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The Business Model Ontology - A Proposition in a Design Science Approach

by Alexander Osterwalder
Business ()
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This dissertation aims at bringing the young research stream on business models a step further. After presenting and analyzing existing knowledge in the domain it consolidates present research into a specification of a conceptualization resulting in the proposition of a business model ontology defining the semantics and relationships of nine business model elements. These are value proposition, target customer, customer relationship, distribution channel, value configuration, capabilities, partnerships, revenue model and cost structure. The business model ontology is then translated into an XML-based description language called BM2L in order to capture and describe a concrete case study, the Montreux Jazz Festival. The ontology is evaluated and possible applications, particularly IS and business alignment, are proposed and further outlined as information and communication technologies in general and e-business in particular are increasingly underpinning today's business models.

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