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2020 | 39 | 62-81

Article title

The evolution of business models of Polish health resort enterprises


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Aim/purpose – The aim of the paper is to explore the evolution of business models of health resort enterprises. The sector is perceived in this research as a case of a particular, traditional sector based on natural (here: balneological) resources which has been undergoing significant changes. In addition to the analysis of the evolution of business models, the purpose was to investigate the role of different categories of resources, e.g. infrastructure or relational competences, in substituting natural resources in the creation of business models. Design/methodology/approach – The exploration was based on a quantitative approach and survey research. The data gathered through the questionnaire were used in cluster analysis which adopted the agglomeration (hierarchical) method, i.e. grouping of features by Ward’s method. Findings – Business models in the health resort sector in Poland have evolved and the major change incorporated their shift from business models focused on an idiosyncratic category of resources, i.e. natural, balneological resources, to business models based on other categories, like human resources, e.g. employees’ competences, tangible resources like modern infrastructure or financial resources (for example contracts). The application of a clustering method facilitated tracing the evolution of business models from various perspectives, such as the importance of interorganiational cooperation, different value propositions, and focus on various customer segments. Research implications/limitations – The research implication for management studies is the recognition and presentation of the categories (archetypes) of business models of health resort enterprises in Poland as well as the characteristics of the evolution of business models within the scope of their components. The primary practical implication from a managerial perspective is to provide the basis for evaluation of opportunities and threats related to the adopted business model when comparing to the alternatives currently chosen by competitors. The major limitation of the research is the small sample size. Originality/value/contribution – The paper presents the results of the original research conducted among health resort enterprises in Poland. The paper identifies and characterises various categories (archetypes) of business models of the health resort enterprises in Poland as well as the evolution of the building blocks of implemented business models. The study contributes to the discussion on the usefulness of resource-based-view (RBV) as a theoretical perspective of business model research. The results are consistent with RBV as well as adhere to competence approach and relational view. From a practical perspective, they offer a recipe (formula) for managers of health resort enterprises interested in introducing changes into their business models.






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  • Department of Organisational Management, Human Resources Management and Economic Law. Faculty of Management. AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland
  • Department of Organisational Management, Human Resources Management and Economic Law. Faculty of Management. AGH University of Science and Technology, Kraków, Poland


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