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Managing Platform-Mediated Ecosystems: Investigating ecosystem interdependencies and strategic choices
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The rapid and ubiquitous spread of information technologies (IT) is creating unprecedented effects that challenge traditional fundamentals of the business world. Platform-mediated ecosystems are increasingly attracting the attention of practitioners from diverse industries, from telecommunications to video consoles, as well as academics from different fields ranging from management to economics, and information systems (IS) and innovation management. A platform-mediated ecosystem can be defined broadly as an industrial architecture with an infrastructure in the center that facilitates value co-creation among different agents (platform owners, and providers and users of complementary products) and a set of rules governing their interdependencies. The speed and the magnitude at which platforms diffuse are inspiring numerous analyses from diverse perspectives, mainly focused on drivers of success and ecosystem interdependencies in different contexts. This thesis highlights the importance of detangling the different interdependencies within platform-mediated ecosystems, while building a comprehensive approach based on the ecosystem as a whole. The wide range of platform types and their rapid evolution makes it difficult to establish a consensual categorization of platforms. A common aspect among most of them is that platform-mediated ecosystems usually present network effects that is the value of products depend on the number of peers within the ecosystem. In this sense, the number of adopters, known also as the size of the installed base, in a market has traditionally had a central importance in the literature. The platform-mediated ecosystems, however, are becoming more and more complex due to rising competition. Thus, there is a need for advancing understanding of the fundamentals of platform-mediated ecosystems and the management alternatives inherent in designing such systems which would enable a comprehensive platform approach to be built. Consequently, the main purpose of this thesis is to advance the understanding of the strategic management of platform-mediated ecosystems. Specifically, this thesis aims to unravel the ecosystem interdependencies and to identify strategic choices as a source of competitive advantage. To achieve this aim, different methodologies are applied in this thesis. Specifically, Paper I was based on a structured literature review of relevant papers in platform-mediated ecosystems for the period 2000 through 2014. The empirical analyses conducted in Papers II, III, and IV use different secondary samples from the video console ecosystem. Finally, the results in Paper V were based on a qualitative, multiple case study of global manufacturing firms implementing product-service systems (PSS) through a platform architecture. Overall, the findings within this thesis present the following main theoretical contributions. First, the thesis presents a comprehensive approach toward platform mediated ecosystems covering new ways of value creation and value capture, new governance regimes, and new agents making interdependent choices. Precisely, platform ecosystems offer unprecedented efficiencies and innovation enhancements, and the possibility of establishing rules for new role participation and interaction. Thus, the findings shed light on the fundamentals and future trends in the platform approach. Second, different ecosystem interdependencies may increase the platform adoption and performance. Specifically, the thesis highlights the importance of the positive effects from different agents in the complementary product markets. Accordingly, the findings contribute on unraveling the interdependencies within platform ecosystems. Third, platform performance can be enhanced by exploiting complementarities among strategies and regions. Precisely, the findings show significant complementarities from the joint management of different activities related to the complementary products and the platform, and from the presence in several countries. Consequently, the findings provide strategic choices as a source of competitive advantage. Finally, transformation toward global PSS may be guided by a platform approach, which may be helpful to explain the origins in building a platform ecosystem. In this respect, the findings shed light on how platform-mediated ecosystems are created. In sum, these findings have important implications for researchers in strategic management, economics, and information systems as well as managers from highly innovative industries and traditional sectors under structural transformation. This thesis concludes with the limitations that should be considered when interpreting the findings and some suggestions for future researchers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2015.
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Research subject
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-26396Local ID: e113fcd4-4149-440c-881f-c65e667b828aISBN: 978-91-7583-426-9ISBN: 978-91-7583-427-6 (PDF)OAI: diva2:999558
Godkänd; 2015; 20150917 (javcen); Nedanstående person kommer att disputera för avläggande av teknologie doktorsexamen. Namn: Javier Cenamor Gómez Ämne: Entreprenörskap och innovation/Entrepreneurship and Innovation Avhandling: Managing Platform-Mediated Ecosystems: Investigating Ecosystem Interdependencies and strategic Choises Opponent: Biträdande professor Andreas Larsson, Institutionen för maskinteknik, Blekinge tekniska högskola, Karlskrona. Ordförande: Biträdande professor Vinit Parida, Avd för innovation och design, Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle, Luleå tekniska universitet, Luleå. Tid: Tisdag 10 november, 2015 kl 13.00Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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