From ad hoc to strategic ecosystem management: the "Three-Layer Ecosystem Strategy Model" (TeLESM)
Journal article, 2017
Recently, business ecosystems have been recognized as one of the most interesting phenomenon in software engineering research. Companies experience a paradigm shift where product development and innovation is moving outside the boundaries of the firm and where networks of stakeholders join forces to co-create value. While there is prominent research focusing on the managerial perspective of business ecosystems, few studies provide strategic guidance for how to intentionally manage the different ecosystems that companies operate in. Therefore, and on the basis of multicase study research, we provide empirical evidence on the challenges that software-intensive companies experience in relation to the different types of business ecosystems they operate in. We conduct a state-of-the-art literature review to identify strategies that are used to manage ecosystem engagements, and we develop a conceptual model in which we identify strategies for managing the innovation ecosystem, the differentiating ecosystem, and the commoditizing ecosystem. By categorising the different strategies in relation to the different types of ecosystems for which they are valid, the three-layer ecosystem strategy model provides comprehensive support for strategy selection. We validate the use of the identified strategies in 6 software-intensive case companies, and we provide empirical insights on the relevance and the desired use of these strategies as experienced by the case companies.