Papers in Brief (XXIV): Dentchev et al. (2018): Embracing the variety of sustainable business models

[Note: This is the 24th post in our “Papers in Brief” series. This series offers a special service as it explains the core ideas of chosen research papers in a nutshell.]

Papers in Brief (XXIII) by Romana Rauter & Nikolay Dentchev

Dentchev, N.; Rauter, R.; Jóhannsdóttir, L.; Snihur, Y.; Rosano, M.; Baumgartner, R.; Nyberg, T.;  Tangh, X.; van Hoof, B. & Jonker, J. (2018): Embracing the variety of sustainable business models: A prolific field of research and a future research agenda, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 194, No. 1, 695-703,

This introductory article summarizes and points to the highlights of the 37 articles published in the Journal of Cleaner Production special volume on Sustainable Business Models (SBMs).

It provides an overview of the 37 papers by analyzing and categorizing the theoretical lenses used in the papers as well as the study focus, SBM type, and research methods used. In this context, we identified four approaches to sustainable business models:

  • The generalist approach to SBMs,
  • the technology-centered approach to SBMs,
  • the entrepreneurship and innovation-centred approach to SBMs, and
  • the behavioral approach to SBMs.

Finally, we present six future research avenues in the SBM field with a call for solid theory building, more sophisticated research methods, focus on the interplay of sustainable with existing conventional business models, and systemic consideration of the role of governments in advancing sustainable business models.

This special volume, as such, offers a compilation of inspiring and very valuable research projects which – taken together – shed light on this still expanding and topical issue from many different backgrounds and disciplines. The success, indeed, belongs to many people involved in such an endeavor. But most importantly, credit for the quality of this special volume is of course given to the authors, whose contributions expand our knowledge in the field, and to all the reviewers and community members who provided feedback and shared their knowledge and expertise. Thanks a lot for your time and efforts!

We hope you enjoy reading it!

Romana & Nikolay, on behalf of the team of guest editors

The introductory article can be downloaded for free until July 15, 2018.

The full list of articles can be retrieved online.

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