Responsible Business Model Innovation: Reconceptualizing the role of business in society

Alex Hope, Robert Moehler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOtherpeer-review


Innovation can be described as the application of new ideas, devices or processes which in business is most often seen as a catalyst to growth. The sources of innovation are many, however recent attention has focussed on the role of social and environmental drivers. This in turn has led to the notion of ‘responsible innovation’ which demands the consideration of ethical and social aspects during innovation processes as a means to lead not only to technological innovations which are socially acceptable but also socially desirable. Whilst the development of responsible innovation is welcome, we suggest that the concept has predominantly been applied from a technocentric perspective at the level of product and service thus maintaining the current paradigm that business’s primary role is to create economic value through profit. We argue that truly responsible innovation takes place at the level of the business model itself as a means to reconceptualize the fundamental role of business in society. In doing so this paper contributes a working definition of the term
‘responsible business model’ and provides a theoretical framework that places the responsible business model at the intersection of for­ profit business motivations and social impact potential. We also set out a series of challenges that need to be addressed when attempting to innovate responsibly at the level of the business model.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEURAM 15
Subtitle of host publicationUncertainty is a great opportunity
EditorsDorota Dobija
Place of PublicationWarsaw, Poland
PublisherEuropean Academy of Management (EURAM)
Number of pages1
ISBN (Print)9788386437600
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Conference of the European Academy of Management 2015 - Warsaw, Poland
Duration: 17 Jun 201520 Jun 2015
Conference number: 15th


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the European Academy of Management 2015
Abbreviated titleEURAM 2015
Internet address


  • Responsibility
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Business model for sustainability
  • Managing Projects

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