University of Twente Student Theses


Developing a business model framework for social movement organizations

Hoendervoogt, Sabine (2018) Developing a business model framework for social movement organizations.

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Abstract:Markets do not change by themselves because they are dominated by powerful incumbents with specific interests and cultural roots, who are not willing to change market conditions when they benefit from the current market arrangements. Thus, this is where social movements have a role. Social movements are often linked to a desire to change a specific situation or state of the world or to prevent change. Social movement organizations arise from social movements out of the need for organization and coordination. Using insights from social movement literature, business model innovation literature and a case study at WWF Mexico, this thesis designs a business model framework for social movement organizations. The case study at WWF Mexico brings insights to the sustainable seafood movement in practice. Data collected through case study research with a design thinking approach, interviews, desk research and multiple respondent analyses contributed to the development of a unique business model framework designed specifically for social movement organizations (SMOs). The framework has been validated through the case study business model design ‘developing a business model for seafood captured with sustainable fishing gear that does not affect the vaquita’. This design contributes to vaquita conservation by designing a business model for seafood products with a vaquita friendly eco-label. Results show that existing business model (bm) frameworks such as the business model canvas were not clear and complete enough to apply to the case study. Important business model building blocks and sub elements were recognized for social movement organizations, i.e., network building, consumer engagement, distribution of revenues along the supply chain and the building block finance structure seem to be especially important for social movement organizations. The visual representation of the business model framework for social movement organizations designed in this study represents a holistic and complete view of a business model in which relationships between the building blocks are clearly shown. In addition to the visual framework, a complete overview of all building blocks and sub elements with their descriptions is presented in a descriptive business model framework. This study supports to the development of business models for social movement organizations and contributes to both practice and theory on business model innovation for organizations with a social purpose. Future research can add more elements to the framework designed in this study, such as learning loops because SMOs learn from the past and past movements.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
WWF, La Paz, Mexico
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:43 environmental science, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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