Call for Papers

CfP special issue on "Business model innovation: Tools and innovation patterns"

No longer accepting submissions

Guest Editors

  • Mark de Reuver, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Harry Bouwman, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • Erwin Fielt, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Marikka Heikkilä, University of Turku, Finland
  • Omar El Sawy USC Marshall School of Business, CA, USA


The topic of business model innovation (BMI) is gaining considerable attention in information systems (e.g., Osterwalder & Pigneur 2013) and management literature (e.g, Foss & Saebi, 2017). The construct of business models (BMs) explicates the value creation and capture of (digital) innovations (Al-Debei & Avison, 2010, Fielt, 2014). The process of BMI passes phases from exploration and design towards testing, implementation and renewal (Heikkila et al 2016).

Tooling to support BMI is becoming a specific area of scholarly interest. Such tools range from extensive ontologies and metamodels towards hands-on approaches such as the Business Model Canvas (Osterwalder & Pigneur 2010), the STOF approach (Bouwman et al 2008) and the VISOR framework (El Sawy & Pereira 2012). Although most tools are for (re)designing BMs, others are for testing and implementing BMs (e.g. De Reuver et al 2013). Some tools are based upon BMI patterns across industries. Platforms are emerging that prescribe what tool to use for which innovation phase (e.g. Moreover, BM tools have also been included in or related to other tools, such as enterprise architectures and business process models.

While BM tooling is emerging, research on design, testing, use or impact of BM tools is scarce. BM tools are often adopted without understanding their strengths and weaknesses. We argue that, as BM tools are emerging rapidly in many areas and scientific disciplines, the time is now to call for theoretical and empirical underpinnings of BM research.

Central issues and topics

Possible topics of submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Design and evaluation of BM tools for innovation, including Action Design Approaches

  • Approaches that interrelate BM tools into coherent BMI paths

  • Empirical tests of the efficacy, utility and added value of BM tooling for BMI

  • Case studies addressing the use and impact of BM tools in organization going through a BMI path

  • BM patterns, archetypes, taxonomies and typologies as tools for innovation

  • The role, importance and applicability of BM ontologies for BMI in networked environments

  • BMI paths that interrelate tools to specific phases in BMI

  • The role of IT and digital artifacts to support BMI tooling and processes

  • Domain-specific BM tooling, such as sustainability, circular economy, sharing economy, digital transformation, block chain, or Industry 4.0

  • And other topics that are closely related to the suggested themes

We encourage contributions with a broad range of methodological approaches, including conceptual, qualitative and quantitative research. All papers should fit the scope of Electronic Markets (for more information see and will undergo a double-blind peer review process. If you would like to discuss any aspect of the special issue, please contact the guest editors.


Electronic Markets is a SSCI-listed journal (IF 1.864) and requires that all papers must be original and not published or under review elsewhere. Papers must be submitted via our electronic submission system at and conform to Electronic Markets publication standards (see instructions and templates at Please note that the preferred article length is around. 6,500 to 8,000 words.

Submission Deadline: 15 May, 2018



Al-Debei, M. M., & Avison, D. (2010). Developing a unified framework of the business model concept. European Journal of Information Systems, 19(3), 359-376.

Bouwman, H., de Vos, H., & Haaker, T. (Eds.). (2008). Mobile service innovation and business models. Springer Science & Business Media.

De Reuver, M., Bouwman, H., & Haaker, T. (2013). Business model roadmapping: A practical approach to come from an existing to a desired business model. International Journal of Innovation Management, 17(01), 1340006.

El Sawy, O. A., & Pereira, F. (2013). Business Modelling in the Dynamic Digital Space. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Fielt, E. (2014). Conceptualising business models: Definitions, frameworks and classifications. Journal of Business Models, 1(1), 85-105.

Foss, N. J., & Saebi, T. (2017). Fifteen years of research on business model innovation: How far have we come, and where should we go?. Journal of Management, 43(1), 200-227.

Heikkilä, M., Bouwman, H., Heikkilä, J., Haaker, T., Lopez-Nicolas, C., & Riedl, A. (2016). Business Model Innovation Paths and Tools. In Bled eConference

Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: a handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. John Wiley & Sons.

Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2013). Designing business models and similar strategic objects: the contribution of IS. Journal of the Association for information systems, 14(5), 237.