The role of business models in Finnish construction companies

Aki Pekuri, Laura Pekuri, Harri Haapasalo


Abstract

Business models are seen as an essential part of successful businesses as they define the way companies create value for their customers and subsequently make profit from their operations. A good business model has a potential to separate a company from its competitors by creating a competitive advantage. The purpose of this research is to explore how managers understand and deploy the business model concept in construction. For this, eight experienced managers have been interviewed and their answers have been analysed using the theoretical aspects of business models as a reference. In the interviews, managers deployed business model concept very differently than what is accustomed in practice and in academia; they relate these models to different project delivery and contract structures or to companies’ business segments rather than to analysing how their companies provide value for customers in the selected markets. The results of the interviews indicate that the managers in construction do neither understand the concept properly nor exploit any similar value creation analysis in their business. The interviewees had significant problems describing their companies’ business models and value creation logic, pointing out the lack of analysis and understanding of customer values and needs in the project delivery process. This may be one of the overtones of the persistent client dissatisfaction in the construction industry.

 

Keywords

Business models, value creation, business development, competitive advantage, strategy

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