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Struggling towards virtuous coevolution: institutional and strategic works of Alibaba in building the Taobao e-commerce ecosystem

Qiang Zhang and Yan Wang ()
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Qiang Zhang: Shanghai University of Engineering Science
Yan Wang: Shanghai Business School

Asian Business & Management, 2018, vol. 17, issue 3, 208-242

Abstract: Abstract The business ecosystem literature has accumulated a rich array of theoretical and empirical insights, which presume a keystone role of the focal company in facilitating virtuous coevolution that synchronises fundamental logics across multi-level fields to secure its competitive advantage. However, scant attention has been paid to the mechanisms underlying keystone strategies. This paper examines the case of Alibaba in building its Taobao ecosystem, drawing on organisational institutionalism theories, to develop a theoretical model that directs attention towards fundamental patterns and configurations of institutionalisation-influencing strategies and utilisation of the constructed institutional foundation to achieve a competitive advantage.

Keywords: Business ecosystem; Virtuous coevolution; Institutional strategy; Business strategy; Alibaba; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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