Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 702

Search results for: business models

702 Linking Business Process Models and System Models Based on Business Process Modelling

Authors: Faisal A. Aburub

Abstract:

Organizations today need to invest in software in order to run their businesses, and to the organizations’ objectives, the software should be in line with the business process. This research presents an approach for linking process models and system models. Particularly, the new approach aims to synthesize sequence diagram based on role activity diagram (RAD) model. The approach includes four steps namely: Create business process model using RAD, identify computerized activities, identify entities in sequence diagram and identify messages in sequence diagram. The new approach has been validated using the process of student registration in University of Petra as a case study. Further research is required to validate the new approach using different domains.

Keywords: Business process modelling, system models, role activity diagrams, sequence diagrams.

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701 Social Business Models: When Profits and Impacts Are Not at Odds

Authors: Elisa Pautasso, Matteo Castagno, Michele Osella

Abstract:

In the last decade the emergence of new social needs as an effect of the economic crisis has stimulated the flourishing of business endeavours characterised by explicit social goals. Social start-ups, social enterprises or Corporate Social Responsibility operations carried out by traditional companies are quintessential examples in this regard. This paper analyses these kinds of initiatives in order to discover the main characteristics of social business models and to provide insights to social entrepreneurs for developing or improving their strategies. The research is conducted through the integration of literature review and case study analysis and, thanks to the recognition of the importance of both profits and social impacts as the key success factors for a social business model, proposes a framework for identifying indicators suitable for measuring the social impacts generated.

Keywords: Business model, case study, impacts, social business.

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700 Bank Business Models and The Changes in CEE Countries

Authors: I. Erins, J. Erina

Abstract:

The aim of this article is to assess the existing business models used by the banks operating in the CEE countries in the time period from 2006 till 2011. In order to obtain research results, the authors performed qualitative analysis of the scientific literature on bank business models, which have been grouped into clusters that consist of such components as: 1) capital and reserves; 2) assets; 3) deposits, and 4) loans. In their turn, bank business models have been developed based on the types of core activities of the banks, and have been divided into four groups: Wholesale, Investment, Retail and Universal Banks. Descriptive statistics have been used to analyse the models, determining mean, minimal and maximal values of constituent cluster components, as well as standard deviation. The analysis of the data is based on such bank variable indices as Return on Assets (ROA) and Return on Equity (ROE).

Keywords: Banks, Business model, CEE, ROA, ROE.

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699 Classification of Business Models of Italian Bancassurance by Balance Sheet Indicators

Authors: Andrea Bellucci, Martina Tofi

Abstract:

The aim of paper is to analyze business models of bancassurance in Italy for life business. The life insurance business is very developed in the Italian market and banks branches have 80% of the market share. Given its maturity, the life insurance market needs to consolidate its organizational form to allow for the development of non-life business, which nowadays collects few premiums but represents a great opportunity to enlarge the market share of bancassurance using its strength in the distribution channel while the market share of independent agents is decreasing. Starting with the main business model of bancassurance for life business, this paper will analyze the performances of life companies in the Italian market by balance sheet indicators and by main discriminant variables of business models. The study will observe trends from 2013 to 2015 for the Italian market by exploiting a database managed by Associazione Nazionale delle Imprese di Assicurazione (ANIA). The applied approach is based on a bottom-up analysis starting with variables and indicators to define business models’ classification. The statistical classification algorithm proposed by Ward is employed to design business models’ profiles. Results from the analysis will be a representation of the main business models built by their profile related to indicators. In that way, an unsupervised analysis is developed that has the limit of its judgmental dimension based on research opinion, but it is possible to obtain a design of effective business models.

Keywords: Balance sheet indicators, Bancassurance, business models, ward algorithm.

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698 Bridging the Gap between Different Interfaces for Business Process Modeling

Authors: Katalina Grigorova, Kaloyan Mironov

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The paper focuses on the benefits of business process modeling. Although this discipline is developing for many years, there is still necessity of creating new opportunities to meet the ever increasing users’ needs. Because one of these needs is related to the conversion of business process models from one standard to another, the authors have developed a converter between BPMN and EPC standards using workflow patterns as intermediate tool. Nowadays there are too many systems for business process modeling. The variety of output formats is almost the same as the systems themselves. This diversity additionally hampers the conversion of the models. The presented study is aimed at discussing problems due to differences in the output formats of various modeling environments.

