Re-examining path dependence in the digital age: the evolution of connected car business models

René Bohnsack*, Hannes Kurtz, André Hanelt

*Autor correspondente para este trabalho

Resultado de pesquisarevisão de pares

9 Citações (Scopus)
2 Transferências (Pure)


Proliferating digitalization affects the evolution of business models across contexts and challenges firms’ established innovation trajectories. Prior work on organizational path dependence suggests that firms experience decreasing option spaces over time and ultimately arrive at lock-in situations that prevent them from reacting to changing environmental conditions. Contemporary business practice, however, challenges these assumptions, as firms—even industrial-age incumbents—appear to be able to escape lock-ins and restore choices. One potential explanation for this could be the flexible nature of digital technologies that are increasingly integrated into business models during digitalization. To explore how and why this process affects organizational path dependence, we conducted a longitudinal multiple case study on connected car business models. We derive four business model archetypes adopted by different companies in the automotive industry and by new entrants, and we describe their evolution over time. We find that the growing integration of digital technologies into business models increases the number of possible pathways and can help to break path-dependent behavior. Based on our findings, we challenge and extend established knowledge on organizational path dependence with regard to key tenets, such as initial conditions and lock-ins, and provide a nuanced perspective on path dependence's resource- and cognition-based foundations.
Idioma originalEnglish
Número do artigo104328
RevistaResearch Policy
Número de emissão9
Estado da publicaçãoPublished - nov 2021

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