Business Model Literature Overview

Novak Ales/ Financial ReportingRiviste / Fascicolo: 1-2014


The term “business model” has recently attracted increased attention in the context of financial reporting and was formally introduced into the IFRS literature when IFRS 9 Financial Instruments was published in November 2009. However, IFRS 9 did not fully define the term ‘business model’. Furthermore, the literature on business models is quite diverse. It has been conducted in largely isolated fashion; therefore, no generally accepted definition of ?business model’ has emerged. Therefore, a better understanding of the notion itself should be developed before further investigating its potential role within financial reporting. The aim of this paper is to highlight some of the perceived key themes and to identify other bases for grouping/organizing the literature based on business models. The contributions this paper makes to the literature are twofold: first, it complements previous review papers on business models; second, it contains a clear position on the distinction between the notions of the business model and strategy, which many authors identify as a key element in better explaining and communicating the notion of the business model. In this author’s opinion, the term ‘strategy’ is a dynamic and forward-looking notion, a sort of directional roadmap for future courses of action, whereas, ‘business model’ is a more static notion, reflecting the conceptualisation of the company’s underlying core business logic. The conclusion contains the author’s thoughts on the role of the business model in financial reporting.

Keywords: Business model, literature overview, meaning of the term, strategy


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