"Dynamics and Impacts of Platforms and Ecosystems" (HICSS minitrack)

We are delighted to invite papers and participation to our HICSS-57 minitrack on ‘Dynamics and Impacts of Platforms and Ecosystems’. The minitrack follows eight years of successful exploration of platforms and ecosystems since HICSS-49 (see Russell et al. 2021).

Understanding modern-day’s competition and survival of organizations oftentimes requires ecosystem-centric perspectives. This is because digital technologies have enabled new complementarities between actors within and across industries (e.g., Cusumano et al. 2019). The increasing platformization of firms and technologies has important implications in how companies create and capture value. In this new “digital first” economy (Baskerville et al. 2020), transaction and innovation platforms have become dominant forms of organization (Gawer 2021, de Reuver et al. 2018, van Dijck 2018). For scholars interested in platforms and ecosystems, this opens up at least two interesting avenues of research: 

(1) What are the dynamics underlying platformization?

We invite scholars to reflect on the mechanisms of emergence, stabilization, and downfall of platforms. Existing platform research has already introduced important mechanisms for platform emergence and growth such as network externalities (e.g., Eisenmann et al. 2011; Karhu and Ritala, 2021), generativity (e.g., Furstenau et al., forthcoming), or legitimization (Taeuscher and Rothe, 2021). Beyond traditional views on growth of users, complementors, and firm size, platform providers also collect more and more data (Aaltonen et al. 2020) that can be used for producing superior machine learning and AI applications. We would like to learn how mechanisms like these explain how platform providers such as Amazon, Meta, Apple, or less well known providers established dominant positions in their own and in complementary markets. Here, the role of complementors as contributors or suppressors of platformization might be of particular interest. Change in digital technologies might also change dynamics. Decentralized infrastructures such as “Web 3.0” might challenge current forms of organizing ecosystems via platforms. New AI applications on large language models such as ChatGPT indicate a shift from producing value through matching complementors and users to learning how to produce content and services from data over time. Thus, it might be up to discussion whether the digital technologies that have led to the emergence of platforms might also bring them down. We therefore ask scholars to reflect, among others on:

  • What are the conditions under which known mechanisms of platform emergence, growth, and downfall are accelerated or decelerated?
  • How do actors intervene to adapt platforms and ecosystems to changes in the technological, social, economic, ecologic, or political environment? 
  • How can ecosystem actors – from complementors to individual users – succeed within these dynamics and manage their consequences?
  • How can new data and methods - including but not limited to dynamic analytics, visualization, and decision making – assist actors in understanding the dynamics of platforms and ecosystems?

(2) What are the impacts of platformization on our societies, economies, and our ecology?

Platforms and ecosystems promise accessibility and democritization of creating and capturing value by inverting the firm (Parker et al. 2017) or producing new labor markets in a sharing economy (Nian et al. 2021). We have learned, however, that platform providers accumulate power, sometimes leading to misuse of market dominance (Aral, 2021; Khan, 2019). This is important, because platforms and ecosystems affect their environment. Recommender systems of Instagram have been perceived as harmful for teenagers, eventually inducing testimonies of leading managers before US congress. Crowdfunding platforms have not torn down socio-economic barriers (Kim and Hann, 2019) and peer-to-peer lending platforms affected decisions as personal as ones on abortion and women's health (Ozer et al. 2022). Observations like these ask for more research on the impact of platforms and ecosystems:

  • How do actors transform organizations and societies with platforms and ecosystems, and what are the (un)intended consequences? 
  • How do platform providers and complementors govern their impact on ecology, economies, and societies at large?
  • What approaches are actors finding useful for controlling underlying mechanisms for dynamics, such as network effects, to mitigate unintended consequences?

The minitrack seeks contributions that problematize or build on diverse theoretical backgrounds such as management science, information systems, computer science, decision science, system science, organizational design, policy making, complexity, and behavioral economics to continue the scholarly exploration of concepts, theories, models, and tools for managing platforms and ecosystems. We are open to a wide set of methodological approaches including empirical research, case-based research, field studies, design science, behavioral decision-making experiments, and conceptual research. We encourage collaboration between academia, industry, and policy making and welcome submissions from industry and around the world.


