Christiana M├╝ller, Dr., Graz University of Technology, Institute of General Management and Organization, Kopernikusgasse 24 IV, 8010 Graz, Austria, tel. +43 316 873 7502, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Stefan Vorbach, Prof. Dr., Graz University of Technology, Institute of General Management and Organization, Kopernikusgasse 24 IV, 8010 Graz, Austria, +43 316 873 7500, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Abstract

Companies today face volatile environments, short product life cycles, and changing customer requirements, which is especially the case in high-technology fields. In such environments, concentrating only on technological and product innovations is not sufficient to gain competitive advantages. Instead, companies need innovative business models in order to stand out from their competitors. To successfully change business models, companies require appropriate competencies. Thus, the objective of this research is to identify how companies can prepare their business model(s) to counteract environmental changes flexibly. With the aid of the chosen exploratory, qualitative research design, we investigate companies operating in high technology branches. In total, 20 companies participated in our study. The interviews were conducted with CEOs, vice-presidents, product managers, or other managers responsible for business model developments. The research revealed that companies can prepare the business model and its elements ex-ante through developing capabilities in order to raise the flexibility of the business model. These capabilities have to be developed with regard to several internal and external issues driving these changes.

Keywords: business model, business model innovation, capabilities for change, flexibility, high-technology.