Escaping Platform Ecosystem Myopia: The Importance of Second-Order Ecosystems
37 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2022
Date Written: August 15, 2022
Platform ecosystems have become dominant structures shaping a range of markets. Despite the increasing research attention placed on platforms and their ecosystems, the basic model comprising the platform and its sides does not consider the constellation of firms that has emerged to assist complementors in creating and capturing value. We define these actors as composing a “second-order ecosystem” (SOE). SOE actors provide a variety of services to complementors on a particular platform to improve their performance. Their innovations create strategic challenges for the platform and indirectly affect the whole ecosystem's evolution. We explain the origins and function of SOEs and discuss the multivalent impacts they have on the positions and strategies of complementors, platform owners, and other side(s). We close by identifying future research directions.
Keywords: Platform economy, platforms, platform dependence, complementors, digital, ecosystem
JEL Classification: M10, M15, L13, O30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation