Handbook of Research on Innovation in Tourism Industries

Handbook of Research on Innovation in Tourism Industries

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Gry Agnete Alsos, Dorthe Eide and Einar Lier Madsen

The tourism sector – already one of the fastest growing industries in the world – is currently undergoing extensive change thanks to strong market growth and a transition to more experience-based products. The capacity for firms to innovate and adapt to market developments is crucial to their success, but research-based knowledge on innovation strategies in tourism remains scarce. This pioneering Handbook offers timely, original research on innovation within the tourism industry from a number of interdisciplinary and global perspectives.

Chapter 9: The service innovation triangle: moving to an alternative business model

Peder Inge Furseth and Richard Cuthbertson

Subjects: business and management, management and sustainability, organisational innovation, development studies, tourism, environment, research methods in the environment, geography, human geography, tourism


The business model concept is a tool to develop a map of the business. A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures money or another form of value (Osterwalder and Pigneur, 2010). Such a model outlines the business logic required to earn a profit and, once adopted, defines the way the company ëgoes to marketí. The notion refers to a conceptual model of a business, rather than a financial model. While the business model concept is a powerful tool, companies often have a hard time getting from one business model to another, which they need to as customersí preferences change. We will take a closer look at this. Our research question is: what steps do firms need to take to develop an alternative business model? To develop business models is particularly important to services firms in the tourism sector as there are many competitive pressures. One proposal for how to get to an alternative business model in the existing literature is by experimentation, effectuation, and leading change (Chesbrough, 2010). While this is promising, it seems too abstract for managers. We therefore present a new framework that may be one way to go about business model innovation. This framework is labeled the Service Innovation Triangle (Furseth & Cuthbertson, 2013). This chapter brings a refined concept of the ëbusiness modelí together with the other sub-triangles in the Service Innovation Triangle (SIT).

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