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Special issue call for papers: The Business Model Canvas and Customer Development

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship: The Business Model Canvas and Customer Development

Purpose of the special issue

The consideration of business models has catapulted into the public consciousness over the last decade and a half (Teece, 2010).  Over that same time period, questions emerged regarding the role and efficacy of business plans. The Business Model Canvas (BMC) (Osterwalder, 2004), along with Lean Startup (Reis, 2011) and Customer Development (Blank, 2013), have emerged as a more nimble precursor to business planning to help businesses create a repeatable and scalable business model. 


The BMC tool and Customer Development methodology have been growing in use in entrepreneurship classes throughout the world. Furthermore, they both draw heavily from marketing, particularly the recently published Value Proposition Design book (Osterwalder, et al. 2013). However, very little research has been done considering these concepts. The purpose of this special issue is to encourage such academic research, which might explain the individual and holistic efficacy of their related topics, particularly in regards to the marketing and entrepreneurship interface.


Topics for the paper

We invite both (a) theoretical papers and (b) empirical papers, both qualitative and quantitative in methodology. Attention to practitioner issues and implications are important. Some suggested topics may concern (special thanks to attendees of the 2014 Global Research Symposium on Marketing and Entrepreneurshp):


·         How can the BMC tool be used for research?
·         Does the BMC accelerate the start-up process?
·         How do equity investors (VCs & angels) respond to use of the BMC?
·         Does using the BMC affect success/effectiveness?
·         How does use differ between teams and individuals?
·         Can the BMC enhance effectiveness between service-oriented vs. product-oriented start-ups?
·         Are there business models (using the canvas) that generate perceived value as opposed to actual value?
·         Are there external market conditions or consumer factors that provide insights for which type of business model would be most effective?
·         How is the business model impacted by the life cycle of the industry?
·         How does the life cycle of the industry impact ‘gain creation’ or ‘pain relief’?
·         What most drives consumer decisions: ‘gain creation’ or ‘pain relief’?
·         Does the use of the BMC lead to a better business pitch? Does it vary based on industry?
·         Does the use of the BMC lead to more innovative or creative (novel and useful) ideas?
·         How does use of the BMC lead entrepreneurs towards brainstorming and execution?
·         Does using BMC in a divergent deconstructive approach result in different, qualitatively better results than traditional critical linear thinking?
·         Can the same BMC result in different implementations?
·         When is the right time to involve the customer in BMC development?
·         At what point does the BMC development lose its effectiveness? 
·         What factors moderate or mediate BMC development effectiveness?
·         How does effectual selling fit into the BMC development process?
·         What marketing mix come out of the BMC process?
·         Does a business model advantage lead to a strategic advantage?


The deadline for submission is 30 November, 2016.

Paper submission and review process

All papers will be reviewed by an editor and if judged suitable will be reviewed by two independent referees in a blind peer review process. Papers submitted must not have been published, accepted for publication, or presently be under consideration for publication elsewhere. Submissions should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length including references, figures, tables and appendices. Please see for more information regarding author guidelines and manuscript submission. Please ensure you select this special issue from the drop down menu when submitting your article through the Scholar One system.


Guest Editors
David Hansen
College of Charleston
E-mail: [email protected]
Joe Giglierano
San Jose State University
E-mail: [email protected]

Peter Whalen
University of Denver  
E-mail: [email protected]


About the Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship (JRME)
The JRME publishes research that contributes to our developing knowledge of entrepreneurial and small business marketing. Even though research into the relationship between marketing and entrepreneurship is still relatively young, the subject has thus far proved exciting and thought provoking, and critical thinking has progressed rapidly. The journal stands at the interface of research in marketing and entrepreneurship.
Coverage may include, but is not limited to:
  • The size and structure of the entrepreneurial enterprise. 
  • SMEs and micro businesses approach marketing
  • Intrapreneurship
  • The role of entrepreneurship in marketing
  • The role of marketing in entrepreneurship
  • How do successful entrepreneurs market their product and services?
  • Competencies necessary for the successful entrepreneur
  • The role of entrepreneurship (and, as appropriate, intrapreneurship) in the development of organizations
  • Life cycles of organizations: the stages in the growth of firms and the analysis of critical episodes
  • The influence of external help, support, and personal contact networks
  • Opportunity recognition
  • Relationships between SMEs and larger firms: how SMEs interact successfully with larger firms and how these larger firms in turn manage their relationships with SMEs
  • Strategic and management issues that pertain to marketing
  • Cultural and sociological perspectives of the entrepreneur
  • Cross-cultural studies and work on developing economies
  • Appropriate research methodologies
Blank, S. (2013), "Why the lean start-up changes everything", Harvard Business Review,  Vol. 91 No. 5, pp. 63-72.            
Osterwalder, A. (2004), "The business model ontology: A proposition in a design science approach", Institut d’Informatique et Organisation. Lausanne, Switzerland, University of Lausanne, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales HEC, 173.       
Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Bernard, G. and Smith, A. (2014), Value Proposition Design, Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey.
Reis, E. (2011), The Lean Startup, Crown Business, New York.         
Teece, D. J. (2010), "Business models, business strategy and innovation", Long range planning, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 172-194.