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Extending Access: Perspectives on Business Model Innovation in Water and Sanitation Service Provision
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8273-2808
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Many organizations are attempting to improve the well-being of people living in poverty, whether it be philanthropic, through offering transformative services, or buying into the doing well by doing good ethos of corporate Base of the Pyramid (BoP) strategies. Some of these efforts are being directed towards extending access to safely managed water and sanitation services to everyone. There are many factors that contribute to the complexity of reaching universal water and sanitation coverage including limited finance, cultural practices, and localized effects of climate change. Once a community has access, sustaining it can be hindered by poor design, maintenance, or governance.

The aim of this dissertation is to examine the roles of business models and business model innovation in providing and later scaling water and sanitation services in low-income countries. In doing so, it brings together poverty alleviation and business model theories to address barriers specific to the water and sanitation sectors. This dissertation is a compilation of seven different papers that follow a case study approach. The cases used in these studies are of non-governmental organizations, social businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises, and multinational enterprises that work in the water and sanitation sector in low-income countries.

The findings of this dissertation span theoretical levels: business models, business model innovation, and capability development and sectors: water and sanitation. Each paper contributes to the intersection of at least two of these factors, e.g., by classifying business models and business model innovations in water service providers or examining the multiple business models used by a single sanitation service provider.

Overall, this dissertation has analysed key theories in market-based approaches to poverty alleviation with regard to business model thinking and provides insights into offering services and expanding social impact in BoP markets.

Abstract [sv]

Många organisationer försöker förbättra välbefinnandet hos människor som lever i fattigdom, oavsett om det är det filantropisk, genom att erbjuda transforamtiva tjänster, eller köpa in det bra genom att göra bra etos av strategierna för basen av pyramiden (BoP). Några av dessa ansträngningar riktas mot att utvidga tillgången till säkert hanterade vatten- och sanitetstjänster till alla. Det finns många faktorer som bidra till komplexiteten att nå universell vatten- och sanitetsskydd, inklusive begränsad finansiering, kulturella metoder och lokala effekter av klimatförändringar. När en gemenskap har tillgång, behåller kan den hindras av dålig design, underhåll eller styrning.

Syftet med denna avhandling är att undersöka rollerna i affärsmodeller, affärsmodellens innovation och organisatoriska förmågor vid vatten- och saneringstjänster i låginkomstländer. Att göra så det samlar fattigdomsbekämpning och affärsmodellteori för att ta itu med sektorspecifika hinder.

Denna avhandling är en sammanställning av sju olika uppsatser som följer en fallstudie. Fallen som används i dessa studier är av icke-statliga organisationer, sociala företag, små och medelstora företag och multinationella företag som arbetar inom vatten- och sanitetssektorn i låginkomstländer.

Med en statisk bild av affärsmodeller anses affärsmodeller inom denna sektor antingen vara isolerade eller integrerade, dvs antingen adressera en begränsad uppsättning aktiviteter som krävs för att leverera säkert vatten och / eller sanitetstjänst eller täcker hela serviceleveranskedjan. Ta en transformations vy av dessa organisationer, affärsmodell innovationer som adress prospektering och anpassning möjliggör organisationer att expandera deras inverkan. Sådana aktiviteter kräver att organisationer ska kunna få kapacitet att vinna och integrera lokal kunskap, odla samarbete och främja flexibilitet. Sammantaget har denna avhandling analyserat viktiga teorier i marknadsbaserade metoder för fattigdomsbekämpning när det gäller affärsmodeller och ger insikter på att erbjuda tjänster och expandera sociala inverkan på BoP-marknaderna.

Abstract [en]

Many organizations are attempting to improve the well-being of people living in poverty, whether it be philanthropic, through offering transformative services, or buying into the doing well by doing good ethos of corporate Base of the Pyramid (BoP) strategies. This dissertation examines the roles of business models and business model innovation in providing and scaling water and sanitation services in low-income countries. In doing so, it brings together poverty alleviation and business model theories to address barriers specific to the water and sanitation sectors, through case studies of non-governmental organizations, social businesses, small and medium-sized enterprises, and multinational enterprises that work in the water and sanitation sector in low-income countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstads universitet, 2019. , p. 118
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2019:21
Keywords [en]
Business Innovation, Water business, WASH, Sanitation, Digitalization, Base of the pyramid
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-73581ISBN: 978-91-7867-040-6 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7867-045-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-73581DiVA, id: diva2:1337236
Public defence
2019-10-04, 11D 257, Karlstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-09-06 Created: 2019-07-12 Last updated: 2019-09-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Digital transformation as an enabler for advanced services in the sanitation sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Digital transformation as an enabler for advanced services in the sanitation sector
2018 (English)In: Sustainability, ISSN 2071-1050, E-ISSN 2071-1050, Vol. 10, no 3, article id 752Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

