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Pandemic-driven business model sustainability: a review

Denis Klimanov (Graduate School of Business, HSE University, Moscow, Russian Federation)
Olga Tretyak (Graduate School of Business, HSE University, Moscow, Russian Federation)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 19 February 2024




This paper aims to review and summarize the findings of research dedicated to studying the process of building sustainable business models (BM) triggered by development of COVID-19 pandemic.


Bibliometric analysis is performed to identify the papers most relevant to the topic. The authors review the findings of more than 50 papers from Scopus database published between 2020 and 2022 dedicated to studying BM during COVID-19 pandemic, as well as papers dedicated to sustainability phenomenon and most cited BM research.


The paper identifies the gap in defining BM sustainability and contributes to better understanding of this phenomenon by demarcating it from traditional environment-based United Nations agenda. It also describes why network-based approach to BM helps to better address sustainability aspects. The paper demonstrates how representation of a networked BM by three levels of analysis (namely, structure of a BM, interaction mechanism between BM actors and results of their interaction) is organically connected to the key milestones of the value creation process (value definition, value creation, value distribution and value capture) and shows how these three levels can be used to analyze and structure the practical changes proposed in COVID-19-oriented BM. Finally, the paper summarizes key findings of the studies dedicated to BM during the pandemic and structures key insights in relation to building sustainable BM.

Research limitations/implications

The results of the paper contribute to developing theory around BM sustainability as well as provide insights for business practitioners on how to adjust BM during the crisis. At the same time, many insights shown in the paper are industry specific, which limits their generalizability, as well as consequences of the pandemic are still not fully clear. Therefore, the authors argue that future research should be primarily focused on developing generalizable measurement frameworks to evaluate the antecedents, process and results of BM adaptation.


The paper strengthens theoretical foundations for the research focused on BM sustainability and helps businesses to better manage the adaptation in the fast-changing environment.



The study was carried out under the Fundamental Research Program of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.

The author dedicates this paper to his aunt for her continuous support during his academic research.


Klimanov, D. and Tretyak, O. (2024), "Pandemic-driven business model sustainability: a review", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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