Skip to main content

From Business Models to Modes of Provision: Framing Sustainable Consumption and Production

  • Chapter
  • First Online:
Sustainable Consumption and Production, Volume II

Abstract

Practices of production and consumption shape the ways in which societies currently perform in terms of sustainability. The way we conceptualize these practices has an effect on the options we can conceive for changing them to improve their sustainability. This chapter argues that the currently dominant framing of production and consumption in terms of business models (as the intersection of practices of production and consumption) has emerged as a consequence of recent trends in advanced industrial economies. While facilitating an understanding of these trends, the business model framing needs to be challenged as it limits our view on practices of consumption and production that are not based in a business logic. For this reason, the language of modes of provision is put forward to replace, or at least complement, the business model discourse.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 109.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Softcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Compact, lightweight edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info
Hardcover Book
USD 139.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Similar content being viewed by others

References

  • Banerjee, S. B. (2008). Corporate social responsibility: The good, the bad and the ugly. Critical Sociology, 34(1), 51–79.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bidmon, C. M., & 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.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bocken, N. M., Boons, F., & Baldassarre, B. (2019). Sustainable business model experimentation by understanding ecologies of business models. Journal of Cleaner Production, 208, 1498–1512.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bocken, N. M., Short, S. W., Rana, P., & Evans, S. (2014). A literature and practice review to develop sustainable business model archetypes. Journal of Cleaner Production, 65, 42–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bohnsack, R., Pinkse, J., & Kolk, A. (2014). Business models for sustainable technologies: Exploring business model evolution in the case of electric vehicles. Research Policy, 43(2), 284–300.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bollier, D., & Helfrich, S. (Eds.). (2015). Patterns of commoning. The Commons Strategy Group and Off the Common Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boons, F. (2009). Creating ecological value: An evolutionary approach to business strategies and the natural environment. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boons, F. (2013). Organizing within dynamic ecosystems: Conceptualizing socio-ecological mechanisms. Organization & Environment, 26(3), 281–297.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Boons, F., & Bocken, N. (2018). Towards a sharing economy—Innovating ecologies of business models. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 137(C), 40–52.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boons, F., & Laasch, O. (2019). Business models for sustainable development: A process perspective. Journal of Business Models, 7(1), 9–12.

    Google Scholar 

  • Boons, F., & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2013). Business models for sustainable innovation: State-of-the-art and steps towards a research agenda. Journal of Cleaner Production, 45, 9–19.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brundtland, G. H., Khalid, M., Agnelli, S., Al-Athel, S., & Chidzero, B. (1987). Our common future. New York.

    Google Scholar 

  • Camacho-Otero, J., Boks, C., & Pettersen, I. N. (2018). Consumption in the circular economy: A literature review. Sustainability, 10(8), 2758.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Carroll, A. B. (2008). A history of corporate social responsibility: Concepts and practices. In The Oxford handbook of corporate social responsibility. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Commoner, B. (1972). The closing circle: Confronting the environmental crisis. New York: Random House.

    Google Scholar 

  • Doganova, L., & Eyquem-Renault, M. (2009). What do business models do? Innovation devices in technology entrepreneurship. Research Policy, 38(10), 1559–1570.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Friedman, M. (1970, September 13). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. The New York Times Magazine, pp. 122–124.

    Google Scholar 

  • Friedman, M. (2007). The social responsibility of business is to increase its profits. In W. C. Zimmerli, K. Richter, & M. Holzinger (Eds.), Corporate ethics and corporate governance (pp. 173–178). Berlin and Heidelberg: Springer.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Geels, F. W., McMeekin, A., Mylan, J., & Southerton, D. (2015). A critical appraisal of sustainable consumption and production research: The reformist, revolutionary and reconfiguration positions. Global Environmental Change, 34, 1–12.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Geissdoerfer, M., Vladimirova, D., & Evans, S. (2018). Sustainable business model innovation: A review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 198, 401–416.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ghaziani, A., & Ventresca, M. J. (2005). Keywords and cultural change: Frame analysis of business model public talk, 1975–2000. Sociological Forum, 20(4), 523–559.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Glacken, C. J. (1967). Traces on the Rhodian shore: Nature and culture in Western thought from ancient times to the end of the eighteenth century (Vol. 170). Los Angeles: University of California Press.

