A business model architecture framework (BMAF) for the architecting of business to business electronic commerce

Paltalidis, Nickos G. (2014) A business model architecture framework (BMAF) for the architecting of business to business electronic commerce. Doctoral thesis, London Metropolitan University.


Business to Business Electronic Commerce (B2B EC) has over 20 years experienced unprecedented growth in practice. Practice has generated many theories, models, and frameworks. The extensive literature review curried out during this research a) has investigated the origins, the terms and the concepts of business models; b) has studied the architecture of existing models used for B2B EC, and c) has evaluated the frameworks in current use for the change and development of business models. The findings show that there is a huge variety of concepts, terminology, and definitions of the architectural components used to present business models. It has showed that overlaps and gaps exist between these concepts as each, researcher and practitioner tends to focus only on a specific aspect of the business model. The result is a mix of concepts with the same meanings but different names and vice versa. Also, traditional solutions have failed to successfully support the development of a business model for e-commerce as they do not provide full and complete support (at not enough level of detail), but only provide general guidelines or steps described in quite brief terms.

This research focuses on the development of a framework for the architecting of e-business models, especially those used for B2B EC. A mixed research methodology was adopted using both qualitative and quantitative methods. In order to address the limitations identified, this research, classifies, rationalises and standardises business model architectural concepts into four thematic architecture domains namely: business, data/information, application, and technology. This new conceptualisation approach is the main axis of the proposed framework that enables the achievement of two goals a) to define the business model architecture for e-business and b) to support the process for construction/reconstruction of an e-business model. In particular, this research proposes a conceptual notation necessary for the description of business model architecture (BMA) and a business model architecture framework (BMAF) for developing e-business models. This research contributes to a broader understanding and enrichment of the B2B EC body of knowledge, and also expects to assist the different stakeholders (managers, business/IT consultants, IS designers) in representing an e-business strategy, designing the business model architecture and building e-business applications, appropriate (fit for purpose) for their business area. Finally, the developed framework (BMAF) was validated by a) using a web-based survey to evaluate the design of the framework by experts and practitioners, b) applying the framework to two real world case studies to test and evaluate its validity and the applicability and c) carrying out interviews with the case studies’ stakeholders in order to establish how well the BMAF performs its objectives. The findings helped to revise, refine and finalise the framework.

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