Visual tools for business model innovation: Recommendations from a cognitive perspective

Karl Taeuscher, Nizar Abdelkafi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Managers involved in business model innovation (BMI) encounter a series of cognitive challenges. Although cognition research provides important insights into how visual tools can reduce cognitive challenges, it does not address the effective design of business model tools. To advance our understanding in this area, this research applies a cognition‐centered perspective to analyze different visual business model representations. It builds upon a systematic literature review that identifies a selection of 45 visual representations from the academic literature and a sample of 50 visualizations from outside the academic realm. A content analysis of the sample reveals that all visual business model representations can be classified into three complementary categories, leading to a novel framework for distinguishing business model understandings. After assigning each visual representation to the framework, we use findings from the cognition literature to derive recommendations on how to select suitable graphic forms for different phases of the BMI process. Thus, this research contributes to the broader understanding of how visual tools can support business model innovation at a cognitive level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-174
JournalCreativity and Innovation Management
Issue number2
Early online date10 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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