New Business Model Perspectives: The Normative Business Model.

CORD Associate Sally Randles and Oliver Laasch, both from the Institute of Innovation Research at the University of Manchester UK, have been addressing the question of how a range of societal values and public cares and concerns, from sustainability to health and well-being become ‘normalised’ into business and organisational models, encompassing processes from organisational design to institutional change. In their new paper Theorising the Normative Business Model (NBM) the authors propose four cornerstones which together capture the complex interconnections through which, they say, societal and public values become inscribed into the DNA of organisations. Rooted in theories of organisational institutionalism, the four cornerstones the authors propose are a) Normative orientations (NO), being the collective articulation (Voicing) of a specific normative societal values-centred future (Vision); b) (De)institutionalisation (DI) process, being the simultaneous overturning of existing harm-inducing institutions, and the transformative embedding of new institutions as new social rules, codes and understandings of ‘good’ practice; c) Institutional Entrepreneurialism (IE) as the development of an organisational culture which rewards bottom-up translation and creative responses consistent with the organisation’s top-down articulation of societal values-centred aims and goals d) Economic and Financial Model (EFM) being the creative design of new economic reproductive models with supporting financial and economic governance and reward and incentive systems and modes of evaluation, through which the organisations’ transformation towards the articulated public values and desired societal impacts are steered and managed. The paper takes the twelve year story of Arizona State University’s transformation into the New American University as an illustrative case of the NBM in action. Comments and questions are welcome, please email

The paper forms part of a collection of articles making up a Special Issue entitled Business Models for Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Transformation published earlier this year in the journal Organisation and Environment. The collection is edited by Stefan Schaltegger, Erik Hansen and Florian Lüdeke-Freund from the Centre for Sustainability Management at Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany . The Editors provide an introduction and overview of the collection and an agenda for future research in their paper Business Models for Sustainability : Origins, Present Research, and Future Avenues which can be accessed at Longtime partners on research projects, Leuphana University and Arizona State University have recently formalized their partnership by establishing the new Center for Global Sustainability and Cultural Transformation. Next winter semester sees both universities launching their conjointly developed Master’s Program in “Global Sustainability Science”. This course of study stretches over two years and abounds with environment and sustainability research themes. The students each spend one semester at the other partner’s university, thereby adding intercultural competencies to their skills. Both universities each award one degree to every successful graduate of this program. More details of this exciting international partnership can be found at For more details contact Professor Stefan Schaltegger at