Entrepreneurial lean thinking for sustainable business modeling: a workshop design for incumbent firms

E. J. Schwarz, P. Gregori, I. Krajger, M. A. Wdowiak
2021 NachhaltigkeitsManagementForum | Sustainability Management Forum  
AbstractIn times of increasing concerns and extensive political debates about social and environmental problems, incumbent firms are obliged to reduce their negative environmental impact by implementing sustainable business model innovation. Yet, realizing more sustainable business model variants entails several complexities and associated challenges that need to be overcome. To support this task, this article takes an entrepreneurship perspective on sustainable business model innovation and
more » ... l innovation and combines literature of business models and entrepreneurial lean thinking (ELT). In doing so, it derives a workshop design grounded in contemporary theory with state-of-the-art tools and methods. The workshop is framed as a stage-gate process facilitating the notions of ELT with iterative cycles of 'create, test, and improve' and spans the phases of opportunity identification, opportunity evaluation, opportunity development through sustainable business model design, and decision of opportunity exploitation. The article shows that ELT is an appropriate yet underutilized approach for sustainable business modeling. Further, it discusses how the workshop supports opportunities and mitigate pitfalls of ELT for sustainable business modeling. As such, the findings have theoretical implications for the intersection of sustainability and lean approaches in innovation research as well as implications for practitioners by providing a comprehensive framework to support sustainable business model innovation.
doi:10.1007/s00550-020-00508-y fatcat:p2ve6zxvhrhpfjyz2g5a77gade