Business Ecosystems as Institutions of Participation : A Systems Perspective on Community-Developed Platforms

  • Muegge S
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This article introduces a systems perspective on community-developed platforms and the institutions that structure participation by individuals and companies. It brings together the past research about technology platforms, company participation in business ecosystems, and individual participation in developer communities, and links these codependent subsystems through resource flows, interconnected institutional arrangements, and shared governance. To achieve this synthesis, it draws on conceptual arguments from a broad range of sources, including Elinor Ostrom{\textquoteright}s research program on the economics of sustainable commons governance, Tim O{\textquoteright}Reilly{\textquoteright}s practitioner essays about the architecture of participation, and prior management research on modularity and design, resource dependence, and systems thinking. The resulting {\textquotedblleft}systems of systems{\textquotedblright} perspective is parsimonious and insightful for entrepreneurs, managers, and community leaders.

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  • Steven Muegge

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