Skip to main content

Exploring aged care business models: a typological study


Australian providers of aged care are facing a rapidly ageing population and growth in demand for services. Beyond a sheer increase in consumers and major regulatory changes from Federal Government, many customers are becoming progressively discontented with a medically dominated model of care provision. This period of turbulence presents an opportunity for new entrants and forward-thinking organisations to disrupt the market by designing a more compelling value offering. Under this line of inquiry, the researchers conducted a qualitative content analysis study of over 37 Australian aged care organisations, clustering providers into six business model typologies. The study revealed that providers of aged care are becoming increasingly aware of emerging customer needs, and, in addressing these needs, are seeking to establish innovative models of care provision. This paper therefore presents a future model of care, along with implications for practice and policy.

Corresponding author
Address for correspondence: Erez Nusem, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George St, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia E-mail:
Hide All
Allison, M. 2012. Bupa Set to Become Australia's Largest Private Aged Care Provider. Media release, 21 December, Media and Corporate Communications Manager, BUPA. Available online at [Accessed 18 December 2014].
Australian Associated Press 2007. UK's BUPA Enters Aussie Aged Care Sector. Media release, 3 October. Available online at [Accessed 18 December 2014].
Beatty, S. and Talpade, S. 1994. Adolescent influence in family decision making: a replication with extension. Journal of Consumer Research, 21, 2, 332–41.
Boillat, T. and Legner, C. 2013. From on-premise software to cloud services: the impact of cloud computing on enterprise software vendors’ business models. Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research, 8, 3, 3958.
Bowen, H. and Wiersema, M. 1999. Matching method to paradigm in strategy research: limitations of cross-sectional analysis and some methodological alternatives. Strategic Management Journal, 20, 7, 625–36.
Bowling, A., Dieppe, P., Hanlon, P. and Muirie, J. 2005. What is successful ageing and who should define it? BMJ: British Medical Journal, 331, 7531, 1548–51.
Bury, M. and Taylor, D. 2008. Towards a theory of care transition: from medical dominance to managed consumerism. Social Theory and Health, 6, 3, 201–19.
Buys, L. and Miller, E. 2012. Active ageing: developing a quantitative multidimensional measure. In Boulton-Lewis, G. and Tam, M. (eds), Active Ageing, Active Learning. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 103–18.
Christensen, K., Doblhammer, G., Rau, R. and Vaupel, J. W. 2009. Ageing populations: the challenges ahead. Lancet, 374, 9696, 1196–208.
Department of Health and Ageing 2012. Living Longer. Living Better. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra.
Elo, S. and Kyngäs, H. 2008. The qualitative content analysis process. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 62, 1, 107–15.
Head, B. 2013. New era dawns for aged care. Media release, 4 April. Business Review Weekly, 3840.
Hope, P., Bamford, S. M., Beales, S., Brett, K., Kneale, D., Macdonnel, M. and McKeon, A. 2012. Creating Sustainable Health and Care Systems in Ageing Societies. Report of the Ageing Societies Working Group, The Global Health Policy Summit.
Kaye, L. W., Butler, S. S. and Webster, N. M. 2003. Toward a productive ageing paradigm for geriatric practice. Ageing International, 28, 2, 200–13.
King, D. 2007. Rethinking the care–market relationship in care provider organisations. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 42, 2, 199212.
King, D., Mavromaras, K., Wei, Z., He, B., Healy, J., Macaitis, K., Moskos, M. and Smith, L. 2012. The Aged Care Workforce 2012: Final Report. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing, Canberra.
KPMG International 2013. An Uncertain Age: Reimagining Long Term Care in the 21st Century. KPMG International, Amstelveen, Netherlands.
Llewellyn, G., Balandin, S., Dew, A. and McConnell, D. 2004. Promoting healthy, productive ageing: plan early, plan well. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 29, 4, 366–9.
Mayhew, L. 2011. Increasing longevity and the economic value of healthy ageing and longer working. In Stillwell, J. and Clarke, M. (eds), Population Dynamics and Projection Methods. Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 165–92.
Mayring, P. 2004. Qualitative content analysis. In Flick, U., Kardorff, E. V. and Steinke, I (eds), A Companion to Qualitative Research. Sage, London, 266–9.
McDonald, R. E. 2007. An investigation of innovation in nonprofit organizations: the role of organizational mission. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 36, 2, 256–81.
Merlino, J. and Raman, A. 2013. Health care's service fanatics. Harvard Business Review, 91, 5, 108–16.
Mulgan, G. and Albury, D. 2003. Innovation in the Public Sector. HM Government Paper, Prime Minister's Strategy Unit, London.
Osterwalder, A. 2004. The business model ontology: a proposition in a design science approach. PhD thesis, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Osterwalder, A. and Pigneur, Y. 2010. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Wiley, Hoboken, New Jersey.
Peel, N., Bartlett, H. and McClure, R. 2004. Healthy ageing: how is it defined and measured? Australasian Journal on Ageing, 23, 3, 115–9.
Prahalad, C. and Ramaswamy, V. 2004. Co-creation experiences: the next practice in value creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18, 3, 513.
Ratcliffe, J., Laver, K., Couzner, L., Cameron, I. D., Gray, L. and Crotty, M. 2010. Not just about costs: the role of health economics in facilitating decision making in aged care. Age and Ageing, 39, 4, 426–9.
Richardson, S. and Martin, B. 2004. The Care of Older Australians: A Picture of the Residential Aged Care Workforce. Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.
Rowe, J. and Kahn, R. 1997. Successful aging. The Gerontologist, 37, 4, 433–40.
Salomon, J. A., Wang, H., Freeman, M. K., Vos, T., Flaxman, A. D., Lopez, A. D. and Murray, C. J. L. 2012. Healthy life expectancy for 187 countries, 1990–2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden Disease Study 2010. Lancet, 380, 9859, 2144–62.
Simons, R. 2010. Stress-test your strategy: the 7 questions to ask. Harvard Business Review, 88, 11, 93100.
Sok, P. and O'Cass, A. 2011. Achieving superior innovation-based performance outcomes in SMEs through innovation resource–capability complementarity. Industrial Marketing Management, 40, 8, 1285–93.
Thurmond, V. A. 2001. The point of triangulation. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 33, 3, 253–8.
Urban, R. 2012. Bupa in $250 m aged care takeover. The Australian Business Review, 22 December. Available online at [Accessed 18 December 2014].
Van den Hoonaard, W. C. 2008. Theoretical Sampling. In Given, L. M. (ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods. Sage, Thousand Oaks, California, 874–75.
Walker, A. 2006. Active ageing in employment: its meaning and potential. Asia-Pacific Review, 13, 1, 7893.
Weerawardena, J., McDonald, R. E. and Mort, G. S. 2010. Sustainability of nonprofit organizations: an empirical investigation. Journal of World Business, 45, 4, 346–56.
Weerawardena, J. and Mort, G. S. 2001. Learning, innovation and competitive advantage in not-for-profit aged care marketing: a conceptual model and research propositions. Journal of Nonprofit and Public Sector Marketing, 9, 3, 3741.
World Health Organization 2002. Active ageing: a policy framework. The Aging Male, 5, 1, 137.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Ageing & Society
  • ISSN: 0144-686X
  • EISSN: 1469-1779
  • URL: /core/journals/ageing-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed