Constructing Business Models around Identity: Tensions in Architectural Firms

Marina Bos-De Vos, Leentje Volker

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
33 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 publicationProceeding of the 33rd Annual ARCOM Conference
EditorsPaul W Chan, Christopher J. Neilson
Place of PublicationManchester
PublisherARCOM, Association of Researchers in Construction Management
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9955463-1-8
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event33rd Annual ARCOM Conference - University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sep 20176 Sep 2017


Conference33rd Annual ARCOM Conference
Abbreviated titleARCOM 2017
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • business model
  • identity tensions
  • strategy-as-practice
  • value creation


Dive into the research topics of 'Constructing Business Models around Identity: Tensions in Architectural Firms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this