PSL Paris-Dauphine University
Proposal for a systemic approach to the business model
This paper presents the state of progress of my PhD thesis that I am conducting with PSL Paris-Dauphine University. My project consists in elaborating both a new description and visual representation of the business model concept applying systems thinking principles and a methodology to accompany stakeholders to rethink their business model through systemic design-oriented workshops. Indeed, we believe that this way of thinking, contrary to analytical thinking, may help business leaders and entrepreneurs to become more aware of the impact of their companies on their environment and to make them act differently to face complex Anthropogenic challenges. To conduct our research, we work for Biocoop, a French network of specialised organic food shops, and accompany shops to rethink the way they apprehend their business model through collaborative research, including interviews and systemic design-oriented workshops with different stakeholders—employees, customers, producers, and association representatives.
Biocoop food shops have several purposes: the desire to change consumption habits, for consumption that is more respectful of people—both in terms of food quality and respect for work—and of nature. However, shop owners find it complex to align these different purposes with the economic imperative. Thus, our guidance may help them to find the levers to articulate those purposes while training them to think in systems.
KEYWORDS: business model, systems thinking, systemic design, collaborative research