Chapter 2: A conceptual framework for research into co-operative enterprise
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This chapter outlines a conceptual framework for understanding the business model of the co-operative enterprise. Business model analysis has become popular within management circles. The concept of a 'business model' first emerged in the 1950s (Bellman, Clark et al. 1957). However, it really came to prominence within the academic literature in the 1990s (Osterwalder et al. 2005). A business model may be defined as follows: A business model is a conceptual tool containing a set of objects, concepts and their relationships with the objective to express the business logic of a specific firm. It is a description of the value a company offers to one or several segments of customers and of the architecture of the firm and its network of partners for creating, marketing, and delivering this value and relationship capital, to generate profitable and sustainable revenue streams. (Osterwalder et al. 2005, p. 3) The business model of an organisation is more generic than the financial or strategic design that is part of its structural configuration. It seeks to generate a mechanism that can deliver value to a target customer or market segment in a sustainable manner allocating resources to achieve this outcome. Despite its common usage the concept of the business model has no established theoretical grounding in economics or business studies (Teece 2010).

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