Keywords: Business process modeling, business process modeling standards, workflow patterns, converting models.

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697 Transformation Method CIM to PIM: From Business Processes Models Defined in BPMN to Use Case and Class Models Defined in UML

Authors: Y. Rhazali, Y. Hadi, A. Mouloudi

Abstract:

This paper proposes a method to automatic transformation of CIM level to PIM level respecting the MDA approach. Our proposal is based on creating a good CIM level through well-defined rules allowing as achieving rich models that contain relevant information to facilitate the task of the transformation to the PIM level. We define, thereafter, an appropriate PIM level through various UML diagram. Next, we propose set rules to move from CIM to PIM. Our method follows the MDA approach by considering the business dimension in the CIM level through the use BPMN, standard modeling business of OMG, and the use of UML in PIM advocated by MDA in this level.

Keywords: Model transformation, MDA, CIM, PIM.

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696 Cluster Analysis of Retailers’ Benefits from Their Cooperation with Manufacturers: Business Models Perspective

Authors: M. K. Witek-Hajduk, T. M. Napiórkowski

Abstract:

A number of studies discussed the topic of benefits of retailers-manufacturers cooperation and coopetition. However, there are only few publications focused on the benefits of cooperation and coopetition between retailers and their suppliers of durable consumer goods; especially in the context of business model of cooperating partners. This paper aims to provide a clustering approach to segment retailers selling consumer durables according to the benefits they obtain from their cooperation with key manufacturers and differentiate the said retailers’ in term of the business models of cooperating partners. For the purpose of the study, a survey (with a CATI method) collected data on 603 consumer durables retailers present on the Polish market. Retailers are clustered both, with hierarchical and non-hierarchical methods. Five distinctive groups of consumer durables’ retailers are (based on the studied benefits) identified using the two-stage clustering approach. The clusters are then characterized with a set of exogenous variables, key of which are business models employed by the retailer and its partnering key manufacturer. The paper finds that the a combination of a medium sized retailer classified as an Integrator with a chiefly domestic capital and a manufacturer categorized as a Market Player will yield the highest benefits. On the other side of the spectrum is medium sized Distributor retailer with solely domestic capital – in this case, the business model of the cooperating manufactrer appears to be irreleveant. This paper is the one of the first empirical study using cluster analysis on primary data that defines the types of cooperation between consumer durables’ retailers and manufacturers – their key suppliers. The analysis integrates a perspective of both retailers’ and manufacturers’ business models and matches them with individual and joint benefits.

Keywords: Business model, cooperation, cluster analysis, retailer-manufacturer relationships.

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695 A Quantitative Approach to Strategic Design of Component-Based Business Process Models

Authors: Eakong Atiptamvaree, Twittie Senivongse

Abstract:

A new paradigm for software design and development models software by its business process, translates the model into a process execution language, and has it run by a supporting execution engine. This process-oriented paradigm promotes modeling of software by less technical users or business analysts as well as rapid development. Since business process models may be shared by different organizations and sometimes even by different business domains, it is interesting to apply a technique used in traditional software component technology to design reusable business processes. This paper discusses an approach to apply a technique for software component fabrication to the design of process-oriented software units, called process components. These process components result from decomposing a business process of a particular application domain into subprocesses with an aim that the process components can be reusable in different process-based software models. The approach is quantitative because the quality of process component design is measured from technical features of the process components. The approach is also strategic because the measured quality is determined against business-oriented component management goals. A software tool has been developed to measure how good a process component design is, according to the required managerial goals and comparing to other designs. We also discuss how we benefit from reusable process components.

