Business Development Characteristics: Findings from Literature


Business Development Characteristics: Findings from Literature


Michael Sturm

Classification JEL

M10, M31


In an environment of severe competition and dynamic technological- and market change, companies need to maintain their competitive advantage. The management of growth, as one of the strategic options of firms, has become an entrepreneurial key challenge. Using Business Development (BD), an evolving management concept, the firm identifies and manages opportunities for potential growth. Although the term “business development” is frequently used in today’s business world, the concept itself is rarely defined or empirically tested. Based on a limited but growing body of BD-related academic publications, the purpose of this literature review is to present a comprehensive definition of the term BD. Key characteristics are summarized in sixteen categories and consolidated under five major BD fields: management, organization, capability, innovation and process. The analysis identified several gaps in the BD literature. Firstly, no BD specific methods and guidelines are available to explain how companies initiate organizational stretching and move into new growth directions. Secondly, no comprehensive BD framework seems to be available in the literature. Thirdly, some of the identified BD capabilities are not reflected in the state-of-the-art capability framework. Lastly, no comprising BD process model is available which integrates the factors type of BD process and the type of innovation.


business development, business development capabilities, business development process, innovation.

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Please cite this article as: Michael Sturm (2015) Business Development Characteristics: Findings from Literature. International Conference on Marketing and Business Development.