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Call for papers - Collaboration and Competition in Business Ecosystems

For publication in: Advances in Strategic Management, Volume 30 (2013)

Volume editors

Ron Adner, Joanne Oxley and Brian Silverman

Rapid technological change, globalization, and the recent period of financial turbulence have brought us to a point in history where managers are painfully aware that ‘no man [or firm] is an island.’ Business success, in both the profit- and non-profit sectors, increasingly relies on collaboration with upstream suppliers, alliance partners, and downstream complementors, perhaps as much as it does on a firm’s own actions, or those of its traditional rivals. This volume of Advances in Strategic Management is devoted to research aimed at understanding the competitive and collaborative challenges that firms face as they manage interactions with different actors in such dynamic environments, in what are coming to be referred to as business or innovation ‘ecosystems’ (Iansiti & Levien 2004; Adner and Kapoor 2010; Adner 2012).

Just as the transition from vertically integrated firms to supply chains raised new issues for the strategy field, so too does the transition from supply chains to ecosystems in which value creation depends on successfully navigating dependencies across a set of multilateral stakeholders. With this transition, consideration shifts from dyads to coalitions, from bilateral governance to multilateral coordination, and from hierarchical relationships to mutual dependence and induced cooperation. These shifts naturally attract the attention of network analysts and alliance scholars who have made progress in understanding how innovation and value are created in collaborative networks (e.g., Hughes 1983; Powell et al 1996; Dyer & Singh 1998). Ecosystem analysis furthers this progress by focusing attention on the explicit structure of interdependence (e.g., who hands off to whom) that underlies a collaborative network, as well as on the distinct roles of individual actors within an innovation system.

We seek papers that explore how business ecosystems evolve, how value is created and captured within an ecosystem, and how competition among ecosystems plays out. We also seek to explore and develop linkages with established and emergent strategy research streams focusing on alliances and networks, supply chain management, co-opetition, open innovation, multi-sided markets, platform competition, etc. We welcome contributions that tackle these and related issues from a variety of theoretical and empirical perspectives. Contributions to this ASM volume may take a range of forms, may focus on different levels of analysis, and may employ both quantitative and qualitative approaches. However, all papers should take interdependence among complementary players in innovation systems seriously and should examine how these interdependencies impact value creation and capture.

Potential research topics might include but are not limited to:

  • How does the structure of dependence in an ecosystem shape the way that different actors form coalitions and bargain over value capture?
  • How does the value of vertical integration or different types of partnerships change as ecosystems evolve?
  • How do different actors within innovation ecosystems respond and adapt to external shocks and technological discontinuities?
  • How does the construct of competitive advantage translate from the level of individual firms to the level of ecosystems and coalitions of participating firms?
  • How does the nature of leadership within an ecosystem change over time, and how does it relate to competition across ecosystems?

Submission Guidelines

Submissions are due no later than October 15, 2012. All papers submitted must represent original research not previously published elsewhere. All submissions will be subject to in-depth review, and editorial decisions and revision requests will be communicated to authors by November 30, 2012. Authors going forward to the second review round will be invited to present their revised paper at a conference in January 2013 (exact date and location TBD).

For questions regarding the content of this ASM volume, the editorial process, or to submit a paper, please contact one of the volume editors:

Ron Adner
[email protected]

Joanne Oxley
[email protected]

Brian Silverman
[email protected]

References

Adner, R. (2012), The wide lens: A new strategy for innovation, New York, NY: Penguin Books

Adner, R. and Kapoor, R. (2010), "Value creation in innovation ecosystems: How the structure of technological interdependence affects firm performance in new technology generations", Strategic Management Journal, vol. 31, pp. 306-333.

Dyer, J. H. and Singh H. (1998), "The relational view: Cooperative strategy and sources of interorganizational competitive advantage", Academy of Management Review, vol. 23 no. 4, pp. 660-679.

Hughes, T.P. (1983), Networks of power: Electrification in western society 1880-1930, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Iansiti, M. and Levien R. (2004), The keystone advantage: What the new dynamics of business ecosystems mean for strategy, innovation, and sustainability, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Powell, W. W., Koput, K. W. and Smith-Doerr, L. (1996), "Interorganizational collaboration and the locus of innovation: Networks of learning in biotechnology", Administrative Science Quarterly, vol. 41 no. 1, pp. 116-145.