Business models in process industries: Emerging trends and future research

Stephan von Delft, Yang Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reviews the literature on business models in process industries. The review reveals that the business model concept has gained an increasing amount of attention in process-industrial research, but it also shows that the literature exhibits a lack of construct clarity and that it is developing in different domains, depending on the perspectives scholars have taken to study business models in process industries. Specifically, while innovation management scholars have explored the relationship between technological innovations and business models as well as the process and outcomes of business model innovation, scholars from the domain of production management have focused on value chain (re)configurations and taken a system-based perspective to consider boundary-spanning exchanges with key stakeholders in the design of business models. However, despite variance in the perspectives, the review further shows that works in these divergent domains point to a family of emerging themes and to common ideas that have not been explored together. This allows us to identify the particularities of business models in process industries and develop a definition of process-industrial business models, which extends prior business model literature into the process industry context. Furthermore, we synthesize these connections to develop an agenda for future, cross-disciplinary research on business models in process industries that assists cumulative theorizing and subsequent empirical progress.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102195
Early online date7 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


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