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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Organizations are increasingly recognizing that value they once derived from offering stand-alone products can be significantly enhanced if they transition to platform-based businesses harnessing innovative capabilities of complementors. Whereas the competitive dynamics of platform-based businesses have been studied extensively in the economics and strategy literatures, the organizational implications of shifting from a product- to a platform-based business model remain relatively unexplored. We propose that such a shift is not simply an operational change but may challenge the core of how an organization views itself, calling into question organizational identity. Organizations that define themselves as creative and innovative may have trouble accepting a platform-based context in which outsiders engage in creative activity on their behalf. Organizational identity can also influence whether and how organizations become platform-based. To succeed, organizations must question elements of their existing identity and actively modify it to become consistent with their new business approach.

Keywords: organizational change, organizational identity, multisided platforms, ecosystems, complementors, managing innovation

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