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Reframing Organizations: Business Model Canvas

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Build on your work with your business model canvas by discussing the patterns, the design, and the overall business strategy that it illustrates.




This paper contains a summary for the British Petroleum USA business model canvas. It clarifies the patterns, designs and business strategies observable in the business model. In addition, it highlights the organization metaphor and the framing of the British Petroleum USA.

Patterns in the Business Model Canvas of British Petroleum USA

The British Petroleum USA business Model Canvas is characterized with unbundling patterns. It is a vertically integrated oil and gas organization and it has complex activities that involve juggling of products (Xiao, 2012). These activities are essential in the running of the British Petroleum USA businesses. These activities can be looked at in three components.

The first component is the product innovation exhibited in the model. The organization is keen to observe innovation in order to offer its customers new experience. The organization is also actively involved in exploration of oil field and production of renewable energy to ensure that the products are available for the growing market share.

The second component is customer relation management as observed in the model. The organization is keen to understand its customer needs, improve product and services in order to satisfy them through sale of benefits and value. This shows that the organization is keen to customer winning and retention.

The third and last component of the unbundling pattern observed in the model is infrastructure management. It is evident in the model that the organization is dedicated to massive capital invest to have large operations that will give it an economies of scale advantage. This way it will be able to offer competitive prices to its customers.

Design of the British Petroleum business model

The organization uses a business model canvas that was proposed by Osterwalder (2010) and has nine building activities. This model has highlighted all the essential activities of the British Petroleum USA for the performance and achievement of its objectives. The model starts by segmenting the customers and the value proposition that the organization is to offer. It then states the channels through which the value proposition will reach the segmented customers, relationship of the customers and the organization and the revenue streams to be received by the company. The model also indicates the key activities and resources for the production of the value proposition. In addition, the business model canvas highlights the key partners and cost structure that will be required to produce the value proposition effectively and efficiently.

Business Strategies

The organization has partnered with several other organizations that are important to the smooth running of the company (Li, Zhu& Lu, 2014). By partnering the company is able to reduce risks in its operations and therefore be more reliable and convenient to customers.

The organization has also integrated the political aspect in it operations. In the value proposition, it incorporates respect of law and regulations of the states to avoid inconveniences from the authorities who can externally affect the running of the organization.

The organization also pursues corporate social responsibility by offering safety to workforce and the communities within it span of operation. This way the company is able to establish it brand by getting more acceptance from the public. This strategy ensures that the organization retains talents in the work force and strengthens it brand (Teece, 2010).


Organizational Metaphor 

The British Petroleum USA can be interpreted as an Organismic organization. The organization is much concerned with it survival today and in the future. The organization pays attention to the safety of the workforce and the community (Matejek & Gössling, 2014). It is noted that the organization encourages teamwork amongst employees that makes work in the organization meaningful and morale to work. The organization is also concerned with the environment it operates .It keen to invest in renewable energy business so that it can be able to survive in the future in case of change of legislation. According to Morgan G. (1986), an organization that shows these characteristics is best referred to as an organismic organization.

Frames of British Petroleum USA

British Petroleum USA can be better understood by use of Bolman and Deal (2003) organizational frames. They outlined the four frames of an organization. The four frames incorporated in the British Petroleum USA are Structural, Human Resource, Symbols and Infrastructure.

First is the Structural frame. This frame includes the formal division of tasks, goals, sequence of work and control to enhance success in the organization. The business model has highlighted the key activities that are essential in delivering the value proposition of the organization. This frame ensures that there is specialization and division of labour to increase efficiency in the organization’s operations. This frame also leads to bureaucracy in the British Petroleum USA company.

Second is the Human Resource frame. This frame comprises of the peoples’ skills, energy, attitudes and commitment in the service to the organization. British Petroleum USA has a workforce of 79800 employees. The organization is dedicated to their safety and retention. Adoption and emphasis way the company will be able to always have an experienced, skilled and motivated workforce who will contribute to the achievement of the predetermined goals.

The third frame is the Political Frame. This frame is made of the organization’s ability to use it power to negotiate, bargaining and influence toward acquisition of scare resources. This frame is highly used to acquire scarce resources important to the organization. British Petroleum uses this frame to acquire and maintain prime customers for instance military. The organization also uses this frame to get exploration rights of oil from governments.

The fourth and last frame is Symbolic Frame. This frame differentiates an organization from one another by endorsing a culture, belief or myths that can be used to associate the company’s products or services with the Organization’s values. Symbols in the organization help clarify issues and bring predictability in the organization.



Bolman, L, & Deal, T. (2003). Reframing organizations:  Artistry, choice, and leadership (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass [Chapter 1.].

Gerrit R.(2016). The Business Model Pattern Database: A tool for systematic business model innovation. Int.j.innov.mgt:1750004.web

Li, S., Zhu, J., & Lu, K(2014). A Case Study in Strategic Sustainability: British Petroleum (BP) Company. In 2014 International Conference on Information, Business and Education Technology (ICIBET 2014).Atlantis Press.

Matejek, S., &Gössling, T. (2014). Beyond legitimacy: A case study in BP’s “green lashing”. Journal of business ethics, 120(4), 571-584.

Morgan, G.(1986). Images of Organization. Newbury Park,CA: Sage Publications Inc.

Osterwalder A., Y., Alan S. and 470 practitioners from 45 countries.(2010).Business Model Generation. Self published.

Osterwalder A.(2004). The Business Model Ontology; A proposition in a Design Science Approach.PHD thesis University of Lausanne.

Rudes D. S.(2011). Framing Organizational Reform: Misalignments And Dispute Among Parole And Union Middle Managers.

Teece D. J. (2010) .Business Models, Business Strategy And Innovation. Long range planning 43.2-3:172-194

Xiao R. (2012). Using Pattern Perspective to model Key Business. Process Performance. JSW 7.3


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