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Barriers to business model innovation in urban freight

Conference contribution
Authors Jon Williamsson
Olof Moen
Published in Metrans, I-NUF 2017
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Business Administration, Industrial and Financial Management & Logistics
Department of Economy and Society
Language en
Keywords Urban freight, business model innovation, barriers to innovation.
Subject categories Business Administration


Business model innovation is a process that facilitates the uptake of new and more sustainable technologies. Little research has been done to identify factors that hold back the development of new business models in the urban freight sector. This paper examines business model innovation linked to two technological innovations, heavy electric vehicles and digitization, as they were developed and introduced in the Swedish urban freight sector. Our results indicate that business model innovation fundamentally functions as a negotiation between the stakeholders that are actively engaged in the urban freight supply chain. Additionally, business model innovation and technological development are two closely related processes that influence each other, and as such they create a multilayered context for decision makers. Facing an uncertain and multifaceted reality, decision makers overlook or exclude stakeholders to decrease the number of variables that they need to consider. However, this also reduces the number of potential routes forward. Furthermore, actors that are engaged in collective business model innovation face considerable uncertainty about the responsibilities that they and other actors have toward each other. Barriers to business model innovation thus appear to be moderated not only by the strength of the relationship that exists between the actors in the urban freight supply chain but also by their ability to share a common view on the technology in question, the actor’s own function within the supply chain and their relationship to specific stakeholders.

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