Digital platforms

Digital platforms: New form of organization and strategic challenges

Digitization is fundamentally changing the types and forms in which people work. Exchange platforms are rapidly gaining in importance. Exchange platforms represent a new form of organization that mobilizes masses to integrate them into operational value chains, offering a wide range of services: from simple routine work (e.g.: Mechanical Turk, Clickworker), to handcrafted, solid creative work (e.g.: 99designs, Upwork), to highly complex innovative solutions (e.g.: Innocentive, Jovoto) and services based on the commercial exploitation of "private capital goods" (e.g.: Uber, Airbnb). Product platforms (e.g. Internet-of-Things platforms) consist of architectures that define how actors can participate in the generation of added value (e.g. standardized interfaces) and the associated infrastructure (e.g. web-based platforms for information exchange). Platform organization and strategies differ strongly from classical management principles, which focus on control and predictability of action through hierarchy. Platforms are mostly based on a logic of flexibility. Control and steering usually take place via hidden mechanisms (e.g. platform design and algorithmic governance). This research area investigates how platforms are organized (e.g. organizational practices), what the strategic challenges in platform management are (e.g. platform design and the question of openness), and what the consequences of a platform-based economy are (e.g. codetermination and working conditions of crowdworkers on exchange platforms).


Contact: Prof. Dr. Thomas Gegenhuber (IMO), Prof. Dr. Markus Reihlen (IMO), Prof. Dr. Paul Drews (IIS)