People in Base of the Pyramid markets still face difficulties when it comes to sanitation. Container-based Sanitation (CBS) services represent a promising advanced sanitation service. Despite the observed outcomes of CBS services, organizations face obstacles when providing these services. To overcome these obstacles, digital transformations of these services are being carried out. We rely on multiple case studies to understand these digital transformations. Our findings highlight (1) the challenges these case organizations faced before engaging in the digital transformation, (2) their individual digital transformation pathways, and (3) a general framework for digital transformations in BoP markets.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
MDPI AG, 2018
Keywords
Advanced services, Base of the Pyramid, Container-based Sanitation, Internet of Things, Sanitation, WASH
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects Computer and Information Sciences Business Administration Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66833 (URN)10.3390/su10030752 (DOI)2-s2.0-85043365641 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2018-03-23 Created: 2018-03-23 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
2. When one business model is not enough for a social business
Open this publication in new window or tab >>When one business model is not enough for a social business
2017 (English)In: Strategic Direction, ISSN 0258-0543, E-ISSN 1758-8588, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 10-12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose This paper aims to illustrate how managing multiple business models can become a key factor for succeeding in base-of-the-pyramid markets.Design/methodology/approach Case study was conducted through an engaged scholarship approach.Findings The authors highlight that companies can manage multiple business models, if they are following these three steps: recognition of costs-and-benefits, improvement and growth and creation of synergies.Practical implications The study provides guidance on how to manage multiple business models.Social implications This paper discusses Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods, a social enterprise, which provides basic sanitation in bade-of-the-pyramid markets.Originality/value Operating more than one business model could cause often strategic failures. Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods explored the advantages of having multiple business models in following three steps: recognition of costs-and-benefits, improvement and growth and creation of synergies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017
Keywords
Business model innovation, business models, base-of-the-pyramid markets, sanitation services
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-73582 (URN)10.1108/SD-06-2016-0096 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-07-12 Created: 2019-07-12 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
3. Business model innovation in the water sector in developing countries
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Business model innovation in the water sector in developing countries
2014 (English)In: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, ISSN 0048-9697, Vol. 488, p. 516-524Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Various technologies have been deployed in household devices or micro-water treatment plants for mitigating fluoride and arsenic, and thereby provide safe and affordable drinking water in low-income countries. While the technologies have improved considerably, organizations still face challenges in making them financially sustainable. Financial sustainability questions the business models behind these water technologies. This article makes three contributions to business models in the context of fluoride and arsenic mitigation. Firstly, we describe four business models: A) low-value devices given away to people living in extreme poverty, B) high-value devices sold to low-income customers, C) communities as beneficiaries of micro-water treatment plants and D) entrepreneurs as franchisees for selling water services and highlight the emergence of hybrid business models. Secondly, we show current business model innovations such as cost transparency & cost reductions, secured & extended water payments, business diversification and distribution channels. Thirdly, we describe skills and competencies as part of capacity building for creating even more business model innovations. Together, these three contributions will create more awareness of the role of business models in scaling-up water treatment technologies. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014
Keywords
Business model, Innovation, Water services, Low-income countries
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-41515 (URN)10.1016/j.scitotenv.2014.02.046 (DOI)000338600800057 ()24612490 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2016-04-25 Created: 2016-04-11 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
4. Business model innovations for overcoming barriers in the base-of-the-pyramid market
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Business model innovations for overcoming barriers in the base-of-the-pyramid market
2017 (English)In: Industry and Innovation, ISSN 1366-2716, E-ISSN 1469-8390, Vol. 24, no 5, p. 543-568Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many barriers must be overcome when entering the base-of-the-pyramid (BoP) market. Firms facing these barriers need to innovate new business models and reinvent existing ones to suit the BoP context. While previous literature has focused on the innovations of particular components of business models in BoP markets, we investigate the reconfigurations in the business model components that underpin the successful business model innovations. This study is based on multiple case studies in the water sector that we carried out in several different countries. Our findings suggest five business model innovations: (a) design, (b) renewal, (c) expansion, (d) diversification and (e) replication. Each business model innovation is a specific response to the barriers met in the BoP market and requires consistent configuration between its various components (i.e. value proposition, value creation and profit equation). These findings add, in two important aspects, to the academic realm of the business model domain: by contributing to the debate of business models in BoP markets and by advancing the configurational view of business models.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxon, UK: Taylor & Francis, 2017