Keywords: Business process model, process component, component management goals, measurement

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694 Optimizing usage of ICTs and Outsourcing Strategic in Business Models and Customer Satisfaction

Authors: Saeed Rahmani Bagha, Mohammad Mirzahosseinian, Sonatkhatoon Kashanimotlagh

Abstract:

Nowadays, under developed countries for progress in science and technology and decreasing the technologic gap with developed countries, increasing the capacities and technology transfer from developed countries. To remain competitive, industry is continually searching for new methods to evolve their products. Business model is one of the latest buzzwords in the Internet and electronic business world. To be successful, organizations must look into the needs and wants of their customers. This research attempts to identify a specific feature of the company with a strong competitive advantage by analyzing the cause of Customer satisfaction. Due to the rapid development of knowledge and information technology, business environments have become much more complicated. Information technology can help a firm aiming to gain a competitive advantage. This study explores the role and effect of Information Communication Technology in Business Models and Customer satisfaction on firms and also relationships between ICTs and Outsourcing strategic.

Keywords: Information Communication Technology, Outsourcing, Customer Satisfaction, Business Plan

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693 Assessing Semantic Consistency of Business Process Models

Authors: Bernhard G. Humm, Janina Fengel

Abstract:

Business process modeling has become an accepted means for designing and describing business operations. Thereby, consistency of business process models, i.e., the absence of modeling faults, is of upmost importance to organizations. This paper presents a concept and subsequent implementation for detecting faults in business process models and for computing a measure of their consistency. It incorporates not only syntactic consistency but also semantic consistency, i.e., consistency regarding the meaning of model elements from a business perspective.

Keywords: Business process modeling, model analysis, semantic consistency, Semantic Web

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692 A Study on the Secure ebXML Transaction Models

Authors: Dongkyoo Shin, Dongil Shin, Sukil Cha, Seyoung Kim

Abstract:

ebXML (Electronic Business using eXtensible Markup Language) is an e-business standard, sponsored by UN/CEFACT and OASIS, which enables enterprises to exchange business messages, conduct trading relationships, communicate data in common terms and define and register business processes. While there is tremendous e-business value in the ebXML, security remains an unsolved problem and one of the largest barriers to adoption. XML security technologies emerging recently have extensibility and flexibility suitable for security implementation such as encryption, digital signature, access control and authentication. In this paper, we propose ebXML business transaction models that allow trading partners to securely exchange XML based business transactions by employing XML security technologies. We show how each XML security technology meets the ebXML standard by constructing the test software and validating messages between the trading partners.

Keywords: Electronic commerce, e-business standard, ebXML, XML security, secure business transaction.

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691 Organizational Decision Based on Business Intelligence

Authors: Pejman Hosseinioun, Rose Shayeghi, Ghasem Ghorbani Rostam

Abstract:

Nowadays, obtaining traditional statistics and reports is not adequate for the needs of organizational managers. The managers need to analyze and to transform the raw data into knowledge in the world filled with information. Therefore in this regard various processes have been developed. In the meantime the artificial intelligence-based processes are used and the new topics such as business intelligence and knowledge discovery have emerged. In the current paper it is sought to study the business intelligence and its applications in the organizations.

Keywords: Business intelligence, business intelligence infrastructures, business processes.

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690 Diffusion and Impact of Business Analytics: A Conceptual Framework

Authors: Ramakrishnan Ramanathan, Yanqing Duan, Guangming Cao, Elaine Philpott

Abstract:

We discuss a theoretical conceptual framework to help understand how the new business analytics technologies have diffused in firms. We draw on three theoretical perspectives for this purpose. They are innovation diffusion theory, IT Business Value and the technology-organization-environment theory. We develop a conceptual framework that helps understand the interlinkages among factors affecting diffusion of business analytics and its impact on performance.

Keywords: Innovation diffusion, IT-Business Value, Technology-Organization-Environment, Business Analytics, Business performance

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689 A Specification-Based Approach for Retrieval of Reusable Business Component for Software Reuse

Authors: Meng Fanchao, Zhan Dechen, Xu Xiaofei

Abstract:

Software reuse can be considered as the most realistic and promising way to improve software engineering productivity and quality. Automated assistance for software reuse involves the representation, classification, retrieval and adaptation of components. The representation and retrieval of components are important to software reuse in Component-Based on Software Development (CBSD). However, current industrial component models mainly focus on the implement techniques and ignore the semantic information about component, so it is difficult to retrieve the components that satisfy user-s requirements. This paper presents a method of business component retrieval based on specification matching to solve the software reuse of enterprise information system. First, a business component model oriented reuse is proposed. In our model, the business data type is represented as sign data type based on XML, which can express the variable business data type that can describe the variety of business operations. Based on this model, we propose specification match relationships in two levels: business operation level and business component level. In business operation level, we use input business data types, output business data types and the taxonomy of business operations evaluate the similarity between business operations. In the business component level, we propose five specification matches between business components. To retrieval reusable business components, we propose the measure of similarity degrees to calculate the similarities between business components. Finally, a business component retrieval command like SQL is proposed to help user to retrieve approximate business components from component repository.

