Thomas Hill Anderson Galbraith & Tone Fjellstedt, Environmental Economics and Management - Master's programme
The thesis contributes to the understanding of business models as performative market devices for development and uptake of technological innovation in low carbon transitions. Transition studies are criticised for neglecting a business model perspective and the interconnectedness of socio-technical transitions. Business model theory is criticised for viewing business models from an essentialist and functionalist perspective. However, transition research agendas call for taking a pragmatic view on the role of business models. The thesis draws on a framework, based on the multi-layered perspective, that views business models as performative market devices. Business models then act as intermediaries to develop and socially embed an emerging technology innovation into the regime. Using a qualitative approach, this study draws on an explanatory case study on the emerging Power-to-Gas technology. By conducting semi-structured interviews with actors from the Power-to-Gas niche community the findings confirm that business models can be used as performative market devices. Thereby they assist the development and uptake of technology innovation through supporting social embedding. The business model serves as an intermediary for infrastructure matching, expectation and network building of a technology innovation. Further the findings recognise the interconnectedness of socio-technical transitions and extents the framework by incorporating cross-sectoral network building, also called sector-coupling.
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