Business model innovation processes in large corporations: insights from BASF

Stephan Winterhalter (Institute of Technology Management, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Tobias Weiblen (Fernfachhochschule Schweiz, Zürich, Switzerland)
Christoph H. Wecht (BGW Management Advisory Group, St. Gallen, Switzerland and Competence Center for Open Innovation, Institute of Technology Management, University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Oliver Gassmann (University of St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Publication date: 18 April 2017



Despite the fact that business model innovation (BMI) has attracted intense attention from scholars and practitioners alike, practicable knowledge on the organizational implementation of BMI efforts in large multinational corporations is rather rare. This paper aims to investigate how BMI is managed in the complex environment of the chemical industry based on a study at BASF SE, a leading global chemical company.


The empirical data draw from six case studies (i.e. six BMI projects) within BASF which were observed in the 2010-2014 timeframe.


There is not one uniform BMI process archetype. Three different types can be identified, whereby the degree of technology involvement and the maturity of this technology act as determining factors for the form of the process and its organizational implementation.


This paper profits from its unique empirical setting, which allows identifying practices for the organizational implementation of systematic BMI processes in large corporations. The guidelines derived are highly relevant for general managers and business development departments.



The authors would like to thank Dr Petra Bachem and Andres Jaffé for the opportunity to investigate BMI processes at BASF SE and Michael–Georg Schmidt and Christian Huber for their valuable insights into the fascinating world of the chemical industry.


Winterhalter, S., Weiblen, T., Wecht, C. and Gassmann, O. (2017), "Business model innovation processes in large corporations: insights from BASF", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 38 No. 2, pp. 62-75.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.