Using QCA and System Dynamics for Theory-driven Business Model Research

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The business model has evolved as an important concept in strategic management. While recent years have seen substantial progress in the business model’s conceptual development, empirical progress remains limited. I argue that this limited progress might be due to a mismatch between the business model’s characteristics and the methods applied to study it. This essay introduces two methods—qualitative comparative analysis and system dynamics simulation—that share key characteristics with the business model concept. The essay introduces these methods and discusses five directions for applying them in business model research. In doing so, I hope to contribute to a stronger harmonization of conceptual and empirical business model research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470–481
JournalStrategic Organization
Issue number4
Early online date6 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • business model, configurations, qualitative comparative analysis (QCA), simulation modeling, system dynamics, systems thinking


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