Business model innovation by international social purpose organizations: The role of dynamic capabilities

Muthu De Silva* (Corresponding Author), Omar Al-Tabbaa, Zaheer Khan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the role played by dynamic capabilities and business model innovation in international social purpose organizations (ISPOs)1 operating across developing and developed countries. Utilizing a qualitative multiple case study methodology, we identify a set of dynamic capabilities deployed and leveraged by these organizations for business model innovation in order to achieve their dual mission of social and economic value creation. The findings highlight unique micro-foundational capabilities of the founders that are vitally important to perceive social challenges as opportunities for ISPOs to sense socially and economically intertwined prospects. We discuss the specific organizational-level capabilities—at both the production and selling sites—that are developed and utilized by ISPOs to seize opportunities by combining competing social and economic logics. In relation to transformation, ISPOs develop ecosystem-wide production- and market-related capabilities—in both developing and developed countries—that enable them to scale-up their dual mission business model through co-creation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-749
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date30 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

We would like to acknowledge the financial assistance provided by
the Kent Business School, University of Kent, and British Academy of
Management Transition Grant (Grant Number: 178). We also wish to
thank Hasan Khan for the excellent research assistance provided. We
also extend grateful thanks to our editors, Professors, Jay
Weerawardena and Naveen Dontu, and anonymous reviewers for their
comments and guidance that helped improve the paper.


  • Business Model Innovation
  • Co-creation
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Economic value
  • Hybrid Organizations
  • International Social Purpose Organizations
  • Microfoundations
  • Social value


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