Managing the Dynamics of Platforms and Ecosystems

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    What’s the tally? An Investigation into the Field(s) of Dominant Designs and Platforms
    ( 2022-01-04) Sobota, Vladimir ; Ortt, Roland J. ; Van De Kaa, Geerten ; Van Beers, Cees
    Dominant designs and platforms are two distinct scientific fields in the analysis of innovation of and competition between technologies. Responding to calls for more synthesis in management research, we study the commonalities and differences between the fields surrounding these concepts. To this end, we develop a framework for the comparison of concepts and apply it to dominant designs and platforms. We show that dominant designs and platforms differ most prominently regarding their central mechanisms, their unit and level of analysis, and the timeframe. We will elaborate how they are complementary by developing a research agenda.
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    Visualizing the Maturing Global API Ecosystem
    ( 2022-01-04) Heshmatisafa, Saeid ; Huhtamäki, Jukka ; Seppänen, Marko
    Platform boundary resources are prominent digital strategy tools for companies to disclose business assets to partners and consumers. However, the platform boundary resources of API ecosystems are dependent on API usage and characteristics as well as the social environment around them. This study focuses on the global API ecosystem guided by two assumptions: 1) geographic proximity is distorted, and the global API ecosystem is decentralized in a digitally connected world, and 2) open co-innovation is somewhat prone to geographic nearness and centralized. A data-driven network analysis was utilized to depict the global and regional geolocation of more than 22,000 APIs and 6,000 mashups. First, the global locations of API providers were examined. Next, the connectivity of API mashups at global and regional levels was studied. The findings suggest that APIs are distributed globally, and the API ecosystem has moved from emerging to mature; however, the distribution is skewed towards entrepreneurial regions in North America. Finally, the theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
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    Vertical Integration of Digital Platforms in the Agricultural Industry
    ( 2022-01-04) Saroniemi, Roni ; Koskinen, Kari ; Tuunainen, Virpi
    Vertical integration is a strategic option for a company that aims to have direct control over its value chain. With regards to digital platforms, vertical integration as a strategy is, to an extent, paradoxical, since platforms’ operating models are largely based on external actors with whom the platform owners have only an arm’s-length relationship. Many large digital platform companies have pursued vertical integration and research has been conducted on the subject, yet it is often industry-agnostic and focuses on large digital platform companies. We sought to identify the vertical integration strategies of digital platforms in the agricultural industry, as well as understand the firm- and industry-level drivers behind them. The results showed that these drivers impact vertical integration of digital platforms, which occurs along the value chain of a platform’s user groups and not solely along that of the platform. Furthermore, digitalization and data open new avenues for vertical integration.
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    Uncertainty in Digital Platforms and Ecosystems: The Dynamic Interplay Between Knowledge Problems
    ( 2022-01-04) Alsahli, Amal ; Bantan, May
    The information systems literature has long argued that innovation drives uncertainties in organizations. While extant research has extensively studied knowledge problems in the traditional firm setting and their implications on organizing and decision making, an updated understanding is required in relation to uncertainties within digital platforms and ecosystems, where organizational boundaries are blurred and downstream movement is becoming more popular. To address this issue, we explore the different dimensions of uncertainties in the digital platforms and ecosystems by classifying them based on the knowledge problems that dominantly contribute to their formation and the platform actors facing such uncertainties. A higher-level uncertainty emerges as a result of the interactions within these dimensions. In addition, the interactions evolve in longitudinal and dynamic patterns due to the complex nature of digital platforms and ecosystems.
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    Producing Generative Digital Data Objects: An Empirical Study on COVID-19 Data Flows in Online Communities
    ( 2022-01-04) Blotenberg, Caroline ; Kari, Arthur ; Kral, Björn ; Nuernberger, Philipp ; Rothe, Hannes
    Digital data objects on viruses have played a pivotal role in the fight against COVID-19, leading to healthcare innovation such as new diagnostics, vaccines, and societal intervention strategies. To effectively achieve this, scientists access viral data from online communities (OCs). The social-interactionist view on generativity, however, has put little emphasis on data. We argue that generativity on data depends on the number of data instances, data timeliness, and completeness of data classes. We integrated and analyzed eight OCs containing SARS-CoV-2 nucleotide sequences to explore how community structures influence generativity, revealing considerable differences between OCs. By assessing provided data classes from user perspectives, we found that generativity was limited in two important ways: When required data classes were either insufficiently collected or not made available by OC providers. Our findings highlight that OC providers control generativity of data objects and provide guidance for scientists selecting OCs for their research.
