Previous studies have mainly focused on value creation and capture in the BE, which also largely overlaps with business model studies. However, they seem to have paid less attention to the embedded resource around the established value chain or platform ecosystem. The embedded resources will enable stakeholders by triggering a greater network efect and more opportunities to connect and co-create value. Shi and Shi (2017) suggested that the embedded resources will be mobilized by the ecosystem’s focal frms and transformed into a connected value chain or platform and renew the existing ones. The embedded resource pool contains diferent institutions, social networks, governments, industrial associations, other industrial stakeholders, and local communities, who are not. Business ecosystem research agenda: more dynamic, more… 175 involved in the existing value network but could be potential contributors.
Taking Uber as an example, we can see that it has embraced more and more stakeholders into its platform-based BE. Besides Uber ride, it has introduced Uber Eat (a platform-based takeaway business) by involving multiple freelancing delivery drivers in its platform ecosystem. In China, Didi acquired Uber and embraced even more stakeholders, including leasing companies, bus services, and designated-driver services. Obviously, the current business competition has moved beyond the traditional focus on the relationship between supplier and buyer to place more emphasis on the relationships between all stakeholders. These relationships are complex, collaborative, unfolding, and reciprocal and should be viewed as elements embedded within the value co-creation.
It is believed that value is not created in a singular discrete production – consumption event, but rather unfolds over multiple time periods at the intersection of multiple networks of resources. These embedded resources are organizationally complex, but play an important role to the competitiveness of a business or an industry sector. From the resource-based view, competitive advantages are based on embeddedness in the organization fabric and other factors such as value, rareness, and uniqueness. Within the Asian context, the embedders of those social, cultural, and political factors in the BE are vital to the success of digital business.
Hence, regarding the embedded resource pool, we propose that the second research direction should focus on the embeddedness of BE so as to explore how to mobilize the embedded resources to renew an existing BE, to understand the key stakeholder roles and their interaction within the embedded resources pool, and to investigate how to nurture the embedded resource pool and balance it with an existing or new business models.
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