Business Model Innovation for Upcycling: Uncovering Conditions and Their Interactions Facilitating and Hindering a Sustainable Business Model Transformation
Abstract: Research question: What conditions promote or hinder business model innovation for sustainability in the field of upcycling and how do these conditions interact? Methodology: This single-case study is characterized by applying a qualitative research approach and an inductive reasoning with a systematic and transparent approach. The research conducted semi-structured interviews as the main source of data and was analyzed by applying a grounded theory approach to gain an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon. Theoretical perspectives: The paramount focus of the thesis is business model innovation for sustainability, with ‘creating value from waste’ as an archetype. The concept of upcycling, as sub-archetype, is examined as a radical form of business model transformation affecting the value proposition of the company. Furthermore, conditions are seen as neutral since their appearance and absence can have both positive or negative effects on the business model transformation. Conclusions: The research has identified some conditions for sustainable business model innovation to be more significant for upcycling than others. Furthermore, it uncovers new conditions and reveals interactions between them, facilitating or hindering business model innovation for upcycling. This study can eventually provide a simplified model that can easily be generalized to other forms of radical sustainable business model innovation.
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