The Performative Power of Words: How Business Model Innovators Use Framing for Strategic Advantage

The Performative Power of Words: How Business Model Innovators Use Framing for Strategic Advantage

By Yuliya Snihur, Llewellyn D.W. Thomas, Robert A. Burgelman
April 2018Working Paper No. 3663

Despite increasing interest in business model innovation, there is only limited scholarship that examines how business model innovators present and explain their innovations to various stakeholders. As business model innovation often involves the creation of a new ecosystem, understanding how innovators can gain support of future ecosystem members is important. Based on a longitudinal case study of Salesforce, a pioneer in cloud computing, we show how the innovator’s skillful framing to different audiences fosters the emergence of an ecosystem around the new business model. Our findings suggest that effective framing constitutes an important strategic process that enables business model innovators to shape new ecosystems due to the performative power of words.

Keywords
framing, business model innovation, ecosystem creation, performativity