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The e3 value model

The e3-value model, developed by Gordijn and Akkermans in 2003, is a methodology used for designing and evaluating business models for e-business. It provides a graphical representation of the exchange of value between a network of business actors. The primary focus of the e3-value model is on the value that is created, distributed, and consumed within this network.

Here are some key concepts of the e3-value model:

  1. Value Object: This represents goods, services, or money that are of economic value to at least one of the actors.

  2. Actor: An actor is an economically independent entity that perceives value from its involvement in the business model.

  3. Value Port: A value port is used by an actor to provide or request value objects to or from other actors.

  4. Value Transfer: This represents the exchange of value objects between two actors.

  5. Value Interface: This encapsulates the value ports of an actor and shows how an actor wants to interact (in terms of value exchange) with its environment.

  6. Value Exchange: This represents the potential exchange of value objects between actors.

  7. Value Activity: Value activities are the operations performed by an actor to yield value for other actors.

  8. Market Segment: A market segment is a group of actors who assign economic value to things similarly.

  9. Stakeholder: Stakeholders have an interest in the business model but do not necessarily participate in value exchanges.

One of the strengths of the e3-value model is its emphasis on the analysis of the economic sustainability of a business model. By analyzing the exchange of value between different actors, it allows for the identification of potential imbalances that could compromise the long-term viability of the business model.


The e3-value model has made significant contributions to the understanding and development of business models, particularly in the context of e-business. This includes:

  1. Business Model Visualization: The e3-value model provides a clear, graphical representation of the flows of value within a business network. This has been influential in the development of other business model canvases and visual tools.

  2. Value-Centric Approach: The e3-value model places a strong emphasis on the creation, delivery, and capture of value. This focus on value has since become a central theme in many contemporary business model frameworks and discussions.

  3. Network Perspective: The e3-value model highlights the importance of considering the broader network of actors involved in a business model, not just the focal company. This has informed subsequent research and practice in areas such as ecosystem strategies and platform business models.

  4. Economic Sustainability Analysis: The model’s emphasis on assessing the balance of value exchanges for economic sustainability has contributed to a greater appreciation of this aspect in business model analysis.

  5. E-Business Research: The e3-value model was one of the early models addressing e-business specifically. It provided a structured way to consider the unique dynamics and opportunities of e-business models, and this has shaped research in this area.

Overall, while the e3-value model may not be as widely known or used as some other business model frameworks (like the Business Model Canvas by Osterwalder and Pigneur), its ideas have permeated into many aspects of business model theory and practice.


  • Gordijn, J., Akkermans, J.: Value-based requirements engineering: exploring innovative e-commerce ideas. Requirements engineering 8(2) (2003) 114–134. link.

See also

Page last modified: 2023-05-13 17:58:01