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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2017

Dominik Dellermann, Alexander Fliaster and Michael Kolloch

Past research demonstrated that novel IT-based business models generate tremendous returns for innovators. However, the risks associated with these innovations remain…

Abstract

Purpose

Past research demonstrated that novel IT-based business models generate tremendous returns for innovators. However, the risks associated with these innovations remain under-explored. This paper aims to address this critical gap analyzing risks and offering important insights particularly for practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted an exploratory multiple-case study research design. It draws on 22 semi-structured interviews with managers from leading energy utilities, as well as leading providers of virtual power plants technology within the German energy industry.

Findings

The research reveals that main risks in new digital business models in the energy sector are associated with three forms of interdependence between innovation actors: the regulatory, the technological and the collaborative. To deal with these interdependencies, the authors propose an original multi-step risk management framework. This framework considers the outreach as a critical dimension for risk assessment and offers a new risk response matrix to draw individual and collective mitigation activities for specific types of risks.

Practical implications

This paper offers a framework for the management of interdependence risks that are fundamental for business model innovations based on IT. Thus, it is applicable in companies both inside the energy sector and beyond.

Originality/value

This paper analyzes an important digital business model innovation that has not yet been explored in management literature – the virtual power plant (VPP). It is based on original and current empirical work and proposes a novel risk management framework for business organizations.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Michael Kolloch and Fabian Reck

This paper aims to focus on how different types of knowledge are exchanged within innovation networks in the German energy industry. External factors such as market…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on how different types of knowledge are exchanged within innovation networks in the German energy industry. External factors such as market pressure through liberalization, de-carbonization and decentralization challenge established actors in the industry. Answers to these challenges cannot be found by single actors but require networks to gather and concentrate innovation activities. This implies a need for knowledge transfer among energy providers. The authors aim at exploring knowledge exchange relations in-depth by treating them as multidimensional flows which can comprise technological, market, managerial or regulatory knowledge. In detail, the authors examine patterns of knowledge exchange on network-, dyad- and firm-level. Furthermore, first, empiric results are provided on how two of these patterns, namely, a firm’s propensity to form multiplex instead of uniplex ties as well as the composition of externally acquired knowledge concerning the four types, influence organizational innovativeness.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors address their research questions by conducting an in-depth investigation of the largest network of municipal utilities in Germany. The analysis is based on quantitative data collected via standardized online questionnaires drawing on socio-metric methods to reconstruct knowledge exchange networks as well as traditional approaches from socio-empiric research to evaluate firm innovativeness.

Findings

The findings indicate that while technological, market, managerial and regulatory knowledge represent different types of knowledge with different exchange patterns, these transfers are interdependent. In particular, the analysis reveals non-hierarchical relations of complementarity. The authors furthermore provide evidence for the existence of ideal profiles for attaining different types of innovation. One central tendency across all of these profiles is that outperformers acquire regulatory knowledge to a significantly lesser degree than other firms and focus more on the other types instead.

Research limitations/implications

This paper solely focusses on the largest network of municipal utilities whereby it is questionable how representative it is for the whole industry. Additionally, due to the cross-sectional design, the paper cannot fully rule out issues of endogeneity in the quantitative analysis.

Practical implications

This paper delivers valuable insights for managers in the energy sector who seek to either enter and manage inter-organizational networks or apply external knowledge to foster innovation. In particular, the authors reveal benchmark profiles for external knowledge acquisition which may serve as templates for strategic collaboration and innovation management.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this paper presents the first innovation-related network analysis in the energy industry. Rather than operationalizing knowledge transfer as a simplex flow relation, the authors examine different types of knowledge, their patterns of exchange and their distinct effects on process, product and administrative innovations.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 December 2020

Tobias Menzel and Timm Teubner

This paper aims to present a conceptual framework for the emerging field of green energy platform economics.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a conceptual framework for the emerging field of green energy platform economics.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors develop a conceptual framework based on a careful review of the existing literature, and research into the current provider landscape and insights from academic and industry experts. The authors also examine the implications for the energy sector’s value chain and derive a research agenda based on those areas where research still needs to be pursued.

Findings

The framework combines the spatial characteristics of platform models (residential/mobile) with the different types of platform business model (B2C/C2C/C2Grid). Using this framework, the authors illustrate how green energy platforms can fundamentally disrupt the conventional electricity value chain by enabling prosumers to market their assets, creating new arenas for trading and collaboration, and by increasing transparency and competition in the sector. The authors also identify areas where more research is required, particularly empirical studies into energy forms other than electricity and analyses of currently underrepresented aspects such as user interfaces and social interactions.

Social implications

Green energy platforms have the potential to contribute meaningfully to the energy sector’s decarbonization, digitalization and decentralization, and hence to the deceleration of climate change.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first to provide a holistic perspective on platformization in the energy sector. It also offers a new perspective on platform economics in general that is based on the unique characteristics of energy as an economic good (intangibility, homogeneity, credence good).

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

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