Moving Toward Responsible Value Creation: Business Model Challenges Faced by Organizations Producing

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Moving Toward Responsible Value Creation: Business Model Challenges Faced by Organizations Producing Responsible Health Innovations

Pascale Lehoux, Hudson P. Silva, Jean-Louis Denis, Fiona A. Miller, Renata Pozelli Sabio, and Marguerite Mendell

kHUB post date: December 8, 2022
Originally published: September 10, 2021 (PDMA JPIM • Vol. 38, Issue 5 • September 2021)
Read time: 70 minutes

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Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) seeks to steer innovation toward important societal challenges and, by doing so, calls for entrepreneurial activities that create economic, social, and environmental value. Nonetheless, little is known about the way different types of organization can produce responsible products and services and the challenges they face when implementing new business models remain largely uncharted. By linking the RRI and the business model literatures, the aim of this article is to generate a better understanding of the challenges underlying responsible value creation. To do so, we approach the business model as a dynamic construct that crosses organizational boundaries and develop an empirically grounded multilevel model that links entrepreneurs' practices (micro-level), organizational management (meso-level), and innovation system dynamics (macro-level). Our multiple case studies include for-profit and not-for-profit Canadian and Brazilian organizations (n = 16) engaged in the production of responsible health innovations and explore the following research questions: “What business model challenges do these organizations face in their attempt to produce responsible innovations? How do these challenges affect the implementation of their business model and capacity to achieve responsible value creation?” Our findings focus on cross-case commonalities that clarify how specific business model components are dynamically adapted in response to eight micro-, meso-, and macro-level business model challenges, while the organizations' capacity to adequately align these components remains precarious. Our study provides innovation management scholars with an empirically grounded model that brings conceptual clarity to responsible value creation. This groundwork may foster cumulative knowledge growth on the way RRI-oriented organizations can orchestrate their activities toward responsible value creation, which simultaneously requires individual entrepreneurial skills, organizational capacities, and the support of other innovation stakeholders.

Practitioner Points

  • A heightened sense of entrepreneurial responsibility is not sufficient to combine economic, social, and environmental value creation into one's business model.
  • Entrepreneurs can “think multilevel” and anticipate how, when, and with whom the eight business model challenges described in this article should be handled.
  • Responsible value creation requires entrepreneurs' motivations (micro-level), organizational value-sharing practices (meso-level), and innovation stakeholders' support (macro-level).
  • For-profits and not-for-profits should obtain support that is adapted to their value proposition, organizational capacities, and contributions to responsible value networks.

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