Orchestration and value co-creation in ecosystems : a mixed methods investigation
Date of Issue2017
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Organizations today are increasingly joining ecosystems to avert the threat of extinction as well as to generate more value by harnessing capabilities of other organizations. However, sustainability of such ecosystems has been an ongoing concern. On the one hand, there are challenges during ecosystem evolution which need to be addressed by the keystone organization and on the other hand, members have limited perspective on how their engagement in value co-creational exchanges with the keystone organization can result in continued value for them from the ecosystems. This dissertation takes a mixed methods approach to conduct two studies which explore these two critical aspects of ecosystems tensions in ecosystem evolution and value to members. The first study conducts an in-depth case analysis to explore how the keystone organization manages the evolution of an ecosystem by addressing the emerging tensions. Our findings highlight three tensions that exist during three phases of ecosystem evolution – member enrollment, joint capabilities development, and ecosystem renewal. Our findings also reveal that in addition to the routine orchestration actions which are initiated and driven by the keystone organization to orchestrate evolution, the keystone organization also engages in actions that are in response to the tensions and are taken in consideration with the members’ feedback. These adaptive orchestration actions complement the routine actions for sustainable evolution of the ecosystem. The second study conducts a panel data analysis with fixed-effects to examine how the value co-creation exchanges among the members and the keystone organization influence the value to members over time. Taking a service-dominant view to ecosystems, we explicate three value co-creational exchanges, namely, service exchanges, resource exchanges and relational exchanges that occur between members and the keystone organization and then examine the influence on value to members (economic and non economic). Our findings suggest that participation in different value co-creational exchanges, can bring a wider range of benefits to members, measured beyond changes in their market values. Together, these studies highlight important considerations for building a sustainable ecosystem. While study 1 effectively brings out the role of keystone organization in orchestrating a sustainable ecosystem, study 2 surfaces how members can derive a wide range of value by engaging in value co-creational exchanges with the keystone organization.