Happy Actors, Lasting Relations: how to design a sustainable inter-organizational business model



We propose an approach to help design new inter-organizational business models and assess the stability of existing ones. In an iterative process, the goals of the stakeholders are identified and aligned to ensure attractive value proposals and, thus, an enduring will to play a part. Business and social theories, namely Actor-Network Theory, are combined to model the interactions between the participants, taking into account their gains, efforts, and mutual influences. The enhanced visibility over the interplay of interests enables the tuning of the most fragile parts of the value network, in order to balance it and ensure sustainable interest from all the actors. Business model design becomes less uncertain. The analysis of the emerging value network also affords clues about the services that must be provided by the supporting information system. We show how the approach can be applied through the evaluation of a portal-supported mediation business. Limitations that jeopardized its business model stability are identified and possible solutions are suggested.


Inter-organizational business model design, value networks, requirements specification, information systems, and Actor-network Theory


Business Modeling and IS


Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, July 2009

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