The literature review in this paper connects with reviews on business models in general and aims to further increase the level of depth and specificity of the notion of ‘open’ in open business models (OBM). Our starting point was the idea that an OBM “serves as an organising principle for structuring and coordinating various resources and functional units” (Cheng, 2011, p. 232) that transcend a focal firm’s boundaries through “interactive forms of value creation” (Wirtz, 2011, p. 223; Chesbrough, 2006a). By juxtaposing general and open business models, our analysis sheds light on new and open ways to (re-)combine individual business model components—such as customer relationships and key resources—and specifies what makes a component open against the backdrop of general business model components. We present five central topics that characterise the literature on OBM.
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