Keywords: Business component, business operation, business data type, specification matching.

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688 Business Buyers’ Expectations in Buyer-Seller Encounters

Authors: Pia I. Hautamäki

Abstract:

Selling has changed. Selling has taken on aspects of relationship marketing and sales force play a critical role in developing long-term relationships between buyers and sellers which is seen to serve the company’s targets and create success for a long run. The purpose of this study was to examine what really matters in buyer-seller encounters and determine what expectations business buyers have. We studied 17 business buyers by a qualitative interview. We found that buyers appreciate encounters where the salesperson face the buyer as a way he or she is as a person, map the real needs to improve buyers’ business and build up cooperation for long-term relationship. This study show that personality matters are a key elements when satisfying business buyers’ expectations.

Keywords: Business-to-Business, Business buyer-seller encounters, Business buyer, Expectations, Perceived similarity, Personal selling, Personality types.

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687 Making Businesses Work Smarter with Mobile Business Intelligence

Authors: Zeljko Panian

Abstract:

Through the course of this paper we outline how mobile Business Intelligence (m-BI) can help businesses to work smarter and to improve their agility. When we analyze the industry from the usage perspective or how interaction with the enterprise BI system happens via mobile devices, we may easily understand that there are two major types of mobile BI: passive and active. Active mobile BI gives provisions for users to interact with the BI systems on-the-fly. Active mobile business intelligence often works as a combination of both “push and pull" techniques. Some mistakes were done in the up-to-day progress of mobile technologies and mobile BI, as well as some problems that still have to be resolved. We discussed in the paper rather broadly.

Keywords: Business intelligence, mobile business intelligence, business agility, mobile technologies, optimization

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686 Building a Service-Centric Business Model in SMEs in the Business-to-Business Context

Authors: Päivi J. Tossavainen , Leena Alakoski, Katri Ojasalo

Abstract:

Building a service-centric business model requires new knowledge and capabilities in companies. This paper enlightens the challenges small and medium sized firms (SMEs) face when developing their service-centric business models. This paper examines the premise for knowledge transfer and capability development required. The objective of this paper is to increase knowledge about SME-s transformation to service-centric business models.This paper reports an action research based case study. The paper provides empirical evidence from three case companies. The empirical data was collected through multiple methods. The findings of the paper are: First, the developed model to analyze the current state in companies. Second, the process of building the service – centric business models. Third, the selection of suitable service development methods. The lack of a holistic understanding on service logic suggests that SMEs need practical and easy to use methods to improve their business

Keywords: service-centric business model, service development, action research, case study

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685 A Norm-based Approach for Profiling Business Knowledge

Authors: Nazmona Mat Ali, Kecheng Liu

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Knowledge is a key asset for any organisation to sustain competitive advantages, but it is difficult to identify and represent knowledge which is needed to perform activities in business processes. The effective knowledge management and support for relevant business activities definitely gives a huge impact to the performance of the organisation as a whole. This is because that knowledge have the functions of directing, coordinating and controlling actions within business processes. The study has introduced organisational morphology, a norm-based approach by applying semiotic theories which emphasise on the representation of knowledge in norms. This approach is concerned with the identification of activities into three categories: substantive, communication and control activities. All activities are directed by norms; hence three types of norms exist; each is associated to a category of activities. The paper describes the approach briefly and illustrates the application of this approach through a case study of academic activities in higher education institutions. The result of the study shows that the approach provides an effective way to profile business knowledge and the profile enables the understanding and specification of business requirements of an organisation.

