Research project is (co)funded by the Slovenian Research Agency and by Ministry of Finance.


Member of University of Ljubljana

School of Economics and Business




Business analytics and business models in supply chains


1. 7. 2018 – 30. 6. 2021


The project is funded by the Slovenian Research Agency.



Peter Trkman

Research activity

Social sciences/Business


The ongoing 4th industrial revolution and digital transformation stipulate continuous business model (BM) innovation. Moreover, the roles of organizations started to overlap and need to be re-defined. The adoption and use of business analytics (BA) is of key importance for economically-sound BM innovation. The adoption of BA affects the decision-making process on strategic, tactical, and operational levels, requires affirmation from the top management and entails the development of data-handling techniques.

Researchers and practitioners try to answer to 'what BM is and what it is not', how to modify the existing and develop new 'winning' BMs, which ramifications for BMs are entailed by simultaneous competition and cooperation, and how to design the methods for big-data analytics that will improve the decision-making and the performance of organizations. BA can change the way organizations form supply chains (SCs); however, its implementation – next to BM development – is very difficult.

Further development of these interdisciplinary research areas requires combining leading-edge knowledge repositories from BMs, BA, Supply chain management (SCM), and non-technological innovations. Our basic research project thus represents the important and much needed 'breakthrough' in these interwoven research areas. The project commences with a thorough analysis of the BM research in the first working package (WP1) using bibliometric methods that will reveal the past research areas and yield rigorous findings to considerably improve the future outlook of the BM research.

In the second working package (WP2) we develop a conceptual model with possible scenarios between collaborators-competitors (coopetitors). We will use the model and the game-theoretic reasoning to demonstrate interactions between coopetitors and their impact on the BM development. The working package 3 (WP3) tackles the role of BA in the ecosystems of coopetition-based BMs. In addition, the WP3 enhances understanding of BA adoption in organizations and explain the mechanisms through which BA creates value for the business. We take innovativeness, uncertainties in organizational environments, and the quality of information into account to comprehensively analyse how BA capabilities improve organizations performance. Organizations can suffer a setback if they do not focus on analytically-oriented individuals whose analytical skills are a pre- requisite for eliciting value out of BA solutions. Therefore, the working package 4 (WP4) focuses on the traits of these individuals and how these traits affect the BA adoption and decision making. Also, we will manipulate with the novel BA solutions to test the response of these individuals and, consequently, different decisions. The last working package (WP5) is devoted to the development of new BA methods. Specifically, we focus on the methods and techniques of predictive analytics that enable BM improvement.

The project commences with bibliometric methods, specifically co-citation analysis for the past development of the BM topic; co-word analysis to identify the interconnections within topics of interest and to generate semantic maps of publications within the BM research; and bibliographic coupling to predict the further research agenda. Next, we use experiments to identify and analyze the differences between experimental groups and to confirm/reject the use of various BA methods in different circumstances. Then we model analytical orientation on a conceptual level and develop a model to identify key constructs and their connections. We also develop an analytical framework that considers overlapping and re-defined roles of organizations in SC networks with a presence of cooperation between competitors. Our revolutionary framework will present the coopetition- based scenarios elaborating on multiple case studies. For the analysis of the role of BA and its adoption we use advanced statistics (e.g. SEM-models).

The project thus offers a complete set of understanding of the acquisition, introduction and business value of business analytics with the aim of agile adaptation of business models to the changed roles of organizations in supply chains.

The project team and researchers

The project team can be accessed at

Project phases and their realization

WP1: Business model research: a rigorous analysis

Identification of past and present as well as prediction of future areas of interest based on quantitative bibliometric analysis.

The ongoing research is based on bibliometric methods (co-citation analysis, bibliographic fragmentation and keyword analysis), following the established methodology, which reveals past and existing areas of interest from business models for the period before 2011 and for the period between 2012 and 2016. The results will be published in the form of a chapter of a scientific monograph (current status: in press). The research provides a better understanding of the business model in the company, approaches to its improvements and how to include elements that support the development of company networks and supply chains. Based on the Thomson-Reuters Web of Science (WoS) bibliographic database, we identified articles, editorials, and revisions for the period 2016-2019. In addition, based on the analysis of one specific industry (higher education), we presented a comprehensive approach to understanding the importance of value supply in analysing business models, identifying interesting past and current areas of interest and understanding the reasons for change [1].

