Exploring the Organizational and Technological Implications on Strategic Business Model Change: A Case Study of One Electronic Marketplace

Exploring the Organizational and Technological Implications on Strategic Business Model Change: A Case Study of One Electronic Marketplace

João Roque, José Duarte Santos, Jorge Simões, Fernando Almeida
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4552-2.ch002
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The purpose of this chapter is to identify and analyze the main organizational and technological factors that play a relevant role in a transformational strategic change inherent in changing the business model supported on the internet. An analysis was made of the different business models, as well as their connection to strategic management and how this is accomplished in the organizational and technological plan. This empirical study, based on the qualitative methodology, focuses on a single case study on a Portuguese company that recently changed its business model. The findings allowed the authors to assess the advantages and challenges posed by the transformation of an initial business based on a website that performs a comparison of prices for an integrated model based on a marketplace, in which customers can make their purchases and access all products, from different stores, in one place.
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The global economic environment has changed over the years as a result of globalization. One of the factors that promote increasing competitiveness is technology, namely new information and communication technologies (Radman & Belin, 2017; Zoroja & Bach, 2016). There is an increasing number of organizations that base their business on a service offering, which is a factor that promotes internationalization and also promotes a greater focus on people and the enhancement of their skills. These economic changes have favored the emergence of new approaches in organizations in several areas. Yasav (2015) states that the supply of information technology products/services has made it possible to support several of the changes that have been occurring, also affecting the demand side of the relationship with customers, since they also have at their disposal new capabilities that change the way they interact with the market.

The strategic development presents several forms like continuous, incremental, flow or transformational (Pearce & Robinson, 2014). Despite the less frequency of the latter form, the drastic changes that this form of strategic development places to companies tends to be more demanding and challenging. The Internet can be the lever for this option, giving rise to the appearance of new business models, providing opportunities, but also creating challenges for companies. Therefore, there is interest from the business world to study these movements about the companies, so that they can be more proactive in the idealization of the business model.

Initially, this study synthesizes and compares different concepts and definitions of business models, their link to strategic management and how they are explored in the organizational and technological plan. Continuously, it identifies and characterizes several business models and evidences specific models supported on the Internet. With the analysis of the models is expected to get to detect common elements that can constitute as factors key for when the company changes of business model. Also, the transformation of the derived company of a strategy that implicates to a digital component will be addressed by this study.

This study also carries out an empirical study supported by the qualitative methodology, with a single case study that focused on a Portuguese company that recently changed its business model. For this purpose, the authors used a semi-structured interview, documentation provided by the company and public documents about it. This study, of exploratory nature, intends to have as main contribution the identification of organizational and technological factors that are present in the transformation of a model of specific business and that can be incorporated in future quantitative studies, to be possible to perform an eventual validation and generalization. The adopted methodology allowed exploring the real context of an organization, using for that purpose qualitative and quantitative sources. According to Yin (2009), the case study is a research strategy that comprises a method that covers everything in specific approaches of data collection and analysis. It was important to use this methodology to understand the reasons that led the company analyzed to make strategic and organizational changes in its business model.

Finally, the findings are discussed according to the established dimensions of the semi-structured interview. After that, the conclusions are presented and some relevant indications for future research directions are given.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Supply Chain Management: Application that controls the flow of information and materials to maximize the company's results. In short, it is the management of the manufacturer's relationships with those who provide services to it, and ensures the quality and/or reduction of costs without any link in the chain breaking and damaging the final product.

Word-of-Mouth: Way to share information through oral communication between people. In marketing, it can be used as a powerful advertising strategy that enhances viral marketing when associated with social networks.

Enterprise Resource Planning: Integrated business management system that aims to plan company resources. The ERP functions as an enterprise database, which brings together in a single platform all operations in an integrated manner, such as manufacturing, logistics, finance, human resources, etc.

Customer Relationship Management: A set of practices, business strategies and customer-focused technologies that, from small companies and start-ups to medium and large organizations, can be used to manage and analyze interactions with their customers, anticipate their needs and desires, optimize profitability and increase the sales and assertiveness of their campaigns to attract new customers.

E-marketplace: Proper place for buying and selling products. Currently, the term marketplace is used as a reference to a proper place of the Internet, a site, where different sellers virtually sell their products.

Decision Support System: A particular type of information system specially developed to support the need for information to support decision making in complex management and decision problems, including semi-structured or unstructured decision situations.

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