Keywords: Business knowledge, Business process, Norms, Semiotics, Organisational morphology

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684 Toward an Open Network Business Approach

Authors: Valentina Ndou, Laura Schina, Giuseppina Passiante, Pasquale Del Vecchio, Marco De Maggio

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The aim of this paper is to propose a dynamic integrated approach, based on modularity concept and on the business ecosystem approach, that exploit different eBusiness services for SMEs under an open business network platform. The adoption of this approach enables firms to collaborate locally for delivering the best product/service to the customers as well as globally by accessing international markets, interrelate directly with the customers, create relationships and collaborate with worldwide actors. The paper will be structured as following: We will start by offering an overview of the state of the art of eBusiness platforms among SME of food and tourism firms and then we discuss the main drawbacks that characterize them. The digital business ecosystem approach and the modularity concept will be described as the theoretical ground in which our proposed integrated model is rooted. Finally, the proposed model along with a discussion of the main value creation potentialities it might create for SMEs will be presented.

Keywords: component, Complexity; Digital Business Ecosystem, e Business Platforms, Modularity, Networks.

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683 Adopting Collaborative Business Processes to Prevent the Loss of Information in Public Administration Organisations

Authors: A. Capodieci, G. Del Fiore, L. Mainetti

Abstract:

Recently, the use of web 2.0 tools has increased in companies and public administration organisations. This phenomenon, known as "Enterprise 2.0", has, de facto, modified common organisational and operative practices. This has led “knowledge workers” to change their working practices through the use of Web 2.0 communication tools. Unfortunately, these tools have not been integrated with existing enterprise information systems, a situation that could potentially lead to a loss of information. This is an important problem in an organisational context, because knowledge of information exchanged within the organisation is needed to increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the organisation. In this article we demonstrate that it is possible to capture this knowledge using collaboration processes, which are processes of abstraction created in accordance with design patterns and applied to new organisational operative practices.

Keywords: Business Practices, Business Process Patterns, Collaboration Tools, Enterprise 2.0, Knowledge Workers.

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682 Towards Incorporating Context Awareness into Business Process Management

Authors: Xiaohui Zhao, Shahan Mafuz

Abstract:

Context-aware technologies provide system applications with the awareness of environmental conditions, customer behaviours, object movements, etc. Further, with such capability system applications can be smart to intelligently adapt their responses to the changing conditions. In regard to business operations, this promises businesses that their business processes can run more intelligently, adaptively and flexibly, and thereby either improve customer experience, enhance reliability of service delivery, or lower operational cost, to make the business more competitive and sustainable. Aiming at realising such context-aware business process management, this paper firstly explores its potential benefit, and then identifies some gaps between the current business process management support and the expected. In addition, some preliminary solutions are also discussed in regard to context definition, rule-based process execution, run-time process evolution, etc. A framework is also presented to give a conceptual architecture of context-aware business process management system to guide system implementation.

Keywords: Business process adaptation, business process evolution, business process modelling, and context awareness.

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681 A Promising Approach to Supporting Knowledge-Intensive Business Processes: Business Case Management

Authors: Zeljko Panian

Abstract:

Through the course of this paper we define Business Case Management and its characteristics, and highlight its link to knowledge workers. Business Case Management combines knowledge and process effectively, supporting the ad hoc and unpredictable nature of cases, and coordinate a range of other technologies to appropriately support knowledge-intensive processes. We emphasize the growing importance of knowledge workers and the current poor support for knowledge work automation. We also discuss the challenges in supporting this kind of knowledge work and propose a novel approach to overcome these challenges.

Keywords: Knowledge management, knowledge workers, business process management, business case management, automation.

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680 Business Skills Laboratory in Action: Combining a Practice Enterprise Model and an ERP-Simulation to a Comprehensive Business Learning Environment

Authors: Karoliina Nisula, Samuli Pekkola

Abstract:

Business education has been criticized for being too theoretical and distant from business life. Different types of experiential learning environments ranging from manual role-play to computer simulations and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems have been used to introduce the realistic and practical experience into business learning. Each of these learning environments approaches business learning from a different perspective. The implementations tend to be individual exercises supplementing the traditional courses. We suggest combining them into a business skills laboratory resembling an actual workplace. In this paper, we present a concrete implementation of an ERP-supported business learning environment that is used throughout the first year undergraduate business curriculum. We validate the implementation by evaluating the learning outcomes through the different domains of Bloom’s taxonomy. We use the role-play oriented practice enterprise model as a comparison group. Our findings indicate that using the ERP simulation improves the poor and average students’ lower-level cognitive learning. On the affective domain, the ERP-simulation appears to enhance motivation to learn as well as perceived acquisition of practical hands-on skills.