We conducted a rigorous and thorough review of business models area. We identified and studied the existing literature as well as we prepared an in-depth bibliometric analysis (chapter of the scientific monograph). We identified many articles and analysed them, which was followed by the preparation of the paper for publication. Preliminary results were presented at two international conferences revealing the initial development of the field of business models, and the need to develop appropriate ontologies of business models to outline modern fields. Through the basic constructs of business models, we analysed the often slow and demanding evolutionary changes in the value proposition in a selected area (business schools).

[1] Trkman, P. Value proposition of business schools: more than meets the eye. The international journal of management education, Nov. 2019, vol. 11.

WP2: Evaluation of the impact of coopetition on business models and the use of business analytics

Analysis of changes in relationships, decision-making processes and business models of companies; and supply chains at the emergence of possible scenarios of cooperation.

As effective business model management in supply chain organizations is becoming more and more demanding (mainly due to the simultaneous implementation of multiple business models and the intertwining of different stakeholder roles, e.g. end-users, competitors and suppliers, due to changed and harmonized processes and different relationships in supply chains) we conducted research in the field of coopetition. The results of the research were presented at one of the leading conferences in the field of production economics and operational research: "Twenty-first International Working Seminar on Production Economics" (Budler & Trkman, Cooperative-based scenarios for the management of supply chain networks; COBISS.SI-ID 13735171). The research answers what management should look like when introducing several business models at the same time, and how to include competitors and other elements in the business model when planning the supply chain of organizations. Using rigorous identification based on mathematical models, we described interactions in collaborative competition scenarios from a game theory perspective. Game theory enables us to better understands the motives of individual organizations that choose to work with competitors. In the current state of the pandemic the WP2 is of great importance because collaborative competition enables and encourages appropriate responses during a period of global economic crisis and disruption due to the outbreak of COVID-19. A key contribution of this DP in 2019 is also the analysis of the Te nature of management frameworks. The article was published in an international peer-reviewed and indexed journal [2].

Furthermore, we concluded with the conceptual modelling of scenarios between partners-competitors in a collaborative competition with the implementation of case studies in Slovenia, and we continue with the implementation of case studies abroad. We also carried out the mathematical modelling of scenarios between partners-competitors and prepared the basis for research experiments. Currently, we are concluding the preparation of articles to be published in scientific journals.

[2] Budler M, Trkman P. The nature of management frameworks. Journal of Management & Organization. 2019:1-8.

WP3: Analysis of the impact of business analytics and non-technological innovation on organizational performance

To better understand the role of the environment we explain the role of turbulence in the environment, more specifically, technological and market disruptive (turbulent) ‘disturbances’.

In WP3, we analyse the value of an individual concept of analytics at the level of acceptance in organizations. We are interested in the impact of business analytics on the responsiveness of supply chains and the impact of analytical skills on the agility of organizations, taking into account the quality of information and innovation potential. Results show how the implementation of business analytics in changed business models and demanding decision-making processes in collaborative competition improves agility and decision-making processes at the level of organizations in supply chains [3]. Proposed article is key to better understand the impact of business analytics and changing business models in supply chains. Additionally, we defined a comprehensive approach to the digital transformation of business models [4].

WP3 completes conceptual modelling and analysis of constructs that are important for analytics acquisition at the organizational level. Furthermore, we carried out the empirical analysis for conceptual model testing and analytics acceptance analysis in organizations. Testing was performed on 154 companies (obtained data were analysed using the PLS SEM method). The results help companies to better understand how business analytics improves the agility of organizations at the expense of raising the quality of information and the ability to innovate. Based on the results of the research, we are currently formulating guidelines for adopting analytics in organizations. The article, in which the project leader is the lead author, received 14 citations within a few months of publication and is at the top of the most cited articles in Scopus. Due to the importance of healthcare (in the light of the COVID-19 situation), we also plan to develop a methodology for monitoring the effects of implementing the HIS (Health Information Technology) systems.

