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Does method matter? : An experiment on collaborative business model idea generation in teams

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abstract The development of new business models presents a critical and demanding task for organizations. Among other things, the task requires effective divergent and convergent group processes. A growing body of theoretical literature and empirical evidence shows that artifacts can support collaboration, creativity, and innovation in groups. Such artifacts include visual templates, physical objects, and sketches. Based on existing theories on idea generation and boundary objects, this proposal explains how artifacts can facilitate the development of new business model ideas in teams. Specifically, this paper hypothesizes that artifacts have an impact on perceived group collaboration, perceived creativity, and the decision to adopt a new business model idea.

The model was tested with an initial experimental study with managers who were asked to develop innovative business models for a daily newspaper, working under one of three different conditions. The subjects worked in groups and were assigned to either: (1) an empty PowerPoint slide (control group); (2) physical objects combined with sketching; or (3) a visual business model template in a software environment. The results of this pilot study indicate that using a digital visual business model template significantly increases perceived collaboration and actually decreases perceived creativity and the willingness to adopt the business model idea generated. Physical objects combined with sketching do not yield results distinct from the control condition of filling out an empty slide. These results provide initial empirical evidence that artifacts have the power to shape the group process of developing new business models, and that the proposed model can capture relevant dimensions of how they affect such a process.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords innovation, business model, idea generation, collaboration, artifact, boundary objects, visualization
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 23-2-2012
journal Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice
publisher eContent Management Pty Ltd (Maleny, Qld)
ISSN 1447-9338
DOI 10.5172/impp.2012.14.3.388
volume of journal 14
number of issue 03
page(s) 388-403
review not reviewed
   
citation Eppler, M. J., & Hoffmann, F. (2012). Does method matter?: An experiment on collaborative business model idea generation in teams. Innovation: Management, Policy & Practice, 14(03), 388-403, DOI:10.5172/impp.2012.14.3.388.