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Special Issue "Sustainable Business Models and Common Goods"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 September 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Marc Ventresca

University of Oxford, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: innovation strategy, social innovation, entrepreneurship and innovation, institutional theory
Guest Editor
Dr. Alessandro Zardini

University of Verona, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: new business models; business network; smart city; commons; robust action

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The sustainable business model concept is extremely successful and highly common among practitioners, but a lack of consensus exists among scholars about how business models can evolve towards higher levels of sustainability. A business model can be defined as the system of the boundary-spanning interactions of the organization that are key to the organization's revenue flows. Under selective pressures due to economic, ecological, technological, relational and institutional phenomena, business models dynamically evolve through micro-adaptations and/or disruptive changes. The evolution towards circular economy models is a good example of such processes.

Which factors help firms become or remain capable of adapting their system of key interactions to the emerging sustainability transformations? The eco-socio-technical system’s sustainability-oriented resilience, that is, the system’s capability to resist crises and keep evolving towards economic, social and environmental sustainability, is probably going to be a key target for business model innovation studies.

A particular promising theoretical approach to sustainable business model innovation is provided by the literature on the commons and adaptive co-management. The concept of commons can be used to identify all those systems that provide a community with resources for collective use but are vulnerable to opportunistic behaviour (of over-exploitation and/or disengagement) on the part of that very community of users. Examples include a city’s public spaces, an industrial district’s reputation, and a natural area’s biodiversity. Specific topics include,

but are not limited to:

  • Managerial and organizational implications of circular economy transitions.
  • Sustainability transitions and business model innovations.
  • Business models for sustainable regional development.
  • Sustainable business model innovation and stakeholder theory.
  • Digital transformation and sustainable business model innovation.
  • Adaptive co-management and business model innovation.
  • Cultural heritage and sustainable business model innovation.

Prof. Marc Ventresca
Dr. Alessandro Zardini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Sustainable business model
  • common good
  • circular economy transition
  • robust action

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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