[3] Ashrafi, A, Ravasan, AZ, Trkman, P, Afsari, S. The role of business analytics capabilities in bolstering firms' agility and performance. International journal of information management, Aug. 2019, vol. 47, p. 1-15.

[4] Tomat, L, Trkman, P. Digital transformation - the hype and conceptual changes. Economic and business review, 2019, vol. 21, iss. 3, p. 351-370

WP4: Definition and analysis of individuals' analytical orientation

Identification of an 'analytical-oriented' environment in supply chain organizations that would encourage employees to use analytical methods.

We analysed the role of personal characteristics of employees and how they affect the acceptance of the use of analytical methods and the quality of decisions. We have prepared a statistical model that identifies the factors that affect the analytical environment, decision-making and the quality of decisions and regret of the decisions made. The first results are presented in the conference paper accepted for the presentation at the international conference [5; due to COVID-19 the conference will be held in 2021]. In the meantime, we are preparing a scientific paper for an internationally peer-reviewed and indexed journal. Furthermore, to create a reference model for the conceptual presentation of an individual's analytical orientation and analysis of how business analytics improves agility and decision-making processes of organizations in supply chains, we prepared a paper on digital economic environments [6].

We defined the analytical orientation of individuals and identified the concepts that impact the analytical orientation. To this end, we examined the operation and business of individuals in digital environments, which are simultaneously characterized by contractual and short-term employment. The research provides a better understanding of how individuals use digital or analytical tools when carrying out the tasks for a leading organization. During the project, we also carried out the survey analysis to measure the analytical orientation of individuals. Due to the popularity of teleworking, we are also conducting a longitudinal teleworking survey on a representative sample of employees in Slovenia (challenges, advantages, opportunities and dangers of working through digital interfaces).

[5] Trkman, P, Bronzo Ladeira, M, Valadares de Oliveira, MP, McCormack, K: The drivers of individual analytics and its effect on decision quality and regret. 6th International Conference on Management and Organization: Integrating organizational research: individual, team, organizational and multilevel perspectives 2021.

[6] Connelly CE, Fieseler C, Černe M, Giessner SR, Wong SI. Working in the digitized economy: HRM theory & practice. Human Resource Management Review. 2020 Mar 17.

WP5: The development of modern business analytics (BA) methods

The goal of DP5 is the development of modern methods of business analytics, taking into account the harbingers of the 4th industrial revolution and the innovation of business models in an economically justified way.

Within our research, we develop methods to be used in business analytics enabling complex analyses while allowing for more effective organizational change. Thus, supply chain management is gaining new momentum by incorporating advanced analytical technologies. Data analytics enables organizations to do more "intelligent" business and offers process implementators better awareness of the current situation (e.g. in times of crisis and disruptions due to COVID-19), which enables their responses to be adjusted accordingly. We are developing new business analytics methods and techniques in such a way that big data analytics enables economically justified innovation of business models [7] and improves understanding of the adoption, introduction and business value of business analytics in agile adaptation of business models to different roles of organizations in supply chains.

Furthermore, we have completed the preparation of guidelines for the development of modern analytics methods. Currently, we are developing new methods for business analytics in supply chains, which will be followed by testing of proposed methods for business analytics on practical examples. A published scientific research paper demonstrates the use of a new algorithm based on a modern analytical method to improve forecasting of energy prices in a dynamic and complex environment.

[7] Castelli, M.; Groznik, A.; Popovič, A. Forecasting Electricity Prices: A Machine Learning Approach. Algorithms 2020, 13, 119.

