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Title: How firms manage decentralised markets : exploring the formation of two-sided platforms
Author: Bohné, T. M.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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Advances in information and communication technology have significantly increased the possibilities for firms to connect interdependent but widely distributed user groups. In recent years, the management literature has devoted considerable attention to organisations, called two-sided platforms, which bring together groups of agents between whom there is some form of externality in their interactions. Examples of two-sided platforms mentioned in the literature abound and range from credit cards and social networking websites, to newspapers and video games. Despite good progress made in the literature, current understanding of two-sided platforms is incomplete. From a conceptual point of view, it is remarkably unclear as to what defines a two-sided platform. From an empirical point of view, relatively little is known about how these platforms evolve and how they are managed. This thesis seeks to contribute to the management literature by shedding more light on these gaps. Drawing on intermediation theory, this thesis approaches two-sided platforms as firms creating decentralised markets in which firms have no direct control over transactions between buyers and sellers. It provides exploratory empirical evidence on the evolution of six platforms in two innovative industries, namely ride-sharing and custom apparel. The formation management of these platforms is studied over several years and particular attention is paid to how firms have managed access to, interaction in, and affiliations with their centralised markets. The main conclusion of this research is that firms use an array of instruments to actively manage decentralised markets. In contrast to the literature, this research finds that price instruments play a comparatively limited role. Among other instruments, firms use registration procedures and submission rules to manage access to their markets. Interactions between users are managed with search and ranking instruments, among others. This research also highlights the multi-faceted nature of affiliations between firms and users of decentralised markets, which often range from informal to formal classes of affiliation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available