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Sustainable Business Models through the Lens of Organizational Design: A Systematic Literature Review

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Department of Industrial Engineering, Business Administration and Statistics, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, C/José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2, 2006 Madrid, Spain
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Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, via Lambruschini 4/B, 20156 Milan, Italy
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Departament of Business Studies, Universidad Iberoamericana Ciudad de México, Prolongación Paseo de la Reforma 880, Lomas de Santa Fe, Mexico City 01219, Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5379; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195379
Received: 7 August 2019 / Revised: 7 September 2019 / Accepted: 11 September 2019 / Published: 28 September 2019
The interest in sustainable business models has grown rapidly in recent years. Although some progress has been made in identifying this concept and making the practices more sustainable, little is known about the organizational design that is most appropriate for creating new business models or implementing changes in existing ones towards a sustainability approach. This paper presents a review of sustainable business models in terms of the key factors that influence firm design based on organization theory. We retrieved 394 Journal Citation Reports papers from the WoK and Scopus databases, identifying 19 papers that have addressed the interplay between both constructs. We used the Galbraith Star Model to analyze the selected papers. We discuss three key findings for the cross-fertilization of both literatures: (i) the extension of the design elements outside the firm boundaries at the inter-organizational and ecosystem levels; (ii) the emphasis on certain design elements (strategy, process, people, structure) rather than others (rewards); and (iii) the use of the organizational design construct as a tactic tool for strategy execution of the sustainable business model. We also present theoretical and practical implications for the use and further development of this framework, as well as future avenues of research. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability; business models; organizational design; Star Model; system boundaries sustainability; business models; organizational design; Star Model; system boundaries
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lemus-Aguilar, I.; Morales-Alonso, G.; Ramirez-Portilla, A.; Hidalgo, A. Sustainable Business Models through the Lens of Organizational Design: A Systematic Literature Review. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5379.

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