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Examining CEO's Business Model Schemas: A Cognitive Mapping of Differences Between Insiders and Outsiders

Narayan, S., Sidhu, J., Baden-Fuller, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-0230-1144 & Volberda, H. W. (2020). Examining CEO's Business Model Schemas: A Cognitive Mapping of Differences Between Insiders and Outsiders. New Horizons in Managerial and Organizational Cognition, 4, pp. 15-37. doi: 10.1108/s2397-521020200000004003


At the level of a cognitive schema, a business model is a mental map of a firm’s valuecreating, value-delivering and value-capturing activities and the linkages between them. An important question in the study of business models as cognitive schemas is whether and how schemas differ across industry actors and whether the differences are connected to the variation observed in actual business models in the industry. This chapter examines, in particular, the ways in which business model schemas of industry insiders differ from those of industry outsiders. Using data from interviews with CEOs (chief executive officers) of 30 legal-tech firms, we graphically construct and analyze the CEOs’ schemas of important causal interdependencies connected to their firms’ activities. The analysis shows systematic differences between insiders and outsider CEOs schemas. We theorize that these differences are linked to the adoption of distinct approaches to opportunity recognition, expertise perception, and value framing by insider and outsider CEOs. The differences have consequences for actual business model evolution in the industry.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of Chapter Manuscript - Bus Models and Cognition  2020 - Narayan et al incl bios.pdf]
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