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    Essential Platform Infrastructure and the Need for Regulation
    ( 2022-01-04) Hermes, Sebastian ; Schreieck, Maximilian ; Thatcher, Jason
    Digital platforms have become a ubiquitous phenomenon and sparked innovation in various industries. However, digital platforms have also raised concerns about competition, privacy, labor protection, democracy, and negative externalities. This is why platform regulation has gained significant attention from research and practice in recent years. Regulators face the challenge of predicting the importance of a new platform of investigation with limited resources and a growing platform economy. To address this challenge, we develop a framework building on infrastructural properties, platform properties, and the notion of essentiality. We derive the concept of essential platform infrastructure to determine the need for regulation. We propose that the degree of essentiality of a digital platform and its appropriation of infrastructural properties are two dimensions indicating the magnitude of potential damage that a platform can cause in case it abuses its power, thereby indicating an increased need for regulation.
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    Design Principles for Engagement Platforms – Design Knowledge on Fostering Value Co-Creation
    ( 2022-01-04) Michalke, Simon ; Lohrenz, Lisa ; Lattemann, Christoph ; Robra-Bissantz, Susanne
    As the importance of services increases, so does the need for suitable information technology (IT) to support the exchange of resources in interactive value creation processes (co-creation). Engagement platforms (EPs) have been identified as a suitable IT solution, as they enable and foster value co-creation of heterogeneous actors. However, few guidelines exist on how to design for value co-creation on EPs. To address this problem, we employed the Design Science Research approach. We first conducted a literature review and then interviewed 24 experts from successful EP companies. As a result, we derived four design principles and evaluated them for further iterations. This study elaborates our findings and implications for practitioners and scholars seeking knowledge on how to design EPs resulting from three completed design cycles.
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    Designing the Metaverse
    ( 2022-01-04) Seidel, Stefan ; Berente, Nicholas ; Nickerson, Jeffrey ; Yepes, Gregory
    The Metaverse, a term coined in science fiction, is now being discussed seriously as a new form of infrastructure. The Metaverse is intended to make possible thematically interconnected immersive experiences. In this paper, we conceptualize the Metaverse as a meta design space. Within this space, designers create various interconnected design spaces. We highlight how the key dimensions of human experience (time, space, actors, and artifacts) each introduce tensions for making decisions in those design spaces, and we highlight the transitions between design spaces. This conceptual language opens up this novel and emergent phenomenon both to those wishing to design new disruptive technolo-gies and those seeking to improve existing platform strategies. We conclude by highlighting how the Metaverse will not only comprise immersive virtual experiences but also transitions between physical and virtual experiences.
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    Complementor participation in platforms: Evidence from the 7th and 8th Generations of Video Game Consoles
    ( 2022-01-04) Sobota, Vladimir ; Van De Kaa, Geerten ; De Reuver, Mark ; Prajapati, Ranjan
    This paper analyses how the factors breadth of content offerings, boundary resources, and exclusive content explain complementor participation in plat-form-based ecosystems, in the context of video game consoles. Fixed effects regressions on a panel com-prising two generations of consoles across six plat-forms show that the breadth of content offerings posi-tively affects complementor participation. We find that breadth of content offerings, but not boundary resources and exclusive content, are positively related to complementor participation. When studied in one model, breadth of content offerings dominates the relationship. Our results show how complementor ecosystems can be orchestrated to proliferate a varie-ty of complementary product offerings.
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    Comparing Platform Core Features with Third-Party Complements. Machine-Learning Evidence from Apple iOS.
    ( 2022-01-04) Halckenhaeusser, André ; Mann, Felix ; Foerderer, Jens ; Hoffmann, Philipp
    Software-based platforms have become omnipresent both in private and professional contexts. Platform owners constantly invest in platform evolution in that they update the technological core and enrich its feature base. The question arises how such platform core feature changes can be compared with third-party complements. We investigate this question in the context of an exploratory machine-learning based case study on Apple’s mobile platform iOS. By analyzing the changes to iOS over time and developing an approach using natural language processing, we are able identify functional overlaps between platform core features and complements. Our results suggest that platform core features are indeed functionally related to those of complementors and that the strategy of releasing novel platform core features changes over time. Besides, our approach enables us to assign platform core features to app categories. The analysis of functional overlaps raises relevant implications for research and practice.