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Analysis of the growth of the e-learning industry through sustainable business model archetypes: A case study

Calvo, Nuria, Villarreal, Óskar
Journal of cleaner production 2018 v.191 pp. 26-39
business enterprises, case studies, communications technology, computer software, econometric models, educational resources, industry, online courses, paper
Information and communication technologies applied to education through e-learning innovative solutions emerge as a relevant driver of change in the publishing industry, involving not only the supply of new educational resources, but also a reduction of paper consumption used in the traditional book edition. The dual goal of this paper is, firstly, to identify sustainable business model archetypes that illustrate the behavior and potential growth of firms in the e-learning industry and, secondly, to provide evidence of the existence of these archetypes through the study of strategic actions and managerial perceptions in a case study of rapid internationalization in this industry. The analysis follows a two-stage method. First, the main behaviors of e-learning firms are identified and grouped in sustainable business archetypes and the research proposals defined. Then these proposals are applied to a case study of the e-learning industry. This analysis furnishes evidence to conclude that the alliance of software firms with publishers becomes a driver that allows e-learning firms to overcome some of the limits of their growth model and maintain sustainable business models.