Journal article

Real estate business model innovation and the impact of ego network structure


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Publication Details

Author list: Yderfält, Åsa

Publication year: 2017

Start page: 648

End page: 670

Number of pages: 23

ISSN: 2040-8269


View additional information: View in Web of Science


Purpose - This paper aims to analyze how a real estate business model innovation developed in a real estate network, with a special focus on the relationship between ego network structure and the innovative development of the business model. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is a single case study of a Swedish real estate network of 38 actors. The data were collected at the individual actor level using multiple sources: 12 semi-structured indepth interviews, 94 min of meetings and 28 written contracts. The empirical findings resulted in four propositions. Findings - This study demonstrates that it was primarily the building user who was behind the innovative development of the real estate business model innovation, whereas the real estate company acted as a network hub and network resource coordinator. The ego network structures significantly affected the outcome. Practical implications - Real estate companies should act as hubs, coordinating all the network actor resources the building user needs in the value-creation process. To be effective hubs, the representatives of real estate companies must create extensive personal and open ego networks to acquire central network positions. Originality/value - Few studies examine business model innovation, particularly in the real estate context. Though large real estate businesses usually operate in the networks of various actors, analyses based on the network perspective are also lacking. This case study builds a valuable understanding of how network processes in real estate networks can be used as tools to foster real estate business model innovation, which in turn can lead to more competitive real estate companies and building users.


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