Bifocals: Visualizing Interactions between Business Model Design and Ecosystem Innovation


  • Deborah Glassey-Previdoli University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO)
  • Riccardo Bonazzi University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO)
  • Patrick Kuonen University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO)


nursing home, business ecosystem, ecosystem design, design science


This article describes an ongoing research project, which is mainly addressed to managers of nursing homes. Recent events have obliged nursing homes to redefine the interactions among stakeholders in their business ecosystem. By combining the existing literature in business ecosystem design and business model design, we propose a method called Bifocals to align the two ecosystem and business perspectives. We claim that our method (1) allows representing in details the niche ecosystem where the firm is located, (2) it offers a more structured way to respond to an ever-evolving ecosystem and (3) it underlines a coherent way to build and test new business model features to restructure the firm, in response to its ecosystem. We illustrate how to use Bifocals by describing how we supported the creation of a new service that adapts to recent evolution in the business ecosystem of nursing homes. In the future, we intend to validate our method by working with a group of nursing homes and health department officers.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


Amarsy, N. (2014), “Survival of the fittest”, available at: (Aug 1, 2020)

Bland, D. J., Osterwalder, A. (2019), Testing Business Ideas: A Field Guide for Rapid Experimentation. John Wiley & Sons, Habooken.

Chan, K. W., Mauborgne, R. (2004), “ERRC grid”, available at: (Aug 1, 2020)

Davis, J. P. (2016), “The group dynamics of interorganizational relationships: collaborating with multiple partners in innovation ecosystems”, Administrative Science Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 4, pp. 621-661.

Davis, M. S. (1971), “That’s interesting! Towards a phenomenology of sociology and a sociology of phenomenology”, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 309-344.

Franklin, B., Sparks, J. (1840), The Works of Benjamin Franklin: Containing Several Political and Historical Tracts Not Included in Any Former Edition, and Many Letters, Official and Private, Not Hitherto Published; with Notes and a Life of the Author, Hillard, Gray and Co., Boston.

Gregor, S., Hevner, A. R. (2013), “Positioning and presenting design science research for maximum impact”, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 337-355.

Hevner, A. R., March, S. T., Park, J., & Ram, S. (2004), “Design science in information systems research”, Management Information Systems Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 75-105.

Jacobides, M. G., Cennamo, C., Gawer, A. (2018), “Towards a theory of ecosystems”, Strategic Management Journal, Vol. 39, No. 8, pp. 2255-2276.

Kikuchi, J., Ito, K., Date, Y. (2018), “Environmental metabolomics with data science for investigating ecosystem homeostasis”, Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy, Vol. 104, pp. 56-88.

Konietzko, J., Bocken, N., Hultink, E. J. (2020), “Circular ecosystem innovation: an initial set of principles”, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol. 253, Advance online publication, Article 119942.

March, S. T., Smith, G. F. (1995), “Design and natural science research on information technology”, Decision Support Systems, Vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 251-266.

Moore, J. F. (1993), “Predators and prey: a new ecology of competition’, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 71, No. 3, pp. 75-86.

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Etiembe, F., Smith, A. (2020), The Invincible Company: How to Constantly Reinvent Your Organization with Inspiration From the World’s Best Business Models, John Wiley & Sons, Habooken.

Peffers, K., Tuunanen, T., Rothenberger, M. A., Chatterjee, S. (2007), “A design science research methodology for information systems research”, Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 45-77.

Phillips, M. A., Srai, J. S. (2018), “Exploring emerging ecosystem boundaries: defining ‘the game’”, International Journal of Innovation Management, Vol. 22, No. 8, Article 1840012.

Raynor, J., Cardona, C., Knowlton, T., Mittenthal, R., Simpson, J. (2014), Capacity Building 3.0: How to Strengthen the Social Ecosystem, TCC Group, New York.

Sanford, A. M., Orrell, M., Tolson, D., Abbatecola, A. M., Arai, H., Bauer, J. M., Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., Dong, B., Ga, H., Goel, A., Hajjar, R. (2015), “An international definition for “nursing home””, Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, Vol. 16, No. 3, pp. 181-184.

Swiss Federal Statistics Office. (2005), “Statistique des établissements de santé non hospitaliers conception détaillée” (Statistics of non-hospital health facilities detailed design), available at: (Aug 1, 2020)

Swiss Federal Statistics Office. (2019), “Population des établissements médico-sociaux, en 2017” (Population of medico-social establishments, in 2017), available at: (Aug 1, 2020)

Talmar, M., Walrave, B., Podoynitsyna, K. S., Holmström, J., Georges, A., Romme, L. (2020), ‘Mapping, analyzing and designing innovation ecosystems: the ecosystem pie model’, Long Range Planning, Advance online publication.

The Economist. (2020), “The pandemic shows the urgency of reforming care for the elderly”, available at: (Aug 1, 2020)

Toulmin, S. E. (2003), The Uses of Argument, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Valkokari, K. (2015), “Business, innovation, and knowledge ecosystems: how they differ and how to survive and thrive within them”, Technology Innovation Management Review, Vol. 5, No. 8, pp. 17-24.

Walrave, B., Talmar, M., Podoynitsyna, K. S., Romme, A. G. L., Verbong, G. P. (2018), “A multi-level perspective on innovation ecosystems for path-breaking innovation”, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Vol. 136, pp. 103-113.

Yaghmaie, P., Vanhaverbeke, W. (2019), “Identifying and describing constituents of innovation ecosystems”, EuroMed Journal of Business, Advanced online publication.




How to Cite

Glassey-Previdoli, D., Bonazzi, R., & Kuonen, P. (2020). Bifocals: Visualizing Interactions between Business Model Design and Ecosystem Innovation. Proceedings of the ENTRENOVA - ENTerprise REsearch InNOVAtion Conference, 6(1), 322–332. Retrieved from



Industrial Organization