Non-Ownership Business Models in the Manufacturing Industry: Uncertainty-Exploiting versus Uncertainty-Mitigating Designs and the Role of Context Factors

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



With the emergence of the Industrial Internet of Things, a growing number of manufacturing firms has started to adopt non-ownership business models (NOBMs). NOBM providers maintain ownership of offered machinery and sell only the machine use and/or performance as a service to their clients. While the adoption of NOBMs is found to be associated with novel business opportunities related to client-side uncertainties, it is also found to result in a considerable increase in provider-side uncertainties. Drawing on a multiple-case study with three leading manufacturers, we find notable differences in terms of NOBM designs, ranging from a primary focus on exploiting client-side uncertainties to a primary focus on mitigating provider-side uncertainties. Moreover, our study uncovers four context factors that help explain key differences in NOBM designs. In particular, we identify two machine attributes (human dependency and energy efficiency) and two market attributes (average client size and antitrust regulations) that “push” providers toward either uncertainty-exploiting or uncertainty-mitigating NOBM designs. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Original languageEnglish
Article number16
Journal Electronic Markets: The International Journal on Networked Business
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

External IDs

Scopus 85158038425
WOS 000981572200002
Mendeley a365c995-b02c-349a-bf75-403de140ba9d
ORCID /0000-0001-6006-2594/work/142254428


DFG Classification of Subject Areas according to Review Boards


  • Context factors, Manufacturing industry, Mitigation, Multiple-case study, NOBM designs, Non-ownership business models (NOBMs), Uncertainty exploitation vs, Uncertainty exploitation vs. mitigation