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Home-based Businesses: An Exploration of Business Model Heterogeneity

Published: 22.01.2019

by Isla Kapasi , Laura Galloway


Purpose: Home-based business (HBB) literature identifies variation in the sector, such as differences in technology use, knowledge capital. It also asserts HBB may have specific value for specific groups of business starters. Despite this diversity, HBB is treated as one conceptualisation, as a single business model. Consequently, our knowledge is based on disparate studies with different research agendas and results are inconsistent and sometimes contradictory.
This paper outlines a means by which the heterogeneity of HBB can be revealed via a framework within which
diversity might be viewed.

Method: Largely conceptual, this paper draws from a study of 30 HBB owners to test the framework using the business model dimension of in or from home and the distinguishing feature example of knowledge. The empirical work was qualitative, based on interviews.

Findings: We find variation in HBB types and distinct business models, exposing heterogeneity. The framework provides a means by which the reality of HBB may be better revealed.

Value: Value lies in the provision of a means by which we might view the diversity of HBB. Using the framework, different research agendas may be serviced and afford sight of issues that affect HBB as they vary by business model.
This is of value for research clarity, and also for informing policy and support of small businesses as the needs of different types of HBB will vary.

More information about this paper

Length: 16 pages


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