  • Aral, S. (2021). The Hype Machine: How Social Media Disrupts Our Elections, Our Economy, and Our Health—And How We Must Adapt. Currency.
  • Baskerville, R., Myers, M. D., & Yoo, Y. (2020). Digital First: The Ontological Reversal and New Challenges for IS Research. MIS Quarterly, 44(2), 509-523.
  • Cusumano, M. A., Gawer, A., & Yoffie, D. B. (2019). The business of platforms: Strategy in the age of digital competition, innovation, and power (pp. 1-309). New York: Harper Business.
  • de Reuver, M., Sørensen, C., & Basole, R. C. (2018). The digital platform: a research agenda. Journal of Information Technology33(2), 124-135.
  • Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., & Alstyne, M. V. (2011). Platform envelopment. Strategic Management Journal, 32(12), 1270–1285.
  • Furstenau, D., Baiyere, A., Schewina, K., Schulte-Althoff, M., Rothe, H. (forthcoming). Extended Generativity Theory on Digital Platforms. Information Systems Research.
  • Gawer, A. (2021). Digital platforms’ boundaries: The interplay of firm scope, platform sides, and digital interfaces. Long Range Planning54(5), 102045.
  • Garud, R., Kumaraswamy, A., Roberts, A., & Xu, L. (2022). Liminal movement by digital platform‐based sharing economy ventures: The case of Uber Technologies. Strategic Management Journal, 43(3), 447-475.
  • Karhu, K., & Ritala, P. (2021). Slicing the cake without baking it: Opportunistic platform entry strategies in digital markets. Long Range Planning, 54(5), 101988.
  • Khan, L. M. (2019). The separation of platforms and commerce. Columbia Law Review, 119(4), 973-1098.
  • Kim, K., & Hann, I. H. (2019). Crowdfunding and the democratization of access to capital—An illusion? Evidence from housing prices. Information Systems Research30(1), 276-290.
  • Nian, T., Zhu, Y. A., & Gurbaxani, V. (2021). The Impact of the Sharing Economy on Household Bankruptcy. MIS Quarterly,, 45(3), 1213-1248.
  • Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M., & Jiang, X. (2017). Platform Ecosystems. MIS Quarterly41(1), 255-266.
  • Ozer, G. T., Greenwood, B. N., & Gopal, A. (2022). Digital multisided platforms and women’s health: An empirical analysis of peer-to-peer lending and abortion rates. Information Systems Research.
  • Russell, M., Rothe, H., & Huhtamäki, J. (2021). Introduction to the Minitrack on Managing the Dynamics of Platforms and Ecosystems. In Proceedings of the 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (p. 6109).
  • Taeuscher, K., & Rothe, H. (2021). Optimal distinctiveness in platform markets: Leveraging complementors as legitimacy buffers. Strategic Management Journal42(2), 435-461.
  • Van Dijck, J., Poell, T., & De Waal, M. (2018). The platform society: Public values in a connective world. Oxford University Press.


Hannes Rothe (primary contact)
University of Duisburg-Essen
hannes.rothe (at) icb.uni-due.de

Jukka Huhtamäki
Tampere University
jukka.huhtamaki (at) tuni.fi

Kaisa Still
University of Oulu
kaisa.still (at) oulu.fi

Advisory Committee

Chair of the Committee:
Rahul C. Basole (Accenture AI, USA)

Members of the Committee:
Amrit Tiwana (University of Georgia, USA)
Annabelle Gawer (University of Surrey)
Brandon Barnett (Intel Corporation, USA)
Carmelo Cennamo (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Carsten Sørensen (London School of Economics, UK)
Daniel Fürstenau (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark)
Geoff Parker (Dartmouth College, USA)
Hyunwoo Park (Ohio State University, USA)
Jesus Delvalle (Bayer, Germany)
Jianxi Luo (Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore)
Jim Spohrer (IBM Corporation, USA)
Karl Täuscher (University of Manchester, UK)
Mark de Reuver (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands)
Marko Seppänen (Tampere University, Finland)
Martha Russell (Stanford University, USA)
Michael Cusumano (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
Michael Jacobides (London Business School, UK)
Neil Rubens (Transport and Telecommunication Institute, Latvia)
Ola Henfridsson (University of Miami, USA)
Paavo Ritala (LUT University, Finland)
Raul Chao (University of Virginia, USA)
Tero Ojanperä (Silo.AI, Finland)
Timo Ali-Vehmas