What Is an Ecosystem? Incorporating 25 Years of Ecosystem Research

Academy of Management Proceedings, Vol. 2019, No. 1

29 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2019 Last revised: 18 Aug 2019

See all articles by Marcel Bogers

Marcel Bogers

University of Copenhagen - Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO); University of California, Berkeley

Jonathan Sims

Babson College - Management Division

Joel West

KGI - Keck Graduate Institute

Date Written: January 15, 2019

Abstract

Ecosystems are increasingly recognized as crucial for the success of a firm’s innovation strategy and business model. They are also a topic attracting increasing academic interest, with more than 300 articles published in top journals since 1992, most in the past five years. Based on an examination of this research, we propose a new definition that links the central goal of an ecosystem — joint value creation — to three constructs: goals of ecosystem members, the network of relations between these members, and the interdependence of their respective goals. We show how the four components of this definition allow ecosystem researchers to incorporate insights across a wide range of previously excluded studies of ecosystems and related topics. From this, we summarize the research opportunities made possible by this more inclusive definition, including research on each of the components, the interconnection between components, and with the ecosystem used as a level of analysis.

Keywords: business ecosystems, platforms, multi-sided markets, regional ecosystems, open innovation

Suggested Citation

Bogers, Marcel and Sims, Jonathan and West, Joel, What Is an Ecosystem? Incorporating 25 Years of Ecosystem Research (January 15, 2019). Academy of Management Proceedings, Vol. 2019, No. 1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3437014 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3437014

Marcel Bogers (Contact Author)

University of Copenhagen - Department of Food and Resource Economics (IFRO) ( email )

Unit for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management
Rolighedsvej 25
Copenhagen, 1958
Denmark

University of California, Berkeley

Garwood Center for Corporate Innovation
F402 Hass School of Business, #1930
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Jonathan Sims

Babson College - Management Division ( email )

Babson Park, MA 02157
United States

Joel West

KGI - Keck Graduate Institute ( email )

535 Watson Drive
Claremont, CA 91711
United States
909-293-8550 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.joelwest.org/KGI

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