California Management Review
California Management Review is a premier academic management journal published at UC Berkeley
by Michael G. Jacobides
Image Credit | Ivan Bandura
As industry boundaries dissolve and digitalization grows apace, ecosystems are becoming increasingly important. Yet for all the excitement and Big-Tech envy, there is little guidance for how to create ecosystems. How should a firm best engage? Should it become a partner to someone else’s ecosystem, or build its own? Should it focus on a broad range of digitally connected services, or narrow down? How should we think about ecosystem value proposition, governance, and complementor choice? And, what is the case for investment in ecosystems? Drawing on recent research and projects with leading firms, this article offers a framework for understanding, engaging in, and building business ecosystems.