Industrial and Corporate Change – Platform-Dependent Entrepreneurship on Digital Platforms: Business

Starts:  Aug 1, 2020 12:00 AM (ET)
Ends:  Sep 1, 2020 11:59 PM (ET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)
Industrial and Corporate Change - Call for Papers

Special Section: Platform-Dependent Entrepreneurship on Digital Platforms: Business Models, Strategies, and Ecosystem Dynamics 
September 1, 2020 – Submission Deadline

Guest Editors
Martin Kenney, Satish Nambisan, Annabelle Gawer, Alberto di Minin, and Mike Wright (in his honor)

For further information: Martin Kenney or Satish Nambisan

Online digital platforms are transforming the environment within which firms and entire industries operate. Until recently, the entrepreneurship and business strategy literatures paid less attention to the impact these platforms will have on entrepreneurship and business (Cutolo and Kenney 2019; Nambisan, 2017; Nambisan, Wright, Feldman, 2019). With some recent exceptions (Curchod et al. 2019; Wen and Zhu 2019; Zhu 2019, Zhu and Liu 2018), research and theorizing is only now recognizing the fundamental differences between traditional and platform-dependent entrepreneurship. This lack of attention is surprising, because seemingly every day, new instances of the ways in which platform firms exert power over their ecosystem members are reported in the media – an industry that itself is struggling with the implications of the platform economy (Kenney and Zysman 2016). Our Special Section solicits articles examining the platform-complementor relationships with particular emphasis on the dynamics that platform complementors or platform-dependent entrepreneurs (PDEs) experience (Cutolo and Kenney 2019; Nambisan and Baron 2019).

Platforms are dependent upon attracting complementors to their ecosystems (Autio et al. 2018; Cusumano et al. 2019; Gawer 2014; Jacobides et al. 2018; Parker et al. 2016). And yet, there is a fundamental power asymmetry between the platform owner and platform-dependent businesses. Businesses dependent upon a platform to access customers often experience a new Knightian uncertainty as the platform owner can unilaterally change any of its operational rules (Cutolo and Kenney 2019). Further, given that digital platforms enable firms to cross national and regional boundaries easily, the implications of such power asymmetry extend to international entrepreneurship too (Nambisan, Zahra, and Luo, 2019).

There have been increasing concerns by policy-makers and regulators about the ability for platforms to develop oligopsony/oligopoly-like relationships with their complementors were first articulated by Lina Khan (2016) regarding Amazon’s relationship with its Marketplace sellers. In May 2019, the US Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission began preliminary investigations into Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google regarding their use of their positions to illegally affect competition. Similarly, European Union competition authorities are investigating anti-competitive behavior on the part of various platforms. In many respects, platforms have become private regulators of complementors in their ecosystems (Boudreau and Hagui 2009). We encourage papers that address the sources and dynamics of how platforms and complementors manage such private regulation.

Potential submission topics
⮚ In what ways have digital platforms transformed the practice of entrepreneurship?
⮚ Who is an entrepreneur in a platform-organized market, e.g., Uber driver, DtoC business owner, YouTube influencer, Airbnb landlord, app writer? In what ways have digital platforms redefined the concept of an ‘entrepreneur’?
⮚ How does a platform’s legitimacy affect entrepreneurs? What are the strategies by which they could shift legitimacy from the platform to themselves?
⮚ How do platforms use technical (APIs and SDKs) and contractual (terms and conditions) aspects of their platforms to manage PDEs?
⮚ How does the relationship between the platform and PDEs shift in the life-cycle of a platform?
⮚ How do these dependencies vary with the type of digital platform and associated ecosystem?
o What are the implications of these dependencies for (a) entrepreneurs; (b) platform owners; (c) regulators; (d) platform users/customers?
⮚ Complementor strategy in digital platform ecosystems:
o What are the strategies (e.g., multihoming, establishing physical stores) that dependent entrepreneurs deploy to manage their dependencies on digital platforms?
o How do dependent entrepreneurs ensure their continued survival and success in a platform environment – one within which platform owners’ strategic moves may redefine market parameters?
o What are the costs and benefits of being dependent upon a digital platform? How should entrepreneurs evaluate these costs/benefits when making (a) product/market decisions and (b) personal life-style decisions?
o How does the platform’s strategies towards its entrepreneur/complementors change as it achieves lock-in?
o How do complementors use a platform’s legitimacy in their own entrepreneurial strategies?
⮚ How are digital platforms transforming industries and markets, and thereby, the nature of entrepreneurship in them?
⮚ How does a platform’s architecture and ecosystem governance promote/constrain
⮚ What are the regulatory and other public policy implications of platform-based ‘dependent entrepreneurship’? What will be the impacts of antitrust and other governmental oversight of digital platforms on the entrepreneurs?
⮚ What have been the impacts of digital platforms on entrepreneurship and economic development in cities and regions? What is the role of local/regional institutions in promoting entrepreneurship in the context of PDEs?

