Seminar (Dept. of General Management)

Copyfrom:Dept. of General Management Time:2020-12-11

Theme:Transforming an industry as building a plane while flying it: the emergence of multi-platform configuration

Speaker:Hong Hou (University of Cambridge)

Time:2020-12-17 12:00

Address:Zoom Meeting


ID: 632 9936 2979

Password: 640276



While success stories of disruptive digital platforms are popular, platforms failures are never less striking in reality. Through tracing how a major platform player transformed the fast-moving-consumer-goods industry in China, this case study identifies the roots of its initial setback and, more importantly, how the platform ecosystem evolves to deal with them. It reveals a disruptor's paradox where the disruptor has to adapt its ecosystem to the industry that it strives to transform. Specifically, a novel multi-platform configuration is found emergent from the search of ecosystem alignment to reconcile institutional complexity and task complexity rooted in the established industry architecture. This study calls for bringing industry back in platform and ecosystem research with granularity, suggesting a more holistic architectural thinking on digital platforms and platform-driven industry transformation.


Short biography:

Hong Hou is a doctoral candidate in the Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge. Before joining in academia, he had ten years’ experience in China's high-tech sector, working as a strategy consultant and an in-house strategy officer. His prolonged research interest from industry to academia is focused on the intersection between three disciplines, namely strategy, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and three phenomena, namely platform, ecosystem, and digitalisation. His works have published in academic international journals like Long Range Planning and Technovation, as well as in practitioner-oriented journals such as Organizational Dynamics and Tsinghua Management Review. His single-authored articles on Industrial Internet have been reprinted by XinhuaWenzhai and included by a book coedited by Tencent and Institute of Global Industries, Tsinghua University.


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