Doing the right things in the digital era: the role of strategic leaders in business model innovation


  • Irina Atkova University of Oulu
  • Petri Ahokangas University of Oulu, Aalborg University
  • Lauri Haapanen University of Oulu


Leadership, business model innovation, digitalization


Connectivity technologies —5G and 6G— drive the transformation of firms, industries, and economies by creating preconditions for the emergence of ecosystemic business models. Yet, the role of strategic leaders in whether, how, when, and to what ends firms engage in digital transformation needs further clarification for advancing strategic entrepreneurship theory, research and practice. Adopting the business model perspective, this paper aims to investigate the role of strategic leaders in bringing nontrivial changes to the business opportunity, value process and competitive advantage, as well as their architecture to capitalize on digital
transformation in the ecosystemic context. Our study shows that the process of implementing connectivity technologies follows a hysteresis curve, wherein a strategic leader needs to orchestrate sequentially one-to-one and ecosystemic relationships.


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8.2 Toward the business model paradigm