Keywords: Business simulations, experiential learning, ERP systems, learning environments.

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679 An Investigation of the Barriers to E-business Implementation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Authors: Jeffrey Chang, Barun Dasgupta

Abstract:

E-business technologies, whereby business transactions are conducted remotely using the Internet, present unique opportunities and challenges for business. E-business technologies are applicable to a wide range of organizations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are no exception. There is an established body of literature about e-business, looking at definitions, concepts, benefits and challenges. In general, however, the research focus has been on larger organizations, not SMEs. In an attempt to redress the balance of research, this paper looks at ebusiness technologies specifically from a small business perspective. It seeks to identify the possible barriers that SMEs might face when considering adoption of the e-business concept and practice as part of their business process change initiatives and implementation. To facilitate analysis of these barriers a conceptual framework has been developed which outlines the key conceptual and practical challenges of e-business implementation in SMEs. This is developed following a literature survey comprised of three categories: characteristics of SMEs, issues of IS/IT use in SMEs and general e-business adoption and implementation issues. The framework is then empirically assessed against 7 SMEs who have yet to implement e-business or whose e-business efforts have been unsatisfactory. Conclusions from the case studies can be used to verify the framework, and set parameters for further larger scale empirical investigation.

Keywords: Business process change, disruptive technologies, electronic business (e-Business), electronic commerce (e-Commerce), ICT adoption, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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678 Conceptual Method for Flexible Business Process Modeling

Authors: Adla Bentellis, Zizette Boufaïda

Abstract:

Nowadays, the pace of business change is such that, increasingly, new functionality has to be realized and reliably installed in a matter of days, or even hours. Consequently, more and more business processes are prone to a continuous change. The objective of the research in progress is to use the MAP model, in a conceptual modeling method for flexible and adaptive business process. This method can be used to capture the flexibility dimensions of a business process; it takes inspiration from modularity concept in the object oriented paradigm to establish a hierarchical construction of the BP modeling. Its intent is to provide a flexible modeling that allows companies to quickly adapt their business processes.

Keywords: Business Process, Business process modeling, flexibility, MAP Model.

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677 A Business Model Design Process for Social Enterprises: The Critical Role of the Environment

Authors: Hadia Abdel Aziz, Raghda El Ebrashi

Abstract:

Business models are shaped by their design space or the environment they are designed to be implemented in. The rapidly changing economic, technological, political, regulatory and market external environment severely affects business logic. This is particularly true for social enterprises whose core mission is to transform their environments, and thus, their whole business logic revolves around the interchange between the enterprise and the environment. The context in which social business operates imposes different business design constraints while at the same time, open up new design opportunities. It is also affected to a great extent by the impact that successful enterprises generate; a continuous loop of interaction that needs to be managed through a dynamic capability in order to generate a lasting powerful impact. This conceptual research synthesizes and analyzes literature on social enterprise, social enterprise business models, business model innovation, business model design, and the open system view theory to propose a new business model design process for social enterprises that takes into account the critical role of environmental factors. This process would help the social enterprise develop a dynamic capability that ensures the alignment of its business model to its environmental context, thus, maximizing its probability of success.

Keywords: Social enterprise, business model, business model design.

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676 Business Model Topology in Emerging Business Ecosystem

Authors: Olga Novikova, Timo Vuori

Abstract:

This paper describes topology of business models in market ecosystem of the emerging electric mobility industry. The business model topology shows that firm-s participation in the ecosystem is associated with different requirements on resources and capabilities, and different levels of risk. Business model concept is used together with concepts of networked value creation and shows that firms can achieve higher levels of sustainable advantage by cooperation, not competition. Hybrid business models provide companies a viable alternative possibility for participation in the market ecosystem.

