What’s in an Electronic Business Model?

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 1937)


An electronic business model is an important baseline for the development of e-commerce system applications. Essentially, it provides the design rationale for e-commerce systems from the business point of view. However, how an e-business model must be defined and specified is a largely open issue. Business decision makers tend to use the notion in a highly informal way, and usually there is a big gap between the business view and that of IT developers. Nevertheless, we show that conceptual modelling techniques from IT provide very useful tools for precisely pinning down what e-business models actually are, as well as for their structured specification. We therefore present a (lightweight) ontology of what should be in an e-business model. The key idea we propose and develop is that an e-business model ontology centers around the core concept of value, and expresses how value is created, interpreted and exchanged within a multi-party stakeholder network. Our e-business model ontology is part of a wider methodology for ebusiness modelling, called e3 -value, that is currently under development. It is based on a variety of industrial applications we are involved in, and it is illustrated by discussing a free Internet access service as an example.


Business Model Internet Access Market Segment Valuation Function Composite Actor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. -Amsterdam Centre for Electronic Business ResearchFree University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Deloitte & Touche Bakkenist Management ConsultantsDiemenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.AKMC Knowledge Management BVKoedijkThe Netherlands

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