party Germany, a political organization dedicated to maximum transparency that experienced a radical field position change after being elected into four German state parliaments. We found three practices that individual actors developed in response to this change, aiming at reducing transparency in their day-to-day operations: rerouting the time and place of actions, reclassifying the ground of actions, and recalling the monitoring of actions. These findings contribute to a better understanding of individual responses to a radical change of field position and of the role of transparency in organizing and strategy processes

Industry 4.0 as policy-driven discourse to institutionalize systemic innovation in manufacturing, G. Reischauer

We are witnessing an increasing adoption of digital technologies in manufacturing industries around the globe. This trend is often debated under the label Industry 4.0. A key claim of these debates is that Industry 4.0 is a technological revolution that will reshape manufacturing industries. Despite the popularity of this claim, it provides little help to clarify the identity of Industry 4.0. Such a clarification is however highly relevant and much needed given the worldwide proliferation of digital technologies in manufacturing industries. I address this gap by arguing to view Industry 4.0 as policy-driven innovation discourse that aims to institutionalize systemic innovation in manufacturing industries amongst business, academia, and politics, an innovation policy approach also known as Triple Helix mode of innovation. This clarification of the identity of Industry 4.0 has implications for research on Industry 4.0 and the Triple Helix mode of innovation as well as for decision makers.