The development of business model research: A bibliometric review

Budler, Marko; Župič, Ivan and Trkman, Peter. 2021. The development of business model research: A bibliometric review. Journal of Business Research, 135, pp. 480-495. ISSN 0148-2963 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Recent reviews demonstrate the usefulness of the business model concept as a level of analysis in management, whereas less attention has been devoted to the analysis of the paths of past research to guide its future development. We used bibliometric methods, specifically bibliographic coupling and algorithmic historigraphy, to trace the development of the business model literature from its origins in e-business to its current state. In addition to reviewing the literature as a whole, our study investigated the time-dependent co-evolution of research sub-streams. We examined the relative influence of publications and canonical papers (algorithmic historiography) within and between three separate time spans (bibliographic coupling). We found that business model foundations draw from three major business sub-disciplines—strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation—whilst new frontiers (e.g., Industry 4.0, sustainability, and networks) offer an opportunity to increase the inter-connectedness of business model research. Finally, we discuss contemporary topics and future avenues for business model research.

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Peter Trkman and Marko Budler acknowledge the support of Slovenian Research Agency (core research project Business analytics and business models in supply chains, J5-9329). Marko Budler also acknowledges the support of Slovenian Research Agency in young researchers programme.


Business model, Review, Bibliometrics, Bibliographic coupling, Historiography

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Institute of Management Studies


17 June 2021Accepted
6 July 2021Published Online
October 2021Published

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Date Deposited:

07 Sep 2021 14:43

Last Modified:

06 Jan 2023 02:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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