From business models for public actors to public service provision models: Extending the business model concept to the public sector

Selina Lorenz, Barbara Heigl, Maximilian Palmié*, Pejvak Oghazi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Every organization, knowingly or unknowingly, operates a business model. However, while private actors frequently make use of the business model concept to actively manage their service provision, public organizations struggle with adopting it. This has led to a separate literature stream in which public management scholars developed public sector adaptations of the business model concept. As the business model conceptualizations in the general and public management literatures diverge, insight transfer between both streams is becoming increasingly difficult. Building on the need for more conceptual alignment in business model research, this article explores how the divergent conceptualizations of business models in the general and public management literatures can be reintegrated. It first presents the results of a focused literature review to illustrate their commonalities and differences. The article then introduces an integrated business model framework for the private and public sectors to merge the findings of both streams as well as to provide a common language for public-private business model realization. By advocating an integrated approach, we aim to bridge the emerging gap between the general and public management business model literatures, thereby seeking to counteract the gap's adverse implications for business model research as well as practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123273
Peer-reviewed scientific journalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 04.2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Business models
  • Private sector
  • Public sector
  • Public service provision models
  • Public-private collaboration
  • Smart city

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