The role of business model innovation in the commercialization strategies in SMEs
1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, International Business
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Commercialization of products is an essential process for a firm in the course of value delivery. It is sometimes seen as a yardstick used in measuring the performance of the firm in the market as well as the revenue generating capacity of a firm. Premised on this, it is pertinent to ask how a successful commercialization strategy is being planned and executed by a firm. So, this research is hinged on the role of business model (innovation) in the commercialization strategies in SMEs. The present study is then focused on how business model innovation contributes to the successful commercialization of products in SMEs and for this reason, a framework is introduced that explains the roles of open innovation, the business environment and product reconfiguration as inherent in the path to success in the market by SMEs. Hence, the framework is further anchored on the use of both inflows and outflows of knowledge or technologies by SMEs in product reconfiguration with the basic aim of commercialization of same successfully in the market. It should be borne in mind that a business model describes the rational a firm will use to make revenue in the process of value delivery and when the business model seems to be ineffective, a replacement comes in. In this wise, business model innovation is the replacement of an existing business model of a firm. Business model innovation will consequently evolve the means of product reconfiguration for a firm in the attempt to re-create and re-deliver value to its customers. It follows therefore that business model innovation will aid the renewal of an existing product through reconfiguration in order to re-create, re-capture and re-deliver value in the market. In this line, the commercialization of products in the open market requires business model innovation to succeed. The open innovation environment therefore serves as the harbinger through which the innovation of a business model may take place by availing the firm the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas or technologies with others as opposed to the closed innovation attempt. This study, which is done empirically, aims at contributing theoretically and managerially to helping firms understand the nature of their business model and recognize lapses inherent therein for renewal. More so, it will also serve as an avenue for managers to be more equipped in understanding their existing business model and to detect and benefit from the use of new and incipient technologies. The study has been carried out based on the use of empirical data collected from two case companies in Finland and Nigeria thereby producing a reliable result on the role of business model innovation in the commercialization strategies in SMEs and also demonstrating the importance of business model innovation in the internationalization exertion of SMEs.
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