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Proposal Deadline: 1 November 201 9  |  Final Paper Deadline: 1 May 2020

Business Models in the Asia Pacific:

Culture, Innovation and Value Creation

The concept of business models — which allows researchers to describe and specify how firms match their product/service offering to a set of existing or potential customers in relatively free market economies where price marketization, firm privatization and trade liberalization are key features — has drawn much attention and caused a variety of debates on its definitions, classifications and archetypes (Paulet and Rowley, 2017; Shi et al., 2016; Foss and Saebi, 2016; Amit and Zott, 2012). Teece’s (2010:172) demonstration of business models as the “design or architecture of the value creation, delivery and capture mechanism” of a firm has earned some recognition and the term “value proposition” has been widely identified as the core elements of a business model. However, the conceptualization of this term is still blurred and no consistent conclusion has been made so far (Fjeldstad and Snow, 2018). Despite various controversies and changes, scholars who discussed the design of a business model, in general, reflect Drucker’s (1954) theory that the primary purpose of a business is to create and deliver “value” to the customer for generating revenues and profits. In other words, a firm’s business model is mainly determined by its innovation capability and to develop a value network.

Google, Apple, and Amazon, as the renowned giants of information technologies (IT) and the internet from the Western developed countries, are often cited as emblematic references in contemporary innovation driven by market forces and reduced government control. However, in recent years, more and more entrepreneurial companies from emerging markets, particularly those from the Asia Pacific region have displayed novel, heterogeneous paths and forms of value creation in creating business models. These differ from the typical linear modes of innovation or the classical value propositions based on the interactions of market demands (market pull) and technological innovation (technology push). For instance, along with the thriving sales of electric motor scooters in some populous Asia Pacific countries such as Vietnam, India and China, new business models related to the main products, such as battery rental/charger services and bike sharing also quickly enter their domestic markets. It is partly because their governments have enacted policies to regulate and promote the electric motor industry, in consideration of its benefit to enhance energy conservation and environmental protection. This seems to embody the birth of a new breed of networked synergistic innovation in some non-typical capitalist market economies, which may be first initiated by one or several core giant enterprises with potent support from governments, then followed by these firms’ further engagement with and spread to various stakeholders through their value chain networks.

Echoing the contentions above, evidence indicates that context heterogeneities may largely change the compositional elements of a business model, and thereby influence firms’ innovation strategies and value creation processes (Bidmaon and Knab, 2018; Spieth et al., 2018; Chin et al., 2018). Although the Asia Pacific region, indeed, provides a fertile setting for challenging orthodoxy in the field of business models, the dominant research agenda is still mainly driven by Western and universalist assumptions. In this vein, it is important to take into consideration the distinctive cultural and institutional backgrounds when exploring the different value logics of business models in the Asia Pacific context, particularly the newly opening economies such as Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, China, India and Indonesia. More specifically, we see substantial room for enriching the existing body of knowledge through integrating diversified, cross-disciplinary perspectives of culture, innovation and value creation to deepen and refine our understanding of the distinctive characteristics and dynamic nature of business models in the Asia Pacific region.

With these nuances in mind, we are thus calling for theoretical and empirical contributions that address important issues and challenges about business models for both domestic and international firms in the Asia Pacific region. Empirical research, literature review, case studies and papers focusing on theoretical development as well as conceptual models are all welcome. The concept of business models has continually changed and evolved, so we also encourage historic perspectives to address relevant issues.

Potential topics and research questions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Identifying, exploring or rationalizing the different, or unconventional innovation ecosystems and value creation logics of business models.
  • Addressing the functions of strategic networks/alliance and global value chains in business model development and innovation.
  • Analysing what types of innovation (e.g., frugal, open, disruptive, etc) or innovation strategies (i.e., new product development and process reengineering) firms may conduct to engage in business innovation and their interacting mechanisms.
  • Exploring the role of cultural, institutional and other critical contextual factors in creating business models among firms.
  • Discussing the newly emerging business models in the Greater Bay Area, given that since 2015, Beijing has been ambitiously creating a Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area as a major national strategic policy extending the Belt and Road Initiative.

