The electronic commerce literature reveals a lack of consensus on the scope of the term ‘business model ’ and therefore the necessary attributes of business models. This creates an obstacle for the development of taxonomical research and problems for academics and professionals relying on the literature for guidance in understanding business models. This paper interrogates the meaning of the term ‘business model’ identified in the electronic commerce literature and the attributes of business models either expressed in or implied by the definitions. The objective is to determine the essence of business models and the necessary and sufficient attributes of business models with a view to forming the constructs of taxonomical research. It is proposed that the necessary infrastructure and competencies that are vital in implementing a given business model are directly derived from the business model itself. Business models should be useful in distinguishing one business from another and in identifying the resources necessary to implement them. The data contained in the business model along with the resource specifications and the chosen business strategy will provide valuable input for information systems development
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