Applicability of project findings for organizations

The findings of the project have an applicability effect, as they enable employees in organizations to make better decisions and, consequently, achieve higher work efficiency. In this way, employees better understand the importance of value proposition in the analysis of business models, the reasons for changes in business and approaches for improving business models. The acquired knowledge can be used directly for organisational management. The presented project demonstrates how to manage the deployment of multiple business models while incorporating different elements. Employees will thus transfer the acquired organizational knowledge of supply chains into everyday operations and directly contribute to greater efficiency of all elements of the supply chain (e.g. competing companies). The project demonstrates and explains the impact of business analytics and other non-technological innovations on the performance of organizations, both in terms of responsiveness of supply chains and consequently the agility of companies, as well as a comprehensive approach to the digital transformation of business models. The acquired knowledge thus improves the competencies and abilities of managers for a more efficient transition into digital business and consequently changes the culture in organizations that are becoming increasingly analytical. Managers will thus be able to make better use of the opportunities offered by today’s turbulent environments and disruptive technologies. Hence, the organizations can stablish an analytical-oriented environment in supply chain organizations that can be an important competitive advantage. Based on a statistical model, the project identifies the factors influencing the analytical environment, decision-making and the quality of decisions and regrets, and provides a reference model that serves managers in organizations to improve agility and decision-making processes in supply chains. The project develops modern methods of business analytics that enable managers in organizations to effectively implement organizational changes, mainly to improve understanding of the adoption, implementation and the business value of business analytics when adapting business models to different roles of organizations in supply chains.


Bibliographic references arising directly from the project are available at The most important are:

  • Budler, M., & Trkman, P. (2019). The nature of management frameworks. Journal of management & organization, in press [Impact Factor: 1.021;Medium Category Impact Factor: 2.710; A': 1; WoS: PC]
  • Connelly, C. E., Fieseler, C., Černe, M., Giessner, S. R., & Wong, S. I. (2020). Working in the digitized economy: HRM theory & practice. Human Resource Management Review, 100762. [Impact Factor:3.625; Medium Category Impact Factor: 2.710;A'': 1;A': 1;]
  • Ashrafi, A., Ravasan, A. Z., Trkman, P., & Afshari, S. (2019). The role of business analytics capabilities in bolstering firms’ agility and performance. International Journal of Information Management, 47, 1-15. [Impact Factor: 5.063; Medium Category Impact Factor: 1.732; A'': 1;A': 1; WoS: NU]

Other relevant results

This section covers the most important achievements of the project in the areas of economy, social and cultural activities, and other important results of the project.

Project head, prof. dr. Trkman Peter, participated at the 17th International Conference "Business Process Management at WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business)" as an invited expert and senior program committee member of the leading conference in the area of business process management in the world. At the conference, he shared the project findings and WPs results of the project team. Among others, the conference comprised of “CEE forum, Blockchain forum & Industry track", so the findings in the field of business analytics and business models were especially relevant and desirable by the listeners.

The dissemination of results is also being made by guest appearances abroad. Hence, the project head participated at the Universidad del Pacífico (PE) in August (2019) as a guest lecturer. Also, the project leader visited IIT, Delhi, India, where he discussed project research and disseminated the results at one of India’s best business schools, co-created new research ideas in business analytics and business models, and participated in discussions related to the areas, tackled by the project.  

For project results, we also received awards that recognize the importance of research achievements. I.e. for the paper "Business process management - at the crossroads" the project head received the Business Process Management Journal award for "Highly Commended Paper".

To share the results and future plans in the field of project topic with the interested public, the project head also runs a Linkedin blog, where we publish joint contributions:

All members of the project group disseminated the project findings and results to the students of the School of Economics and Business at the University of Ljubljana, mainly in the Business Logistics and Business Informatics programs Master's programs. Dr. Marko Budler and doc. dr. Jure Erjavec presented project findings at the Summer School (LSS 2019) in Ljubljana, where international groups of students, representatives from the real sector and other professors and researchers presented findings and opinions on the development of business models in supply chains and the role of business analytics in the modern management. Last but not least, project findings have been presented through the business logistics event called Business Logistics Day 2019, where stakeholders (professors, researchers, students and representatives from the real sector) learned more about business models in procurement and the role of business analytics in the procurement process. At the Business Logistics Day 2020, we shared new knowledge with representatives from practice and students of the programs of the School of Economics and Business and other faculties from the University of Ljubljana and University of Maribor. Presentations and discussions focused on business models during the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of collaborative competition of supply chain stakeholders. The project head also presented the basic findings on the digital transformation and new business models at a publicly available webinar, which was held at the School of Economics and Business in May 2020.

The researches and papers of the project team members are extremely well-recognized contributions to the body of knowledge, and many of their contributions have received the prestigious title of being highly cited in the Web of Science database.

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