Guest Editors:

Professor Tachia CHIN, School of Management, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou, China

Associate Professor Quan CHEN, Zhongshan Institute, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Zhongshan, China

Professor Chris Rowley, Kellogg College, Oxford University & Cass Business School, City, University of London, UK

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In addition to this Call, there will be a workshop. The main purpose of the workshop is to provide an opportunity to improve manuscripts before formal submission to APBR, as the guest editors and several distinguished professors with experience of publishing in APBR will give comments on the paper proposals presented at the workshop.

Participation in the workshop is not a pre-requisite for publishing in the SI and authors who do not attend the workshop are also welcome to submit their relevant manuscripts to our SI. Also, participation in the workshop does not imply submission or publication

in the SI. All submissions will be subject to a rigorous double-blind peer review process, with one guest editor acting as action editor. All final decisions on the Special Issue will be made by the Editor-in-Chief.

All scholars who are interested in submitting manuscripts to our SI, regular issue of APBR and Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management (JCHRM) are welcome to exchange their ideas, while authors who do not attend are also welcome to submit research to our SI, APBR and JCHRM.

Submission Guidelines

Regarding APBR, as noted in the journal's Aims and Scope,  it has a specific geographical focus, content and structure covering more generalist business and management fields of direct relevance and applicability to the Asia Pacific region both theoretically and regarding practice. Also, papers that are excessively abstract theoretical pieces, highly technical or just centred on statistical or technical analysis for it is own sake, are likely to fall outside the scope of the journal and better suited to specialist journals.

Do read the journal and look at the Instructions for Authors, especially on content and structure, e.g. explicit, clear and substantive and separate Implications - for both theory/theory development and also business and management practice – sections.

Approximate Timelines

  • November 1, 2019:                 Deadline for Paper Proposal/First Draft
  • December 1, 2019:                  Acceptance of Paper Proposal
  • December 21-22, 2019:          Workshop at Zhongshan Institute, UESTC, Zhongshan, China.
  • May 1, 2020:                           Submission of Final Drafts for the SI.
  • August 1, 2020:                       Revised Drafts Submitted

For questions in the first instance email Tachia CHIN and email Quan CHEN.

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Amit, R. and Zott, C. (2012). Creating value through business model innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, 53(3),41-49.
Bidmon, C. M. and Knab, S. F. (2018). The three roles of business models in societal transitions: New linkages between business model and transition research. Journal of Cleaner Production, 178: 903-916.
Chin T., Rowley, C., Redding G., and Wang S. (2018). Chinese strategic thinking on competitive conflict: insights from Yin-Yang harmony cognition, International Journal of Conflict Management
Chen, Q. Wang C H and Huang S Z, (2019). Effects of organizational innovation and technological innovation capabilities on firm performance: evidence from firms in China’s Pearl River Delta, Asia Pacific Business Review. DOI: 10.1080/13602381.2019.1592339
Chen, Q., Wang J A. and Ou R Q.(2019). Disruptive Technologies and Career Transition Strategies of Middle-Skilled Workers, Working Paper
Drucker, P. F. (1954). The Practice of Management. Harper Brothers, New York.
Fjeldstad, Q. D., & Snow, C. C. (2018). Business models and organization design. Long Range Planning, 51. 32-39.
Foss, N. J. and Saebi, T. Fifteen years of research on business model innovation: How far have we come and where should we go? Journal of Management, 43(1), 200-217.
Paulet, E., & Rowley, C. (2017). The China Business Model: Originality and Limits. Chandos Publishing.
Shi, X., Li, F., & Bigdeli, A. Z. (2016). An examination of NPD models in the context of business models. Journal of Business Research, 69. 2541-2550.
Spieth, P., Schneider, S., Claub, T., and Fichenberg, D. (2018). Value drivers of social businesses: A business model perspective, Long Range Planning, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lrp.2018.04.004
Teece, D. J. (2010). Business models, business strategy and innovation. Long Range Planning, 43, 172-194.