Digital Platform Establishment: Navigating Competing Concerns in Emerging Ecosystems

AbstractDigital Platforms impose organizing logics on ecosystems. Dependent on their configuration, they enable certain practices, relationships, and value distribution among actors while preventing alternatives. Incumbent platforms often have a strong power to implement contested configurations since they control access to attractive user groups/markets. However, emerging platforms have a small degree of bargaining power in relation to key actors since they have not yet achieved such a position. Although numerous studies detail governance strategies for incumbent platform ecosystems, research on how platform providers navigate competing concerns in emerging platform ecosystems remain rare. We report on a study of the establishment and continuous dynamics of a digital platform used for service innovation. We inductively identify a pattern of the dynamics in this navigation process, locate four salient tensions driving these dynamics, and provide insights on how the platform provider navigated them.

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