Managing Relationships with a Platform: An Empirical Study of Publishers’ e-Book Offerings on Amazon Kindle

47 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2018

See all articles by Richard Wang

Richard Wang

Babson College

Cameron Miller

Syracuse University - Whitman School of Management

Date Written: January 31, 2018

Abstract

Tension between value creation and value appropriation can arise when firms enter relationships with a platform. While creating value collectively, these relationships strengthen the network effects which increase the platform’s ability to appropriate value. This shift in bargaining position could restrain cooperation between the firms and the platform, thereby diminishing joint value creation. We analyze e-book data to study product offerings as a strategic mechanism that publishers use when managing relationships with Amazon Kindle. We find that publishers make product offering choices that increase value creation while alleviate appropriation risks. Compared to small publishers, large publishers make product decisions that are more protective of their own interests and less conducive to Kindle’s success. We discuss our findings in relation to theory and future research.

Keywords: interorganizational relationships, product decision, platform, complementors, Amazon Kindle

JEL Classification: L2, M2, L81

Suggested Citation

Wang, Richard and Miller, Cameron, Managing Relationships with a Platform: An Empirical Study of Publishers’ e-Book Offerings on Amazon Kindle (January 31, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3120686 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3120686

Richard Wang (Contact Author)

Babson College ( email )

231 Forest St.
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310
United States

Cameron Miller

Syracuse University - Whitman School of Management ( email )

721 University Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

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