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Platform control and multi-realized platform benefits: a meta-analysis

Nicholas Roberts (Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, USA)
Inchan Kim (University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA)
Kishen Iyengar (Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, USA)
Jennifer Pullin (Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia, USA)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 20 June 2024




Platform owners need to encourage yet control complementors in ways that generate benefits. Retaining too much control can restrict innovation and knowledge flows; giving up too much control can lead to poor quality and platform instability. Studies provide mixed findings that make it difficult to draw generalizable conclusions. We aim to provide a more accurate understanding of the link between platform control and platform benefits.


We conducted a meta-analysis of empirical research in this area.


Access-based control positively influences realization benefits, but it does not appear to affect creation benefits. Authority-based control does not appear to affect creation or realization benefits. Control is positively linked to benefits on transaction platforms but not on innovation platforms. Platform control is positively related to platform benefits in studies that use objective measures and in studies that measure control from the complementor’s perspective. However, the relationship between control and benefits is uncertain in studies that use perceptual measures and in studies that measure control from the owner’s perspective.

Research limitations/implications

Tighter restrictions on who can join the platform can lead to greater use of platform innovations. Platform control is also an effective driver of benefits on transaction platforms. Researchers should carefully think through the manner in which they measure platform control and platform benefits. Our study is limited by a small sample size, four moderators and a set of empirical-only studies.


Our findings can guide future research and help practitioners better understand when platform control is related to platform benefits.



Roberts, N., Kim, I., Iyengar, K. and Pullin, J. (2024), "Platform control and multi-realized platform benefits: a meta-analysis", Internet Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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