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Bridging differing perspectives on technological platforms: Toward an integrative framework

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  • Gawer, Annabelle

Abstract

An integrative framework is proposed to advance management research on technological platforms, bridging two theoretical perspectives: economics, which sees platforms as double-sided markets, and engineering design, which sees platforms as technological architectures. While the economic perspective informs our understanding of platform competition, the engineering design perspective informs our view of platform innovation. The article argues that platforms can be usefully conceptualized as evolving organizations or meta-organizations that: (1) federate and coordinate constitutive agents who can innovate and compete; (2) create value by generating and harnessing economies of scope in supply or/and in demand; and (3) entail a modular technological architecture composed of a core and a periphery. In support of this conceptualization, a classification system is presented, indicating that technological platforms appear in a variety of organizational forms: within firms, across supply chains, and across industry innovation ecosystems. As an illustration, the framework is then applied to derive a simple model highlighting patterns of interaction between platform innovation and competition, yielding hypotheses that could be tested empirically by future scholars.

Suggested Citation

  • Gawer, Annabelle, 2014. "Bridging differing perspectives on technological platforms: Toward an integrative framework," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(7), pages 1239-1249.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:43:y:2014:i:7:p:1239-1249
    DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2014.03.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Claude Paraponaris, 2017. "Plateformes numériques, conception ouverte et emploi," Post-Print halshs-01614430, HAL.
    2. de Reuver, Mark & Sørensen, Carsten & Basole, Rahul C., 2017. "The digital platform: a research agenda," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 80669, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Choia, Goya & Nam, Changi & Kim, Seongcheol, 2017. "The Impacts of Mobile Platform Openness on Application Developers' Intention to Continuously Use a Platform: From an Ecosystem Perspective," 28th European Regional ITS Conference, Passau 2017 169455, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:734-:d:97388 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Kokshagina, Olga & Gillier, Thomas & Cogez, Patrick & Le Masson, Pascal & Weil, Benoit, 2017. "Using innovation contests to promote the development of generic technologies," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 152-164.
    6. repec:eee:proeco:v:192:y:2017:i:c:p:54-65 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:1:p:141-160 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:eee:jbrese:v:84:y:2018:i:c:p:196-205 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Amel Attour & Pierre Barbaroux, 2015. "Le rôle des processus de connaissances dans le cycle de vie d'un écosystème d'affaires," Post-Print halshs-01244401, HAL.
    10. repec:wsi:ijitmx:v:14:y:2017:i:05:n:s0219877017500304 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Olga Kokshagina & Pascal Le Masson & Benoit Weil, 2015. "Portfolio management in double unknown situations: technological platformsand the role of cross-application managers," Post-Print hal-01199929, HAL.
    12. Leonid Gitelman & Daniil Sandler & Mikhail Kozhevnikov, 2016. "University Technology Platform of Anticipatory Learning," Economy of region, Centre for Economic Security, Institute of Economics of Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, vol. 1(1), pages 257-266.
    13. Lampón, Jesús F. & Cabanelas, Pablo & Frigant, Vincent, 2017. "The new automobile modular platforms: from the product architecture to the manufacturing network approach," MPRA Paper 79160, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:13:p:2579-2598 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Jean Paul Simon, 2016. "How to Catch a Unicorn: An exploration of the universe of tech companies with high market capitalisation," JRC Working Papers JRC100719, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    16. den Hartigh, Erik & Ortt, J. Roland & van de Kaa, Geerten & Stolwijk, Claire C.M., 2016. "Platform control during battles for market dominance: The case of Apple versus IBM in the early personal computer industry," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 48, pages 4-12.
    17. Manning, Stephan & Reinecke, Juliane, 2016. "A modular governance architecture in-the-making: How transnational standard-setters govern sustainability transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(3), pages 618-633.
    18. Papachristos, George, 2017. "Diversity in technology competition: The link between platforms and sociotechnical transitions," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 291-306.
    19. Rietveld, G.J. & Eggers, J.P., 2016. "Demand Heterogeneity and the Adoption of Platform Complements," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2016-003-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    20. Sabine Brunswicker & Sorin Adam Matei & Michael Zentner & Lynn Zentner & Gerhard Klimeck, 2017. "Creating impact in the digital space: digital practice dependency in communities of digital scientific innovations," Scientometrics, Springer;Akadémiai Kiadó, vol. 110(1), pages 417-442, January.
    21. Ted Saarikko, 2016. "Platform Provider by Accident," Business & Information Systems Engineering: The International Journal of WIRTSCHAFTSINFORMATIK, Springer;Gesellschaft für Informatik e.V. (GI), vol. 58(3), pages 177-191, May.
    22. Julien Legrand & Pascal Le Masson & Maxime Thomas & Benoît Weil, 2017. "Rise And Fall Of Platforms: Systematic Analysis Of Platform Dynamics Thanks To Axiomatic Design," Post-Print hal-01630672, HAL.

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