When bike sharing business models go bad: Incorporating responsibility into business model innovation

Thomas B. Long*, Arnoud van Waes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
76 Downloads (Pure)


Innovations to business models are particularly promising for tackling societal challenges. However, innovation outcomes can be unpredictable. To minimise negative impacts and enhance the success of business model innovation processes, we argue that socio-ethical issues must be incorporated and managed. Research on responsible innovation, which seeks socially desirable and ethically acceptable innovations via the incorporation of socio-ethical issues, is well developed but has often used a technocentric lens. Consequently, it is unclear how socio-ethical issues interact with business model innovation. We explore how business model innovation interacts with socio-ethical issues and aim to understand the ways responsible innovation can help inform business model innovation processes and outcomes. We do this by exploring platform enabled bike sharing business models in the Netherlands. We construct a theoretical framework considering purpose, process and product dimensions of business model innovation. Our results illustrate how socio-ethical factors can play a key role in the success or failure of business model innovation. We argue that without including socio-ethical factors explicitly within analytical lenses, that key elements may be missed, resulting in an incomplete picture of key business model innovation dynamics. (C) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Original languageEnglish
Article number126679
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 15-May-2021


  • Responsible innovation
  • Business model innovation
  • Socio-ethical factors
  • Responsible business model innovation
  • Bike sharing
  • Micromobility
  • Platform

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