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The Bloody Taboo

Werth, Carla LU and Bergendal, Johanna LU (2017) BUSN09 20171
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
The aim of this thesis is to increase the understanding of what characterizes business models for
companies selling stigmatized products in an industry experiencing a diminishing taboo. A
further focus in this study is how the Internet influences the business models for these firms. In
addition, the contextual dimensions that affect the business models are studied. The theoretical
perspectives concern business model theory, taboo, stigmatization, stigmatized products and the
Internet.

A preliminary business model framework was developed based on existing research. The study
was initiated with a literature review to assess existing theory under the following research
domains: business model theory, taboos, stigmatization,... (More)
The aim of this thesis is to increase the understanding of what characterizes business models for
companies selling stigmatized products in an industry experiencing a diminishing taboo. A
further focus in this study is how the Internet influences the business models for these firms. In
addition, the contextual dimensions that affect the business models are studied. The theoretical
perspectives concern business model theory, taboo, stigmatization, stigmatized products and the
Internet.

A preliminary business model framework was developed based on existing research. The study
was initiated with a literature review to assess existing theory under the following research
domains: business model theory, taboos, stigmatization, stigmatized products and theories
concerning the Internet. A multiple-case study of firms selling menstrual cups was conducted in
order to refine, reject and add to existing research, while focus interviews with target customers
were held in order to counterbalance the findings from the case companies. The last step was to
analyze the empirical findings in order to develop the final framework using pattern matching.
As this study has both deductive and inductive elements, the research process of the study as a
whole is considered abductive. The case companies vary in size, years on the market and are
located in five different Western countries, which helped generate a holistic view of the industry.
Our findings are summarized and presented in the final business model framework, which serves
to answer to the purpose of our study.

The final framework concludes that besides the Internet, media coverage, sustainability and the
taboo itself are the contextual dimensions that affect business models of firms selling stigmatized
products in industries with a diminishing taboo. The findings reveal that the external components
of the business models are affected more by the diminishing of a taboo than the internal
components are. The study contributes to the limited research of taboo-laden industries and
stigmatized products from a business perspective. As existing business research focuses on the
marketing of unmentionable products, the holistic business model perspective in this study adds
a broader perspective to previous research on how firms selling stigmatized products are affected
by diminishing taboos. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Werth, Carla LU and Bergendal, Johanna LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A Closer Look at Business Models for Companies Selling Stigmatized Products in Industries with a Diminishing Taboo
course
BUSN09 20171
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Business model theory, Taboo, Stigmatization, Stigmatized products, Unmentionables, the Internet, E-commerce, Menstruation, Menstrual Cup
language
English
id
8919267
date added to LUP
2017-07-03 15:41:47
date last changed
2017-07-03 15:41:47
@misc{8919267,
  abstract     = {The aim of this thesis is to increase the understanding of what characterizes business models for
companies selling stigmatized products in an industry experiencing a diminishing taboo. A
further focus in this study is how the Internet influences the business models for these firms. In
addition, the contextual dimensions that affect the business models are studied. The theoretical
perspectives concern business model theory, taboo, stigmatization, stigmatized products and the
Internet.

A preliminary business model framework was developed based on existing research. The study
was initiated with a literature review to assess existing theory under the following research
domains: business model theory, taboos, stigmatization, stigmatized products and theories
concerning the Internet. A multiple-case study of firms selling menstrual cups was conducted in
order to refine, reject and add to existing research, while focus interviews with target customers
were held in order to counterbalance the findings from the case companies. The last step was to
analyze the empirical findings in order to develop the final framework using pattern matching.
As this study has both deductive and inductive elements, the research process of the study as a
whole is considered abductive. The case companies vary in size, years on the market and are
located in five different Western countries, which helped generate a holistic view of the industry.
Our findings are summarized and presented in the final business model framework, which serves
to answer to the purpose of our study.

The final framework concludes that besides the Internet, media coverage, sustainability and the
taboo itself are the contextual dimensions that affect business models of firms selling stigmatized
products in industries with a diminishing taboo. The findings reveal that the external components
of the business models are affected more by the diminishing of a taboo than the internal
components are. The study contributes to the limited research of taboo-laden industries and
stigmatized products from a business perspective. As existing business research focuses on the
marketing of unmentionable products, the holistic business model perspective in this study adds
a broader perspective to previous research on how firms selling stigmatized products are affected
by diminishing taboos.},
  author       = {Werth, Carla and Bergendal, Johanna},
  keyword      = {Business model theory,Taboo,Stigmatization,Stigmatized products,Unmentionables,the Internet,E-commerce,Menstruation,Menstrual Cup},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {The Bloody Taboo},
  year         = {2017},
}