Hans Gert Graebe / Leipziger Gespraeche /
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This interdisciplinary academic seminar continues the series of academic reflections on the upheavals of our time, which started in autumn 2011. The Interdisciplinary Workshop is the semester highlight of our interdisciplinary teaching programme.
The working language of the workshop is English.
The series of Interdisciplinary Workshops at Leipzig University is supported by the Institute for Applied Computer Science (InfAI), the LIFIS - Leibniz Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, the MINT-Network Leipzig and the Research Academy Leipzig.
The terms Business Model and Business Model Innovation have gained importance in the last 10 years alongside and with the further profiling of Business Process Management Systems (BPMS). While BPMS are primarily concerned with the operational design of company-internal processes, business models are directed towards a company's strategic ability to act successfully in its business environment. One reason for the considerable interest in the topic are certainly the processes of digital change, which are shaking up the technological foundations of many business models. The St. Gallen Business Model Navigator (Gassmann et al. 2013) provides a comprehensive empirically based overview of general Business Model Patterns that have been successfully used in such transformations in the past.
Superimposed on these processes of reorienting business areas is the long-term need of a transition to a more sustainable mode of production. The two goals – the short-term goal of a stable value proposition and the long-term goal of transforming the mode of production towards more sustainability – often stand in contradictory relation to each other. On the other hand, these goals have to be assigned to two different systemic levels. The value proposition must prove itself on an economic scale, the transition to a more sustainable mode of production is driven more on the political level through awareness in the socio-cultural context. The global political processes with various UN decades of sustainability, the climate debate and the SDGs led to a clear awareness of this kind, at least in the area of the financially solvent middle class.
Such ecologically motivated demand patterns, which are not primarily driven by economic cost-benefit considerations, play an important role in those Business Model Innovations. In (Russo, Spreafico 2020) a list of 59 Eco-Guidelines is presented, which, in contrast to (Lüdeke-Freund, Carroux et al.), are not so much oriented on value proposition, but on the life cycle of the products. With this life cycle approach, the entire "footprint" of the product as a process comes into view and it is possible to assess the impacts of individual improvements at both levels – the value proposition as well as the interconnectedness of the material cycles. See (Maccioni et al. 2018) for even more comprehensive surveys of eco-design principles. Also in (Lüdeke-Freund, Gold et al.) such ideas are used for a classification of business models.
Similar approaches have been studied more broadly in the TRIZ environment in recent years, but remain rather in general concepts such as the Triple Bottom Line (Elkington 1997) or the PESTLE approach (Mayer 2022).
In general, the question is in which constellation TRIZ approaches are at all suitable for resolving contradictions between long-term and short-term goals in the business environment. Certainly, at least the system operator should be applied to adequately express the co-evolution of long-term and short-term goals, but in the context of the digital transformation, these contradictions are charged with further dimensions of action through disruptive technological changes. This perspective will be presented at least in one use case (Scheller et al. 2018).
Hans-Gert Gräbe, 19 May 2022, updated 16 June 2022