University of Oulu

The only constant is change : a case study of business model change in the context of COVID-19 pandemic

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Author: Aura, Saara1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
Pages: 65
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : S. Aura, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-13
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Ahokangas, Petri
Reviewer: Ahokangas, Petri
Haapanen, Lauri


The spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to major changes across different sectors of the economy. The difficult situation of the business environments in various industries caused by the COVID-19 virus made companies struggle, some more than others. Profitable functioning in the market has therefore become more difficult. What is interesting, some companies survived, or even succeeded, during restrictions and managed to understand and operate with the changed customer behavior during and after worst phases of the world-wide pandemic.

The aim of this research study is to find out if there are dynamic capabilities as business model change enablers by understanding the activities in the design and trans-forming new, successful business model and to explain, how it was possible for these case companies to change the existing business model. The underlying assumption is, that companies which have changed their existing business model to a new one due to COVID-19 pandemic and its effect to their market environment, have had certain dynamic capabilities and a process in a form of actions in place to succeed.

This research study presents empirical findings to support theories of dynamic capabilities as enablers for business model change. One of the concrete goals of this research is to provide insights and learnings about what do the capabilities of successful companies look like, and how do they act, when they sense the change in their company’s business environment, mobilize their resources to act on those findings and finally execute and implement the change.

The empirical findings show, that dynamic capabilities work as enablers for business model innovation and business model transformation. Thus, findings support the importance of knowing and understanding your customers’ behavior and needs, as well as the knowledge of the resource potential in and outside of the company, in order to design viable business models and implement them.

Learnings gained from this research are valuable and interesting for strategists and leaders in companies when trying to improve their readiness for future environment changes. In addition, organizations, who are helping companies either to 1) grow their business or 2) survive from difficulties caused by rapid market environment change, can adopt learnings from this research study.

The methods of this research study are qualitative. In this research study, a case study method was applied and the data was collected by in-depth semi-structured interviews, complemented with questions and answers via email and by collecting articles and other media content in public sources.

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Copyright information: © Saara Aura, 2022. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.