California Management Review
California Management Review is a premier academic management journal published at UC Berkeley
by Coen van der Geest and Joey van Angeren
Image Credit | Growtika
An open architecture is instrumental for platforms in enabling innovation by complementors. But as complementors deplete the platform architecture’s innovation opportunities, the platform architecture must evolve to reinvigorate the platform’s generative capacity. We underscore the role of complementors in this process by introducing architectural generativity. With architectural generativity, we mean that actively soliciting and selectively incorporating contributions from complementors, as the prime users of the platform architecture, can help evolve the platform in unforeseen ways. Specifically, complementors contribute new ways to facilitate access and suggest better ways to control the platform. We also provide several guidelines to assist managers.