Ride The Wind : Symbiotic Business Model Innovation for the Chinese Wind Power Industry

Abstract: China has become one of the world’s leading countries in renewable energy, particularly in wind power. Goldwind Science and Technology has become not only the largest wind turbine manufacturer in China, but also one of the largest in the world. Goldwind has installed more than 31,000 wind turbines and in total more than 50 GW of wind power energy worldwide.The aims of this dissertation are to explore, in order to understand, how the business model approach has been developed over time to support the establishment and success of Goldwind, the role of the Chinese government, and how the business model can be designed, redesigned, reorganised and managed, providing Goldwind with opportunities to offer new service and maintenance solutions that fit customers’ strategic expectations and needs as well as stake holders’ expectations in a life-cycle perspective.I have chosen an action research approach, influenced by grounded theory and participatory approach, to develop a new “Open and Seamless Complementary Collaborative Business Model” focusing on service and maintenance for Goldwind. This model emphasises that service and maintenance operations should be seamlessly shared between Goldwind, its customers and third-party service providers in a way that considers customers’ strategic desires, capabilities and the best way to complement the capabilities of customers in the life cycle of wind turbine operations, from designing wind farms to repowering and recycling old systems.My research case is the organisational field that is centered by Goldwind, including political, institutional and regulatory actors. By an extensive analysis of the dynamics of business model innovation of Goldwind in the institutional system that Goldwind is embedded in from its inception to today, I have reached following conclusions:Chinese political, institutional and business actors co-created and co-shaped China’s wind power industry and the largest wind turbine manufacturer through mutual understanding and actions based on continual dialogue that is still going on.There is a specific “Symbiotic Business Model” in China in general and in the Chinese wind power context.- Symbiotic relationships exist in two dimensions: horizontal and vertical. The horizontal symbiotic relationship refers to the seamless complementary collaboration along the industry value chain. The vertical symbiotic relationship refers to political, institutional and business actors co-create, co-develop and co-achieve social, political and economic targets.- The symbiotic relationship is achieved via ongoing dialogue between political and business actors by using regulatory tools with the support of institutional actors.- Specific informal social network-based trust-building mechanism plays a complementary role that supports the smooth functioning of the symbiotic business model for the co-development of the Chinese wind power industry.- There are plural logics in the symbiotic business model, and multiple logics are absorbed in the symbiotic business model through the senior managers’ cognitive model and carried out in the strategic choices of the enterprise in the business model design and implementation.My observation is that by 2019, almost 85% of the new business model is being implemented in Goldwind’s practice.