The Journal of Business Models is now an established constituent of the global business model community, and as such continues to invite paper submissions on any aspect of business model research.

Focus and Scope The Journal of Business Models was established in 2013 to provide a high quality vehicle for the publication of work that seeks to contribute to establishing the field of business models as a separately recognised core discipline within academia, mirroring what is already the case in practice.

Special Issue: The Design of Business Models

Research Themes and Illustrative Questions for the proposed Special Issue

This special issue of the Journal of Business Models invites contributions that seek to advance our understanding of business models AND design.

Possible guiding questions/topics include, but by no means are limited to, the following:


  • What are the main dimensions/characteristics/attributes of designing, e.g., visual thinking, and how are these related to business models?
  • How entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial action and the seizing of opportunities leads to designing new business models?
  • What are the similarities/differences between product, service or organisation design and business model design? What is the different between designing objects, artefacts, technologies and developing business models?
  • What is the nature of the relationship between wicked problems and the design of a business model?
  • What is the role of concepts and theories in/for design?
  • How do design-related capabilities relate to learning in ambiguous and uncertain situations when the path to action is unclear?
  • Which important theories/intellectual frameworks/concepts in the domain design can be used in relation to business model design? What are the main limitations?
  • What antecedents and mechanisms are behind the design of business models, and how do they relate to designing and to designs (i.e., the output of the process involved in designing)?


Concerning the business model, we invite authors to clarify which interpretation of the business model they adopt: (1) business models as attributes of actual firms, (2) business models as cognitive/linguistic schemas (or dominant logics) and (3) business models as formal, conceptual representations of how business functions (see Massa et al., 2017). We welcome contributions focusing on each separately and/or in conjunction.


We also invite authors to explicitly distinguish between the reconfiguration of existing business models, the design of new business models within the boundaries of a current organization and  business model design for start-ups not linked to any existing organisation (see Massa and Tucci, 2021).


Concerning design, we invite authors to consider the following: if the purpose of creation is, broadly speaking, to produce systems that do not yet exist, the purpose of a design science, including that one of the designs of business (models), is to understand “what works” and produce knowledge which is field-tested and solution-oriented. In the words of Van Aken, the mission is to “develop knowledge that the professionals […] can use to design solutions for their field problems. This mission can be compared to one of the ‘explanatory sciences’, like the natural sciences and sociology, which is to develop knowledge to describe, explain and predict.” (Van Aken, 2005; p. 20).


However, we also would like to drive the attention of scholars on the broader implications of design, understood as a philosophy deeply rooted in humanistic psychology theories, particularly creativity and human values as, for instance, illustrated by Auernhammer and Roth (2021) and reflect on its connection with innovation, as illustrated, for example, in the work of Roberto Verganti (e.g., Verganti, 2009).


Finally, a possible helpful distinction in terms of knowledge for business design is that one adopted by the Business Design Lab at Aalborg University. According to such a view, knowledge for business design includes at least three main areas: 1) the methods, or processes, for design (how things are designed), 2) the tools and knowledge supporting design (tools for business modelling and for making sense of new but also existing business models) and 3) knowledge related to the role of the external environment or context in which design occurs, including theories that would help make sense of it.



contributions should be submitted by March 15th (midnight, CET) via the Journal of Business Models submission system. Remember to submit it to this 10th anniversary issue section called The Design of Business Models. 

Papers will be subject to double blind peer-review process. This process will be rigorously performed according to the journal guidelines.

Papers should be formatted according to the journal guidelines for short papers.

Important Dates

  • March 15, 2023 - Deadline for papers
  • June 15, 2023 - Feedback to authors on papers
  • October 8th, 2023 - Deadline for resubmission.
  • December 2023 - January 2024 – End of process, Special issue being produced.


The field of business models is a focus for research within business that has gained significant momentum and visibility in recent years. Furthermore, it looks set to retain this momentum in the coming years and, as a result, a dedicated journal such as the Journal of Business Models offers an outlet allowing researchers working in the business model and associated fields to publicise their work. Submissions from both academics and those working within private, public and third sector organisations are welcome. The journal also seeks to encourage work underpinned by a wide range of research designs and theoretical ways of seeing.

Our business mission is to an open source journal that is free of the constraints that accompany an affiliation with a commercial publisher. In addition to providing a large measure of flexibility, such an attribute facilitates the publication of more provocative materials.

Our aim is to publish 2 standard issues a year, composed mainly of full length papers, of up to 10000 words in length, together with short papers (c2500 words).

In addition, 2 or 3 special issues will be published, details of which are included in separate calls and on the journal website.

All papers published in the journal will have been subject to a rigorous double blind review process by members of the editorial board and, where necessary, established authorities in the field.