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New ventures as value cocreators in digital ecosystems

Shameen Prashantham (China Europe International Business School, Shanghai, China)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 21 September 2020

Issue publication date: 4 February 2021




To stimulate further research aimed at understanding how value can be cocreated by participants in digital ecosystems, this paper draws attention to new ventures as focal actors in innovation ecosystems orchestrated by hub firms.


This is a conceptual article that imports the notion of network oscillation (a pattern of brokerage-closure-brokerage) from social network studies to the conversation on digital ecosystems.


One potential pattern that a new venture may pursue to increase its prospects of cocreating value in an innovation ecosystem includes: (1) brokerage to gain managerial attention from a business unit of the hub firm, (2) switching to closure to attract attention from the wider hub firm (e.g. headquarters) and (3) reverting to brokerage to pursue synergistic network expansion opportunities from the wider interfirm ecosystem.

Research limitations/implications

The exploratory ideas in this paper can help advance both entrepreneurship and information systems research.


This paper offers preliminary ideas on egocentric network dynamics associated with a new venture partnering with a large ecosystem hub firm. Such a perspective is appropriate since achieving value creation through active partnering requires building and strengthening ties over time across the hub firm's ecosystem.



An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2016 Academy of International Business conference in New Orleans. Valuable input from Alain Chong and Chee-Wee Tan on previous drafts is greatly appreciated. Research assistance from Rhea Li is acknowledged with thanks.


Prashantham, S. (2021), "New ventures as value cocreators in digital ecosystems", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 121 No. 1, pp. 111-122.



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