Constructing business models around identity: Tensions in architectural firms

Marina Bos-De Vos*, Leentje Volker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
118 Downloads (Pure)


Architectural firms experience difficulties to establish healthy and sustainable business models as they have to reconcile the often-competing value systems that they are based upon. Organizational members continuously negotiate professional values and beliefs with the firm's commercial goals, resulting in identity-strategy struggles. This study adopts a 'work lens' to investigate the reciprocal tensions between identity and strategy in 17 business model design workshops with members of architectural firms. Observational data show that practitioners collaboratively construct their business models around professional values, thereby strengthening organizational identity but constraining innovation in their business models. The research contributes to the literature on strategic management of architectural firms by articulating how professional aspects of identity enable and constrain practitioners to shape and be shaped by their strategic actions and decisions.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM - 33rd Annual Conference 2017, Proceeding
EditorsPaul W Chan, C J Neilson
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780995546318
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd Annual ARCOM Conference 2017 - Cambrige, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sept 20176 Sept 2017
Conference number: 33


Conference33rd Annual ARCOM Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleARCOM 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Business model
  • Identity tensions
  • Strategy-as-practice
  • Value creation


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