Network Strategies for the New Economy
European Business Journal, Vol. 14, pp. 174 - 185, 2002
18 Pages Posted: 13 May 2005
In this paper we argue that the pace and scale of development in the information and communication technology industries (ICT) has had and continues to have major effects on the industry economics and competitive dynamics generally. We maintain that the size of changes in demand and supply conditions is forcing companies to make significant changes in the way they conceive and implement their strategies. We decompose the ICT industries into four levels, technology standards, supply chains, physical platforms, and consumer networks. The nature of these technologies and their cost characteristics coupled with higher degrees of knowledge specialisation is impelling companies to radical revisions of their attitudes towards cooperation and co-evolution with suppliers and customers. Where interdependencies between customers are particularly strong, we anticipate the possibility of winner-takes-all strategies. In these circumstances industry risks become very high and there will be significant consequences for competitive markets.
Keywords: network externalities, information economy, critical mass, winner-takes-all, competition
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