California Management Review
California Management Review is a premier academic management journal published at UC Berkeley
by Joel West and Paul Olk
Image Credit | Ousa Chea
Orchestrating an ecosystem requires coordination to create value, but prior research has tended to emphasize centralized ecosystem control over solutions involving distributed governance. By studying multilateral public-private collaborations to develop scientific knowledge to find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease, we identify a new model of ecosystem control: indirect and distributed governance using R&D consortia. We report archival and interview data on 46 consortia with overlapping corporate, nonprofit and governmental membership. We find three models of consortia that allow member organizations to jointly orchestrate an ecosystem without centralized control. We discuss the broader implications of this model for orchestrating ecosystems.