Keywords
Business models, business model innovations, base-of-the-pyramid markets, business model design, expansion, diversification, replication
National Category
Business Administration Embedded Systems Other Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65529 (URN)10.1080/13662716.2017.1310033 (DOI)000400854600006 ()
Conference
DRUID Summer Conference, 2015, LUISS, Rome, ITALY
Available from: 2018-01-04 Created: 2018-01-04 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
5. Business model innovation in base of the pyramid markets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Business model innovation in base of the pyramid markets
2017 (English)In: Journal of Business Strategy, ISSN 0275-6668, E-ISSN 2052-1197, Vol. 38, no 4, p. 38-46Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: This paper aims to highlight how initial business models can be converted into a larger-scale solution for tapping into the emerging base-of-the-pyramid markets. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a qualitative, multi-case research design with 20 organizations tapping into the water market at the base-of-the-pyramid. Findings: This paper explores three business models innovations: fostering value-in-context, allowing for modifiability and embracing organizational ambidexterity. Research limitations/implications: Due to our qualitative research approach, generalizability of our findings is limited. Practical implications: The description of the three business model innovations offers guidance for executives to make their business models financially more sustainable in base-of-the-pyramid markets. Social implications: The water sector represents one especially interesting sector to examine business model innovations. For, among social goods, safe water remains a huge challenge to date where 700 million people remain without access to an improved water source. Originality/value: Previous business model discussion in base-of-the-pyramid markets focuses on commercial goods. The authors focus on water as a social good. They demonstrate that the existing recommendations that business models in base-of-the-pyramid markets should be inclusive, complex, collaborative and scalable are mandatory, but not sufficient. In addition, business models should foster value-in-context, allow for modifiability and embrace organizational ambidexterity. © 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017
Keywords
Base of the pyramid, Business model innovation, Business models, Emerging market, Organizational ambidexterity, Value-in-use
National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-73583 (URN)10.1108/JBS-05-2016-0051 (DOI)2-s2.0-85025078287 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-07-12 Created: 2019-07-12 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
6. Organizational capabilities for pay-per-use services in product-oriented companies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Organizational capabilities for pay-per-use services in product-oriented companies
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Production Economics, ISSN 0925-5273, E-ISSN 1873-7579, Vol. 192, p. 157-168Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pay-per-use services are an interesting phenomenon, both empirically and theoretically. Despite the alleged benefits, companies still struggle to succeed with pay-per-use services. Theoretically, it is common sense that existing service capabilities cannot easily be converted into organizational capabilities for pay-per-use services. Based on multiple case studies, the present article narrows down the existing empirical and theoretical gaps through an inductive research approach. Our findings make the following contributions to the field of services in product-oriented companies and to the servitization literature. We describe the organizational capabilities necessary for pay-per-use services (e.g., financing such services, aligning costs with equipment usage, and collaborating with customers). We reveal that companies should convert these capabilities into three core competencies (strategizing pay-per-use services, utilizing technologies for pay-per-use services, and de-risking pay-per-use services), in order to achieve competitive advantages.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2017
Keywords
Pay-per-use services, Capabilities, Business model innovation, Financing Knowledge-based view of the firm, Product usage
National Category
Business Administration Information Systems, Social aspects Computer and Information Sciences
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65871 (URN)10.1016/j.ijpe.2016.12.007 (DOI)000412041200014 ()
Available from: 2018-01-25 Created: 2018-01-25 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
7. Capabilities for providing socially beneficial services to consumers in low-income markets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Capabilities for providing socially beneficial services to consumers in low-income markets
2018 (English)In: SMR - Journal of Service Management Research, ISSN 2511-8676, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 16-27Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Providing socially beneficial services to people living close to the poverty line is an exceptionally complex task, due to limited disposable income for such services and little knowledge to understand the actual service benefits. In addition, service providers face capability constraints to provide these types of services. This article examines capabilities for providing services to consumers in low-income markets. Based on a multiple case study on providing drinking water as a service, we show that service providers require three capabilities: (a) adapting the service operation model, (b) converting latent customer needs into value-added services, and (c) extending the customer portfolio. These capability descriptions advance previous capability descriptions about services for low-income consumers.

National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-73585 (URN)10.15358/2511-8676-2018-1-16 (DOI)
Available from: 2019-07-12 Created: 2019-07-12 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved

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