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Strategic Management Society 40th Virtual Conference: Digital Platforms and Ecosystems

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Fabien Rezac - Participant

Official description:
Digital platforms and their associated ecosystems have become central in our digital economy, with top digital platform-owning firms reaching market capitalisation levels of over 1 trillion US dollars. Such “big tech” firms act as hub firms that orchestrate transactions and innovation across business ecosystems composed of hundreds of thousands of complementors and partners, akin to private networked economies. Meanwhile, entire sectors are becoming transformed through digitalization, and they evolve into new coalitions of firms that cut across established sectors. Organizations are increasingly attempting to create and capture value in new ways involving data capture, data access and exchange, augmented by AI and machine learning technologies. They try out and develop new models of value capture, often disrupting incumbents, shaking existing industry structures, but also profoundly disrupting existing institutional arrangements. This in turn provokes increased societal angst against so-called “surveillance capitalism” and increase an appetite for regulation and oversight.

Given this fast-evolving technological and economic landscape, digital platforms and ecosystems are fast becoming important topics in strategy research as well as strategy practice. Digital platform-owning firms together with digital ecosystems embody new kinds of economic relationships which pose important strategic questions. As they create (and capture) value in new ways, they also present new ways that can potentially reconcile firms’ incentives and collective organization. But they also demonstrate the possibility of abuse of power in digital ecosystems, potentially flouting user data privacy, implementing opaque business-to-business practices, or snuffing out entry and competition. These developments pose profound questions on firms strategy, the boundaries of the firm, the role and responsibilities of firms and collective organizations.

The purpose of this Extension, organised jointly by the Oxford University Saïd Business School and the University of Surrey Business School, is to explore the strategic issues associated with the digital economy and the associated increased centrality of digital platforms and ecosystems, by outlining the state of our current understanding and then interacting with practice. Panels will engage experts to discuss the latest insights, particularly as they relate to the digital transformation of companies and sectors, and the new strategic issues associated with digital competition, innovation, power and regulation. Topics will include (1) platform strategy and business model design; (2) data as a resource in firm strategy; (3) ecosystem design, growth and governance; and (4) platforms, regulation and power abuse.
23 Oct 2020


WorkshopStrategic Management Society 40th Virtual Conference: Digital Platforms and Ecosystems
Internet address


  • Strategic Management Society, Digital ecosystems, Digital platforms

ID: 198415183