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Platform establishment: A case study of entrepreneurial alertness
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics.
Hanken School of Economics, Department of Entrepreneurship, Management and Organisation.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Faced with an environment of technological uncertainties, software platforms have gained interest as an enabler of innovative businesses and development processes. Extant research is however largely limited to studies that explore the benefits of mature platforms. Considerably less is known regarding the establishment of platforms. Drawing inspiration from a life-cycle perspective, the purpose of this study is to develop a conceptual model for software platform establishment based on entrepreneurial alertness. We develop a framework based on entrepreneurial alertness that describes four types of awareness: market, resources, technology, and context. Based on a qualitative case study of an emerging platform, we contribute to literature on platform strategy by studying entrepreneurial behavior during the establishment of a software platform. Our study indicates that all four types of awareness are necessary in order to market a platform to customers and attract 3rd party interest.

Keyword [en]
Platform establishment, platform strategy, entrepreneurial alertness, case study
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-127429OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-127429DiVA: diva2:1045887
Available from: 2016-11-11 Created: 2016-11-11 Last updated: 2016-11-15
In thesis
1. An inquiry into the nature and causes of digital platforms
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An inquiry into the nature and causes of digital platforms
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

While the shape and nature of platforms varies across different instances, they pursue common ambitions such as reduction of risk, complexity, or transaction costs. Although initially theorised in industrial contexts, subsequent theorising regarding platform development, platform ecosystems, and platform strategy has drawn upon studies of high-tech industries in general and IT-based platforms in particular. While the inherent malleability of digitised data and digital technology offers possibilities, they also make it difficult to pin down the locus of a low-variety platform core. As such, one of the fundamental properties of digital platforms is rather mundane: to provide stability. With that in mind, this thesis pursues the following research question: How can a digital platform maintain stability for its stakeholders in the face of constant technical change? This thesis utilises affordance theory as a means to operationalise a relational view of digital platform, where stability is assessed in relation to stakeholders rather than technical persistence. This dissertation is based on an interpretive case study, primarily using qualitative data in the form of interviews gathered as part of two separate projects that varied both in scope and orientation. The thesis offers two main contributions. First, the idea of platform stability as derived from low-variety components that are persistent over time is difficult to apply in relation to digital platforms. Rather, we need to approach stability as a composite property, based on the ability of the platform to satisfy technical-, informational-, and social expectations. Hence, stability should not be considered as a fixed or absolute property, but rather a moving target. Second, this thesis suggests that the existing notion of (technical) coring needs to be complemented with information coring and social coring when applied to digital platforms. The proposed concept of information coring expresses the ability to hide complexity and present bottom-line results to the user in a comprehensible manner. Social coring refers to the idea of aligning technical integration and social integration in a platform. A relational perspective applied to digital platforms offers a possible avenue for theorising digital platforms as information systems artefacts rather than the dichotomous relationship between platform-as-architecture and platform-as-marketplace found in extant literature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet, 2016. 118 p.
Series
Research reports in informatics, ISSN 1401-4572 ; RR-16.02
Keyword
Digital platform, platform strategy, platform development, stability, affordance theory, qualitative study
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Information Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-127430 (URN)978-91-7601-600-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-12-07, MA121, MIT-building, Umeå University, Umeå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-11-16 Created: 2016-11-11 Last updated: 2016-11-16Bibliographically approved

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