The interaction between network ties and business modeling: Case studies of sustainability-oriented innovations

Inge Oskam*, Bart Bossink, Ard Pieter de Man

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


A stream of literature is emerging where network development and business modeling intersect. Various authors emphasize that networks influence business models. This paper extends this stream of literature by studying two cases in which we analyze how business modeling and networking interact over time. We propose the concept ‘value shaping’ to describe this interaction. Value shaping refers to the mutually constitutive process in which on the one hand networking helps to refine and improve the overall business model and on the other hand an improved business model spurs expansion of the network. We identify five micro-level processes through which value shaping occurs. Value shaping is particularly relevant for sustainability-oriented innovations, to help clarify all the types of financial, social and environmental value to which a business model may contribute.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-566
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date28 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2018



  • Business modeling
  • Case study
  • Network ties
  • Sustainability-oriented innovation
  • Sustainable business model
  • Value creation

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