Consumer involvement in supply networks: A cubic typology of C2B2C and C2B2B business models

Jaakko Aspara*, David B. Grant, Maria Holmlund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Business models such as C2B and B2B2C, in which consumers get involved in companies' supply chains and business operations, are burgeoning in many industries. Academic research on the phenomenon is, however, lagging behind, and extant research has typically focused on just one or a few variants of such business models at a time. The present conceptual research addresses this research gap by developing a comprehensive typology that explicates and unpacks the full variety of consumer involvement types in supply networks of contemporary business models. The three-dimensional typology developed contributes to literature by identifying and integrating the relevant dimensions, which have been addressed in prior research only implicitly or in a piecemeal manner. This elucidates the full range and variety of the phenomenon to researchers. For managers, the three- dimensional, cubic typology offers a business development tool, facilitating the identification of altogether 56 alternative business models, wherein consumers may serve as suppliers of various inputs, including work, effort, and entrepreneurial activity; goods; platform goods; natural resources and energy; data, information, and knowledge; attention and presence; as well as money and capital.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Issue numberFebruary
Pages (from-to)356-369
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 02.2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Business-to-business-to-consumer B2B2C
  • Consumer-to-business C2B
  • Consumer-to-business-to-business C2B2B
  • Consumer-to-business-to-consumer C2B2C
  • Digitalisation
  • Supply chains and networks

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics
  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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