 September 1, 2020 -- Submission deadline
 September 30, 2020 -- Initial decision on desk-rejection
 December 15, 2020 – First round of reviews completed
 March 30, 2021 – Revisions due
 June 30, 2021 – Second round of reviews completed (with either rejects or conditional accepts)
 August 30, 2021 – Revisions due and final decision made
 Publication – Early 2022

Important: When submitting your manuscript, be sure to choose the Berkeley
office option on the ICC submission site and clearly indicate that the submission is
for this Special Issue.

Autio, E., Nambisan, S., Thomas, L. D., & Wright, M. (2018). Digital affordances, spatial affordances, and the genesis of entrepreneurial ecosystems. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 12(1), 72-95.
Boudreau, K. J. & Hagiu, A. (2009). Platform rules: Multi-sided platforms as regulators. In A. Gawer (ed.), Platforms, Markets and Innovation. pp. 163-191. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Curchod, C., Patriotta, G., Cohen, L., & Neysen, N. (2019). Working for an algorithm: Power asymmetries and agency in online work settings. Administrative Science Quarterly.
Cusumano, M. A., Gawer, A., & Yoffie, D. B. (2019). The Business of Platforms: Strategy in the Age of Digital Competition, Innovation, and Power. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
Cutolo, D. and Kenney, M. 2019. The emergence of Platform-Dependent Entrepreneurs: Power asymmetries, risk, and uncertainty. Berkeley Roundtable on the International Economy Working Paper #2019-3.
Gawer, A. (2014). Bridging differing perspectives on technological platforms: Toward an integrative framework. Research Policy, 43(7), 1239-1249.
Jacobides, M. G., Cennamo, C., & Gawer, A. (2018). Towards a theory of ecosystems. Strategic Management Journal 39 (8), 2255-2276.
Kendall, B. and McKinnon, J. D. 2019. U.S. Justice Department Is Preparing Antitrust Investigation of Google. Wall Street Journal (June 2).
Kenney, M., & Zysman, J. (2016). The rise of the platform economy. Issues in Science and Technology, 32(3), 61.
Khan, L. M. (2016). Amazon's antitrust paradox. Yale Law Journal, 126, 710-805.
Nambisan, S. (2017). Digital entrepreneurship: Toward a digital technology perspective of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(6), 1029–1055.
Nambisan, S., & Baron, R. A. (2019). On the costs of digital entrepreneurship: Role conflict, stress, and venture performance in Digital Platform-based Ecosystems. Journal of Business Research (forthcoming).
Nambisan, S., Wright, M., & Feldman, M. (2019). The digital transformation of innovation and entrepreneurship: Progress, challenges and key themes. Research Policy, 48(8), 103773.
Nambisan, S., Zahra, A., & Luo, Y. (2019). Global platforms and ecosystems: implications for international business theories. Journal of International Business Studies, 50(9), 1464-1486.
Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M., & Choudary, S. P. (2016). Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy and How to Make Them Work for You. New York: W.W. Norton.
Wen, W. & Zhu, F. 2019. "Threat of platform-owner entry and complementor responses: Evidence from the mobile app market." Strategic Management Journal (forthcoming).
Zhu, F. (2019). Friends or foes? Examining platform owners’ entry into complementors’ spaces. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 28(1), 23-28.
Zhu, F., & Liu, Q. (2018). Competing with complementors: An empirical look at Strategic Management Journal, 39(10), 2618-2642.