    Book  Google Scholar 

  • Glucksmann, M. (2016). Completing and complementing: The work of consumers in the division of labour. Sociology, 50(5), 878–895.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hess, D. J. (2011). Electricity transformed: Neoliberalism and local energy in the United States. Antipode, 43(4), 1056–1077.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Holmes, H. (2018). New spaces, ordinary practices: Circulating and sharing within diverse economies of provisioning. Geoforum, 88, 138–147.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jones, P., Hillier, D., & Comfort, D. (2016). Sustainability in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(1), 36–67.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Joy, A., Sherry, J. F., Jr., Venkatesh, A., Wang, J., & Chan, R. (2012). Fast fashion, sustainability, and the ethical appeal of luxury brands. Fashion Theory, 16(3), 273–295.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kjaer, L. L., Pigosso, D. C., Niero, M., Bech, N. M., & McAloone, T. C. (2019). Product/service-systems for a circular economy: The route to decoupling economic growth from resource consumption? Journal of Industrial Ecology, 23(1), 22–35.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Köhler, J., Geels, F. W., Kern, F., Markard, J., Onsongo, E., Wieczorek, A., & Fünfschilling, L. (2019). An agenda for sustainability transitions research: State of the art and future directions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 31, 1–32.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leismann, K., Schmitt, M., Rohn, H., & Baedeker, C. (2013). Collaborative consumption: Towards a resource-saving consumption culture. Resources, 2(3), 184–203.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lennon, B., Dunphy, N. P., & Sanvicente, E. (2019). Community acceptability and the energy transition: A citizens’ perspective. Energy, Sustainability and Society, 9(1), 35.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lüdeke-Freund, F., Schaltegger, S., & Dembek, K. (2019). Strategies and drivers of sustainable business model innovation. In F. Boons & A. McMeekin (Eds.), Handbook of sustainable innovation (pp. 101–123). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  • Manninen, K., Koskela, S., Antikainen, R., Bocken, N., Dahlbo, H., & Aminoff, A. (2018). Do circular economy business models capture intended environmental value propositions? Journal of Cleaner Production, 171, 413–422.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Markard, J., Raven, R., & Truffer, B. (2012). Sustainability transitions: An emerging field of research and its prospects. Research Policy, 41(6), 955–967.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Massa, L., & Tucci, C. L. (2013). Business model innovation. In M. Dodgson, D. M. Gann, & N. Phillips (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of innovation management (pp. 420–441). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Massa, L., Tucci, C. L., & Afuah, A. (2017). A critical assessment of business model research. Academy of Management Annals, 11(1), 73–104.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McMeekin, A., & Southerton, D. (2007). Innovation and final consumption: Social practices, instituted modes of provision and intermediation. Manchester: Center for Research on Innovation and Competition.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neusteurer, D. (2017). The concept of green economy and its role in hegemonic neoliberal capitalism. Socijalna Ekologija, 25(2016)(3), 311–323.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nielsen, C., & Lund, M. (2014). A brief history of the business model concept. In C. Nielsen & M. Lund (Eds.), The basics of business models. Aarhus: Ventus.

    Google Scholar 

  • Norwegian Ministry of the Environment. (1994). Sustainable consumption symposium report. Oslo: Symposium on Sustainable Consumption, 19–20 January 2004.

    Google Scholar 

  • Osterwalder, A., & Pigneur, Y. (2010). Business model generation: A handbook for visionaries, game changers, and challengers. Hoboken: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Perren, R., & Grauerholz, L. (2015). Collaborative consumption. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 4, 139–144.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pogutz, S., & Micale, V. (2011). Sustainable consumption and production: An effort to reconcile the determinants of environmental impact. Society and Economy, 33(1), 29–50.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ritzer, G. (2015). Prosumer capitalism. The Sociological Quarterly, 56(3), 413–445.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ritzer, G. (2019). Contemporary capitalism and the ‘new’ prosumer. In F. F. Wherry & I. Woodward (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of consumption (pp. 75–94). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roome, N., & Louche, C. (2016). Journeying toward business models for sustainability: A conceptual model found inside the black box of organisational transformation. Organization & Environment, 29(1), 11–35.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schaltegger, S., Hansen, E. G., & Lüdeke-Freund, F. (2016). Business models for sustainability: Origins, present research, and future avenues. Organization & Environment, 29(1), 3–10.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schneider, S., & Spieth, P. (2013). Business model innovation: Towards an integrated future research agenda. International Journal of Innovation Management, 17(01), 1–34.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schot, J., & Geels, F. W. (2008). Strategic niche management and sustainable innovation journeys: Theory, findings, research agenda, and policy. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, 20(5), 537–554.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schweizer, L. (2005). Concept and evolution of business models. Journal of General Management, 31(2), 37–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stubbs, W., & Cocklin, C. (2008). Conceptualizing a ‘sustainability business model’. Organization & Environment, 21(2), 103–127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suckling, J., & Lee, J. (2015). Redefining scope: The true environmental impact of smartphones? The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 20(8), 1181–1196.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Teece, D. J. (2010). Business models, business strategy and innovation. Long Range Planning, 43(2–3), 172–194.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tukker, A. (2015). Product services for a resource-efficient and circular economy—A review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 97, 76–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tukker, A., & Tischner, U. (2006). Product-services as a research field: Past, present and future. Reflections from a decade of research. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14(17), 1552–1556.

    Google Scholar 

  • Turner, M. D. (2017). Political ecology III: The commons and commoning. Progress in Human Geography, 41(6), 795–802.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wanner, T. (2015). The new ‘passive revolution’ of the green economy and growth discourse: Maintaining the ‘sustainable development’ of neoliberal capitalism. New Political Economy, 20(1), 21–41.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wheeler, K., & Glucksmann, M. (2013). Economies of recycling, ‘consumption work’ and divisions of labour in Sweden and England. Sociological Research Online, 18(1), 114–127.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Whiteman, G., & Kennedy, S. (2016). Sustainability as process. In A. Langley & H. Tsoukas (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of process organization studies (pp. 417–431). London: Sage.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Zamani, B., Sandin, G., & Peters, G. M. (2017). Life cycle assessment of clothing libraries: Can collaborative consumption reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion? Journal of Cleaner Production, 162, 1368–1375.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ziegler, C. E. (1986). Environmental protection in the Soviet Union. IIUG.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zott, C., & Amit. R. (2010). Business model design: An activity system perspective. Long range planning, 43(2-3), 216–226.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zott, C., Amit, R., & Massa, L. (2011). The business model: Recent developments and future research. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1019–1042.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Frank Boons .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s)

About this chapter

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Boons, F. (2021). From Business Models to Modes of Provision: Framing Sustainable Consumption and Production. In: Bali Swain, R., Sweet, S. (eds) Sustainable Consumption and Production, Volume II. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55285-5_2

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-55285-5_2

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-55284-8

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-55285-5

  • eBook Packages: Economics and FinanceEconomics and Finance (R0)

Publish with us

Policies and ethics