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The Inter-organizational Dynamics of a Platform Ecosystem: Exploring Stakeholder Boundaries
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics. (Swedish Center for Digital Innovation)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics. (Swedish Center for Digital Innovation)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)In: 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, IEEE Computer Society, 2016, 5167-5176 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Internet of Things (IoT) creates a myriad of new business opportunities that focus on collecting, transmitting, and analyzing product data. IoT collaborations bring together diverse firms with separate skill-sets that both produce and utilize digitized data to co-create value. While previous research has explored the technical implications of IoT in great detail, it has largely ignored the business implications of such endeavors. In this paper, we focus on the early stages of the emerging inter-organizational relationships that IoT enables and ask the question: How can the inter-organizational dynamics between disparate actors in an IoT ecosystem be perceived and understood? By conducting a qualitative case study and tracing four types of organizational boundaries: efficiency, power, competence and identity, we show how firm boundaries are emergent, dynamic, and constantly negotiated between firms. Allowing for and understanding this relational interplay is crucial in order for IoT ecosystems to thrive and grow.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society, 2016. 5167-5176 p.
Series
Proceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, ISSN 1060-3425
Keyword [en]
Internet of Things, Organizational Boundaries, Platform Ecosystems, Case Study
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-114440DOI: 10.1109/HICSS.2016.639ISI: 000377358205025ISBN: 978-0-7695-5670-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-114440DiVA: diva2:895446
Conference
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), January 5-8, 2016, Grand Hyatt Kauai
Funder
VINNOVA, 2014-05143
Note

This research is partially financed by the Vinnova project "Uppkopplade Professionella Produkter – Tekniska & Affärsmässiga behov (UPPTA)".

Available from: 2016-01-19 Created: 2016-01-19 Last updated: 2016-11-15Bibliographically approved
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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Saarikko, TedWestergren, Ulrika H.Blomquist, Tomas

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