Understanding business model development through the lens of complexity theory: Enablers and barriers

Sanaz Sanaz Vatankhah, Vahideh Bamshad, Levent Altinay, Glauco De Vita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
104 Downloads (Pure)


A winning business model is the key to business success in today’s fragmented market environment. However, businesses need to develop their business models overtime to meet the requirements of environmental uncertainties and shifts surrounding the business. Drawing on complexity theory and its related concept of hierarchy, this study advances a systematic approach to theoretically investigate the factors that favourably or adversely affect business model development (BMD), in a hierarchical order. In particular, multiple fuzzy multi-criteria decision making techniques were applied to develop the list of enablers of and barriers to BMD, to determine the priorities among enablers, and to determine the significance of barriers with respect to the main enablers of BMD. The results reveal that organizational form is the most salient enablers of BMD, while type II barriers are the most significant barriers, challenging the development of business models. Implications and future research directions are also provided.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113350
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue numberPart A
Early online date2 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • Business model development
  • Fuzzy MCDM
  • Innovation
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Complexity theory
  • Airline


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