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Unraveling Platform Strategies: A Review from an Organizational Ambidexterity Perspective

Xing Wan (), Javier Cenamor (), Geoffrey Parker () and Marshall Van Alstyne ()
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Xing Wan: School of Business Administration, Nanjing University of Finance and Economics, Nanjing 210023, China
Javier Cenamor: Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå 97187, Sweden
Geoffrey Parker: Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 03755, USA
Marshall Van Alstyne: Questrom School of Business, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Sustainability, 2017, vol. 9, issue 5, 1-18

Abstract: Platform strategies, which highlight the interdependence in and evolution of business ecosystems, are increasingly relevant for sustainable business models in the digital era. So far, platform research has existed as a fragmented body of insights from different fields, but an integrated theoretical perspective can lead to a more coherent understanding of the research overall. Organizational ambidexterity emphasizes the balance between exploration and exploitation, which is particularly conducive to understanding the sustainability of a firm. Using an organizational ambidexterity perspective, the authors analyze five platform strategies: pricing, openness, integration, differentiation, and envelopment. This paper provides a systematic review of the theoretical and empirical studies in leading management, economics, and information systems journals from 2000 to 2016. The findings show that platform strategies can help platform owners achieve ambidexterity by domain, temporal, and organizational separation. Finally, this paper proposes an agenda for future research.

Keywords: platform strategies; pricing; openness; integration; differentiation; envelopment; organizational ambidexterity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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