Course Syllabus for

Sustainable Business Model Innovation
Hållbar affärsmodellsinnovation

INT005F, 7.5 credits

Valid from: Spring 2023
Decided by: Åsa Håkansson
Date of establishment: 2022-11-21

General Information

Division: Product development
Course type: Third-cycle course
Teaching language: English


The aim of the course is to give doctoral students: - Knowledge about the origins and theoretical background and different schools related to the business model and business model innovation concepts. - Understanding of the concepts of sustainable business models and sustainable business model innovation. - Knowledge about related concepts, especially strategy as well as critical perspectives on business models. - Practical experience of working with business model innovation tools as well as of real-world cases of business model innovation in established companies, entrepreneurial start-ups and new technologies.


Knowledge and Understanding

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Competences and Skills

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Judgement and Approach

For a passing grade the doctoral student must be able to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the sustainable business model concept and its use in practical decision making

Course Contents

The first part of the course provides a general introduction to and an overview of business model (BM) and business model innovation (BMI). The origin and development of the concepts are reviewed as well as reading and discussing classic academic and literature review papers. Then we review the most common theoretical grounding of BM and BMI and introduce some critical perspectives on the concepts. The second part of the course introduces the concepts of sustainable business models (SBM) and sustainable business model innovation (SBMI). SBMs integrate the creation of economic, environmental, and social value. SBMI refers to the process of either 1) designing a new SBM from scratch or 2) innovating the firm’s existing BM to increase its positive (or reduce its negative) impact on society and/or environment. We explore the different types of SBMs (and their strengths and weaknesses) and discuss the drivers, barriers and outcomes of SBMI. Specifically, we highlight the particular challenges that arise when designing and implementing SBMs in practice. The third and final part of the course concerns applications of tools for description, analyses, and development of (S)BM and (S)BMI.

Course Literature

Reading list of academic papers.

Instruction Details

Types of instruction: Lectures, seminars, exercises

Examination Details

Examination formats: Written report, written assignments, seminars given by participants, miscellaneous. Active participation at seminars.
Grading scale: Failed, pass

Admission Details

Admission requirements: Students admitted to the doctoral studies at LTH and other faculties.

Further Information

The course content overlaps to a large degree (about 50-60 %) with the course IDE040F Business models and business model innovation which will be given every other year in the spring semester (though not the same year as this course). Thus, doctoral students interested in the subject of business models are advised to either follow this course (if your main interest is in business models for sustainability) or IDE040F (if your main interest is business models for profit or growth and with more attention to digitalization as an enabler for business model innovation).

Course Occasion Information

Contact and Other Information

Course coordinators:
Web page:

Complete view