You are here

Shouxian Chen

DBA Graduate - 2019

Thesis title

The effect of business model design on firm performance: an empirical analysis based on fast-moving consumer goods distributors in China

Supervisor(s)

Yong Xu
Purpose This study aims to explore the relationship between business model design and firm performance from the perspective of the contingent effect of organizational environment. Design/methodology/approach This study adopts an empirical approach based on data on 133 distributors of fast-moving consumer goods in China. Findings (1) Business model design is a critical factor in improving the performance of fast-moving consumer goods distributors in China – i.e., novelty-centred business model design and efficiency-centred business model design each can independently affect firm performance, both having a significant positive effect on firm performance. (2) Compared to efficiency-centred business model design, novelty-centred business model design has a more significant effect on the performance of fast-moving consumer goods distributors in China. (3) Environmental munificence plays a moderating role in the mechanism of the effect of business model design on the performance of fast-moving consumer goods distributors in China. (4) The interactive business model design that combines efficiency-centred and novelty-centred business model designs has a significant negative effect on the performance of fast-moving consumer goods distributors in China. (5) The moderating role of environmental dynamism in the mechanism of the effect of business model design on the performance of fast-moving consumer goods distributors in China is not significant. Research implications/ limitations The findings of this study emphasize the importance of the business model to the performance of fast-moving consumer goods distributors in China. But there are also limitations to this study: The sampling procedure needs to be improved; the sample size is not big enough; the sample was drawn from a single industry; the study is based on cross-sectional data, which were collected at the same point in time, making it difficult to identify the causality; each questionnaire was completed by a single person; and there was no in-depth exploration of other moderating variables and mediating variables in the relationship between business model design and firm performance. Practical implications An efficiency-centred design of the business model is the driver of the competitive advantage of fast-moving consumer goods distributors; a novelty-centred design of the business model is a driver of the competitive advantage of fast-moving consumer goods distributors; fast-moving consumer goods distributors should improve their performance by optimizing their business model designs according to the environments in which they operate; and fast-moving consumer goods distributors should adopt a focused strategy, concentrating on the implementation of only one type of business model. Originality/value Through an empirical study based on analysis of data from 133 fast-moving consumer goods distributors, this study tested the mechanism of the effect of business model design on firm performance, enriching and expanding research on the mechanism of the effect of business model design on firm performance; taking into account different environmental contexts, it explored the moderating effects of environmental munificence and environmental dynamism on the mechanism of the effect of business model design on firm performance; and it explored the effect of the interaction between efficiency-centred business model design and novelty-centred business model design on firm performance.Keywords efficiency-centred business model design, novelty-centred business model design, environmental munificence, environmental dynamism, firm performance