Introducing sharing-focused business models in the B2B context: comparing interaction and environmental sustainability for selling, renting and sharing on industrial markets
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021
Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the sales-, rental- and sharing-focused business models for industrial markets by analysing interactions and environmental sustainability efforts within them. Design/methodology/approach Case studies are conducted at two world-leading manufacturing firms of complex industrial products. The analysis compares how interaction takes place in sales-, rental- and sharing-focused business models in industrial markets for high-technology products in connection with environmental sustainability outcomes. Findings The findings show the need for different interaction patterns in sales-, rental- and sharing-focused business models at firm, relationship and network levels. The implementation of sharing-focussed business models requires new interactions with actors within firms, between firms and key collaborators and in networks. The firms in our study have made a wide range of efforts to improve the environmental sustainability of their products. Sharing-focused business models have the potential to be environmentally sustainable if products can be shared among customers. However, under-usage of products and the increased need to transport them may reduce environmental sustainability. Originality/value This study reveals that although manufacturing firms and customers are willing to implement sharing-focused business models, there are obstacles to achieving the expected environmental sustainability associated with this business model. These are due to the high-technology nature and level of customisation of the associated firms' products and services, which make it difficult to share resources across firms without advanced adaptations to products such as re-programming. This study contributes to the sharing-focused business model literature for the business-to-business context, by pointing to the pivotal role partnerships with new actors and closer collaboration with existing actors in supply chains can play in enabling sharing-focused business models in the future.
Sustainable business models