Building on the multi-divisional business model (M-model), the purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of triadic business models – T-models – and how they create value for their three categories of stakeholders, i.e., the suppliers, the platform firm and the buyers. The research question that guides the present study is twofold: How is value created individually and collectively in triadic business models and what might challenge their sustainability?
Anchored in extant literature and a process of conceptual modeling with empirical examples from Uber, a new business model archetype was developed for two-sided markets mediated by a middleman.
The paper provides a theoretically and conceptually derived roadmap for sustainable business in a triadic business model, i.e., for the buyers, sellers and the platform firm. This model is coined the T-model. A number of propositions are derived that argue the relationship between key constructs. Finally, the future beyond the T-model is explored.
The paper identifies, illustrates and discusses the ways in which value is created in sustainable T-models. First, value is created from a number of sources, not only from lower transaction costs. Second, it is proposed that it is not about a choice of either M-model or T-model but rather a continuum. Toward 2050, technology in general and Blockchain specifically may for some transactions or services, eliminate the need for middlemen. The main conclusion is that despite this development, there will, for most organizations, be elements of the M-model in all or most T-model businesses. In short: middlemen will have elements of the M-model embedded in the T-model when co creating value with buyers and sellers.
While two-sided T-models are not new to the business area, surprisingly no papers have systematically investigated, illustrated, and discussed how value is created among and between the three stakeholder categories of the T-model. With this insight, more sustainable T-models can be created.
The authors would like to thank the editor of Journal of Service Management and Professor Janet McColl-Kennedy for taking the initiative and hosting the Brisbane Thought leader conference that gave birth to this research. The authors would also want to thank two anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments.
Andreassen, T., Lervik-Olsen, L., Snyder, H., Van Riel, A., Sweeney, J. and Van Vaerenbergh, Y. (2018), "Business model innovation and value-creation: the triadic way", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 883-906. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-05-2018-0125Download as .RIS
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