Business Model Innovation and Value-creation: The Triadic Way

Tor W Andreassen, Line Lervik-Olsen, Hannah Snyder, Allard C. R Van Riel, Jillian Sweeney, Yves Van Vaerenbergh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose Building on the multi-divisional business model (M-model), the purpose of this paper is to develop a better understanding of triadic business models - T-models - and how they create value for their three categories of stakeholders, i.e., the suppliers, the platform firm and the buyers. The research question that guides the present study is twofold: How is value created individually and collectively in triadic business models and what might challenge their sustainability?
Design/methodology/approach Anchored in extant literature and a process of conceptual modeling with empirical examples from Uber, a new business model archetype was developed for two-sided markets mediated by a middleman.
Findings The paper provides a theoretically and conceptually derived roadmap for sustainable business in a triadic business model, i.e., for the buyers, sellers and the platform firm. This model is coined the T-model. A number of propositions are derived that argue the relationship between key constructs. Finally, the future beyond the T-model is explored.
Research limitations/implications The paper identifies, illustrates and discusses the ways in which value is created in sustainable T-models. First, value is created from a number of sources, not only from lower transaction costs. Second, it is proposed that it is not about a choice of either M-model or T-model but rather a continuum. Toward 2050, technology in general and Blockchain specifically may for some transactions or services, eliminate the need for middlemen. The main conclusion is that despite this development, there will, for most organizations, be elements of the M-model in all or most T-model businesses. In short: middlemen will have elements of the M-model embedded in the T-model when co creating value with buyers and sellers.
Originality/value While two-sided T-models are not new to the business area, surprisingly no papers have systematically investigated, illustrated, and discussed how value is created among and between the three stakeholder categories of the T-model. With this insight, more sustainable T-models can be created.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberSpecial issue
Pages (from-to)883-906
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2018


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