Keywords: Business model, ecosystem, topology.

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675 New Insights for Soft Skills Development in Vietnamese Business Schools: Defining Essential Soft Skills for Maximizing Graduates’ Career Success

Authors: Hang T. T. Truong, Ronald S. Laura, Kylie Shaw

Abstract:

Within Vietnam's system of higher education, its schools of business play a vital role in supporting the country’s economic objectives. However, the crucial contribution of soft skills for maximal success within the business sector has to date not been adequately recognized by its business schools. This being so, the development of the business school curriculum in Vietnam has not been able to 'catch up', so to say, with the burgeoning need of students for a comprehensive soft skills program designed to meet the national and global business objectives of their potential employers. The burden of the present paper is first to reveal the results of our survey in Vietnam which make explicit the extent to which major Vietnamese industrial employers’ value the potential role that soft skill competencies can play in maximizing business success. Our final task will be to determine which soft skills employers discern as best serving to maximize the economic interests of Vietnam within the global marketplace. Semi-structured telephone interviews have been conducted with the 15 representative Head Employers of Vietnam's reputedly largest and most successful of the diverse business enterprises across Vietnam. The findings of the study indicate that all respondents highly value the increasing importance of soft skills in business success. Our critical analysis of respondent data reveals that 19 essential soft skills are deemed by employers as integral to business workplace efficacy and should thus be integrated into the formal business curriculum. We are confident that our study represents the first comprehensive and specific survey yet undertaken within the business sector in Vietnam which accesses and analyses the opinions of representative employers from major companies across the country in regard to the growing importance of 19 specific soft skills essential for maximizing overall business success. Our research findings also reveal that the integration into business school curriculums nationwide of the soft skills we have identified is of paramount importance to advance the national and global economic interests of Vietnam.

Keywords: Business curriculum, business graduates, employers’ perception, soft skills.

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674 Impact Assessment using Path Models of Microentrepreneurs developed by a Business Corporation in India

Authors: M. J. Xavier, J. Raja, S. Usha Nandhini

Abstract:

For scores of years now, several microfinance organizations, non governmental organizations and other welfare organizations have, with a view to aiding the progress of communities rooted in poverty have been focusing on creating microentrepreneurs, besides taking several other measures. In recent times, business corporations have joined forces to combat poverty by taking up microenterprise development. Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL), the Indian subsidiary of Unilever Limited exemplifies this through its Project Shakti. The company through the Project creates rural women entrepreneurs by making them direct to home sales distributors of its products in villages that have thus far been ignored by multinational corporations. The members participating in Project Shakti are largely self help group members. The paper focuses on assessing the impact made by the company on the members engaged in Project Shakti. The analysis involves use of quantitative methods to study the effect of Project Shakti on those self help group members engaged in Project Shakti and those not engaged with Project Shakti. Path analysis has been used to study the impact made on those members engaged in Project Shakti. Significant differences were observed on fronts of entrepreneurial development, economic empowerment and social empowerment between members associated with Project Shakti and those not associated with Project Shakti. Path analysis demonstrated that involvement in Project Shakti led to entrepreneurial development resulting in economic empowerment that in turn led to social empowerment and that these three elements independently induced a feeling of privilege in the women for being associated with the Project.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship development, economicempowerment, impact assessment, microentrepreneurs, pathanalysis, social empowerment.

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673 Identifying Business Incubators Based on Their Real Activities: Evidence from China

Authors: Lu Wei, Yunhao Zhu, Ping Deng, Wentao Yu

Abstract:

Past literature on business incubators distinguished incubators based on their mission statements. However, more and more mission statements become a slogan rather than a reality. It is therefore more appropriate to identify business incubators based on their real activities, rather than the missions they declared. With a sample of technology business incubators (TBIs) in China, we try to investigate business incubators’ real activities by examining the incubation efficiency along the following five dimensions, i.e., survival of new ventures, technology transfer, local economic growth, job creation, and profit generation. Furthermore, we identified six types of business incubators. The results indicate that generally Chinese TBIs have a greater preference for acquiring profits over other dimensions. 

Keywords: Business incubators, mission statements, real activities, incubation efficiency, technology business incubators, China.

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