Business model innovation themes of emerging market enterprises: Evidence in China

Xingwu Luo, Dongmei Cao, Benny Tjahjono, Abiodun Adegbile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


Business model innovation (BMI) is an important carrier for the rapid growth of emerging market enterprises. Yet, the role of the institutional context in BMI themes has seemingly received little attention in the literature. This study aims to conceptualise the BMI themes by integrating the business model theory with institutional attributes of BMI. Drawing on the literature, we propose two BMI themes – pioneering and perfecting, where pioneering BMI creates new market rules and perfecting BMI improves existing transaction rules. Following three sequential studies, we developed and empirically validated the scales of the two themes using two separate primary datasets collected in China. The results suggest that both transactional innovation and legitimacy building are critical to BMI in the emerging market. We contribute to the BMI theory by incorporating institutional attributes to the BMI themes, which allows a better understanding of the BMI activities of emerging market enterprises.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1630
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date11 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

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This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


The work was funded by the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China (19YJA630052), the General Project for Natural Science Foundation of Zhejiang Province in China ( LY19G020008 ), and the Post-funding Project for the National Social Science Fund of China ( 19FGLB015 ).


  • Business model innovation (BMI)
  • Emerging market enterprise
  • Innovation theme
  • Legitimacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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